Funding

Funding (August 19, 2014)

The beleaguered Tymber Skan condominium complex is getting a much-needed cash infusion to address nagging public-safety issues.

Orange County commissioners on Tuesday approved an expenditure of $190,000 to go toward paving, boarding up vacant units, installing water-shutoff valves and legal costs associated with foreclosures and evictions at the complex in Holden Heights.

The shutoff valves will cut down on water waste at the complex, which owes the Orlando Utilities Commission more than $100,000 in unpaid water bills. The county is continuing its efforts to help the homeowners association negotiate a reduced payment with the utility, Mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

The paving work will allow rescue vehicles to access the complex without fear of damage. Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell, whose district includes Tymber Skan, said it was cheaper to repave than to keep fixing vehicles damaged by potholes.

According to the county, 60 percent of the units in the complex are vacant. Of the 116 occupied units, only 17 are owner-occupied. Jacobs noted that the empty units have attracted squatters and created "a crime problem not only for Tymber Skan but for the surrounding area."

The $190,000 approved Tuesday is the first installment of a $1 million sum that commissioners approved in June to address the long-standing problems at Tymber Skan.

The complex, which was built in 1972, has been on a decades-long downward spiral, accelerated by the 2004 hurricanes and subsequent collapse of the housing market.

The county has demolished two of the 49 buildings at Tymber Skan, and is looking at demolishing several more in the next year.

Moore Russell said the complex's problems will take a lot more than $1 million to solve.

"We still have a lot of work to do," she said.

Jacobs said the long-term hope is that the entire complex will be redeveloped.

"We're hoping that by putting in some stabilization money, we can encourage private investment," she said.

dbreen@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5189