Watch CBS News

Washington Crown Center turns away customers due to water main break

Washington Crown Center turns away customers due to water main break
Washington Crown Center turns away customers due to water main break 02:17

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) - The Washington Crown Center had to turn customers away again Wednesday after a water main break closed its doors.

Township officials say they had to step in and fix the break because the mall owner refused.

Signs have greeted people for the past three days because of a water main break, disappointing customers and business owners alike, but no more than the township itself, which has to foot the repair bills.

"He's a slum landowner," said the North Franklin Township supervisor Bob Sabot.

When two days passed and the mall owner didn't act, North Franklin Township was compelled to step in.

"Last night, the board of supervisors decided that we were going to take emergency action because we consider it a public safety issue, involving the fact there's no water, no water to the hydrants, no water to the restrooms," Sabot said.

Sabot says he's flat-out disgusted, calling the New York-based owner negligent, and says the owner told him he couldn't find anyone to do the repair work because he still owes several thousand dollars for previous work.

"Other malls in this area are currently owned by him, and he's going to do the same thing over and over until someone calls him out on it, and North Franklin Township has had enough."

New business owner Billie Athanas is only 10 days into her lease at the mall and says she was alerted Monday morning to the water main break because of Facebook.

She told KDKA-TV that her business, Sweet As Candy, was gaining momentum before the mall closed.

"My lease started April 1. So again, I just launched the website, I had all this timed out and now I'm stopped. I have brand-new website orders I can't ship out because I can't get them made to get them sent," Athanas said.

Sabot says repairs will be done in time to open on Thursday. However, he says it is up to the mall owner when he wants to reopen.

KDKA-TV has reached out to the owner but has yet to hear back.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.