Mobile home park residents notified to leave

Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Residents of the mobile home park on Peach Street have been notified that they must leave their homes due to a lack of utilities.

Tuesday morning residents awoke to find that stickers had been placed on the front of their mobile homes stating their homes are no longer fit for human occupancy.

Those stickers were applied because the homes no longer had access to city utilities, which is a violation of city ordinances. Those utilities have been cut off because the water bill to the park has not been paid.

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Public Works Director Chad Frierson said the park had only two meters. Water has been turned off to the park about three or four times in the past six months due to unpaid bills. Frierson said city employees had been checking on the meters after water was cut off and found the locks had been cut and the water had been turned back on. Locks were reinstalled on the meters only to be cut again after the employees left. Frierson said after the second time the water was turned back on without city approval, the meters were removed because someone was cutting the locks and turning the water back on.

City Building Inspector Alvin Carter said any home inside the city limits must have utilities hooked to it. That lack of utility connection led to the notices being issued Tuesday morning. Miller said if the bill is paid in full, then water will be restored to the park.

Herbert Mason, a park resident confined to a wheelchair, said the water was shut off because the owner of the park owes money to the city on the water bill. He said he has no place to go but has been offered assistance by a local developer who is attempting to purchase the park.

ā€œIā€™d make them kill me before they I go to a convalescent home,ā€ Mason said.

Developer Mark Gibson said he is attempting to purchase the park from owner Hershel Dillard. Gibson said Dillard owes the city about $9,000 in back utility bills. Due to a water leak in the lines, Gibson said the bill increased. In council meeting discussions it was stated that all meters in the city limits were being charged a flat rate, but Gibson said the meters at the park were being read.

Gibson said he will address the city Planning Commission Tuesday night to ask for conditional use of the park. If he is granted that conditional use, he plans to install new water lines and meters to each lot in the park. He also plans to remove all but two of the existing homes and replace them with new ones. He also plans to build a privacy fence around the entire park.

Gibson said he will help current residents who own mobile homes in the park to find a new place for their homes.