Trailer park facing water woes

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 19, 2009

After briefly losing water service twice last week,approximately 50 mobile home park families face continueduncertainty as city officials try to collect water payment from thepark’s property owner.

Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron said courthouse officialsintervened on behalf of residents of Southwest Mobile Home Park,off Old Wesson Road, Thursday afternoon after water service was cutoff for non-payment of the water bill. Service was again cut offFriday afternoon after park property owner Dalton Lofton failed tomeet a noon deadline to pay.

“He owes the city about $6,000,” said Water DepartmentSuperintendent Lanny Dickey. “We gave him until Friday to come payit. He didn’t, so we cut the water off.”

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Water service was restored Saturday morning after Cameroncontacted Dickey. The alderman said park residents faced thepossibility of being without water until Tuesday because cityoffices will be closed for the weekend and Monday’s Dr. MartinLuther King Jr. holiday.

“This is totally out of order,” Cameron said Saturday as hetalked about Lofton and problems at the park.

Efforts to contact Lofton Saturday were unsuccessful. He did nothave a listed telephone number and the number at his front-endrepair shop on South First Street has been disconnected or is nolonger in service.

Dickey said water service had been cut off “a few” times in thepast over water bill issues. While residents said they have watermeters at their individual lots, Dickey said there is one citywater meter near the beginning of the private road that leads tothe park in the newly annexed area.

“We have one meter and that’s it,” Dickey said.

Residents said they pay $125 per month in lot fees to a managerwho lives in a trailer at the park. They indicated Lofton does notcome around often.

“We don’t ever see him,” said resident Kristy Daniels.

Residents said most pay their lot fees on time. They indicatedthere were consequences for not paying.

“If we’re late with the fees, he’s going to charge us,” saidBessie Sims.

Others said there had been incidents of lot meters being pulledfor non-payment. Cameron, however, said others should not have tobe troubled as well.

“He shouldn’t let everybody suffer,” Cameron said.

Water service appears to be not the only problem at thepark.

Piles of garbage were seen around a private company’s dumpsterSaturday. Residents said the pile had been accumulating sincebefore Christmas and the dumpster itself has been sealed andlocked.

Regarding water service, Cameron and residents Saturdaydiscussed the possibility of individual meters for the park lots.The alderman, though, was unsure if that would be possible and didnot have any immediate answers to the problem.

“This is a unique situation,” Cameron said. “This is somethingthat’s going to have to come up in the board meeting.”

Aldermen are scheduled to meet again Tuesday night.