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Pair of Norwalk mobile home parks go three hours without water

Scott Seitz2 • Sep 5, 2014 at 1:11 AM

A pair of local mobile home parks were without water for a little more than three hours Wednesday.

The city finance department ordered the water shut off at Midtown Manor, 520 Milan Ave., and Key Estates, 230 Whittlesey Ave., due to lack of payment.

The general services department turned the water off at 9 a.m. and restored service shortly before 1 p.m.

A third-party company, Ravenswood Management LLC, from Akron, is responsible for paying the water bills for both mobile home parks, said assistant finance director Michelle Reeder.

"We mail the bill to the management company," she said.

The total amount due for July and August for both parks was $33,770, which was paid by cashier's check Wednesday.

Both parks had their water turned off in April 2013 for non-payment.

According to the auditor's office, Midtown Manor is owned by Midtown Manor LLC from Charlotte, N.C., while Key Estates is owned by Norwalk Key Properties Limited, from Akron.

"Everybody in the trailer park is upset," said a Midtown Manor resident who did not want to be identified. "This is the second time this has happened. I have been in this trailer park 23 years. I am one of the original people out here. When these people took over this place went down.

"I pay $400 a month for lot rent, water and sewer. We pay our bills on time but they can't pay theirs? The last time this happened the water was off all day."

Another Midtown Manor resident, Jim Stacy, was to the point when talking about the situation.

"It's a bunch of crap," he said. "They are here religiously the second or third of the month to read the meter. They want you to pay your bill but they don't pay their bills. It's just not right."

Josh Snyder, public works director, said the finance office issues the shut-off directive to the general services department.

"There is a valve that controls the water going into either park," Snyder said. "It's a T-valve which can be shut off by one person."

Snyder said the finance department will issue a delinquents list.

"It includes habitual offenders, like the parks," he said.

Snyder said city officials are left with no choice in a situation like this.

"It's unfortunate," he said. "It's not something we like to do, but policy-wise, it's the only thing we can do to guarantee payment."

Snyder said at these two parks, the residents pay their water bill to the property owner who in turn pays the entire bill.

There are about 200 lots at Midtown Manor and Snyder estimated between 40 and 60 at Key Estates.

City officials can sympathize with the residents.

"Certainly, in this instance it's not directly their fault, assuming they all paid their bills," Snyder said. "But, at the same time, we have to have a policy."

Snyder called the mobile home parks "good-sized users of water."

"They do use significant volume," he said. "We can't let it (non-payment) go on forever."

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