Residents tired of 'trailer' trash
By Sabrina Bates
Posted: Friday, January 9, 2009 8:05 pm
Trash sits abandoned on a lot just feet away from where children play and families reside. Dogs roam through the garbage and sewage from the trailers stands in the yards. The problem has sparked a controversial effort by local residents to garner attention to a mobile home court on the outskirts of Martin. With the issue of a lack of trash removal from the rental property, environmental questions are being raised by some of the residents at “The Trailer Park,” also known as K and R Investments, LLC on Hwy. 45 North.
“We need health officials out here. Many residents don’t have heat, some don’t have running water and nothing is getting done to take care of these problems,” trailer court resident Kenny Rogers claimed in an interview on Wednesday.
Rogers told The Press that lack of oversight from the park owner and manager has created dire living conditions for the residents.
“Some of these people live on fixed incomes and have nowhere else to go,” Rogers added.
Rogers said he was responsible for helping with some of the maintenance in the park late last year. He claimed the task was insurmountable as he noticed negligent practices throughout the park.
Since moving into The Trailer Park five months ago, Robert William Henderson said he was told by the caretaker of the rental property to place his trash on an empty lot because there was no dumpster available to the residents.
Property manager Carson Outlaw claimed, he along with the park’s owner Lisa Maria of Florida, were unable to pay the trash pick-up bill due to past managers “running off” with residents’ rent money.
The manager explained that the dumpster had been removed by Barker Bros. Waste Co. a “couple of months ago.”
According to Maria, residents have been without a dumpster for “about a month.”
Barker Bros. told The Press the company repossessed the six-yard dumpster in August 2008. Prior to its removal, dumpster pick-up occurred twice a week at the park.
Outlaw said as a favor to the absentee owner, he offered his help in trying to clean up the park.
“We’ve had some real bad luck with the last four managers. Some have run off with the rent money and we couldn’t pay the trash bill. I have offered to pick up the trash from the lot three times a week and take it to a dumpster at my trailer park,” Outlaw said.
Maria said in a phone conversation on Thursday, she was unaware of the conditions of the mobile home park and hasn’t visited the property in at least one year.
Rent for a unit at The Trailer Park includes water, garbage pick-up and lawn care.
Maria said she would consider a price reduction for residents as a result of a lack of trash pick-up service, but hoped to resolve the issue by next week.
Outlaw said within a week to 10 days, he had hoped to eliminate the large pile of waste on the empty lot.
Since there are no county codes regulating trash disposal, the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department as well as Weakley County Mayor Houston Patrick claim that there is not a violation by storing garbage on an empty lot at the trailer court.
A first-hand evaluation of the property confirmed Roger’s complaint that a pile of garbage wasn’t the only sanitation issue plaguing residents at “The Trailer Park.”
Exposed plumbing running from underneath several of the mobile homes literally emptied into the front and back yards of the trailers.
An official with state department of health cited state sub service sewage laws do exist and ground contamination by raw sewage pose several health risks.
An investigation of the sewage disposal systems throughout The Trailer Park is pending.
To date, 16 of the park’s units house single residents or families. Many of the trailers lack central heating and air units and utilize makeshift plumbing.
Rogers said his family, as well as other residents, have questioned the lack of upkeep as well as the visible raw sewage seen throughout the park. He said his concern was how residents who live on fixed incomes could find other housing.
“Many of these people have no heat. Some of the families don’t even have hot water. Children are exposed to raw sewage. There is trash everywhere and many people don’t have the money to move out. It seems to me that the people who should be taking care of this situation don’t seem worried about it," Rogers commented on Wednesday.
The father of two received an eviction notice by Outlaw Friday morning with claims he hasn’t paid his rent. He is set to appear in court next Thursday.