Monday Jul 02 2012
Glen Oaks Mobile Home Park under new management
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
Another mobile home park resident worried about water quality
Glen Oaks Mobile Home Park gained new ownership Monday and they say they have plans to transform the currently dilapidated property. ?It?s deplorable some of the conditions that people are living in there. I couldn?t imagine having my family live in conditions like that,? said Chris Boley, business partner with the new owner on record Paul Howard. ?We are going to go in and spend a lot of money and make it nice.? Boley said he and Howard have turned around 100 houses in need of tremendous work to bring them up to code. Rather than selling them, Boley said the Sacrament-based pair continues to retain ownership of the properties after they are brought up to code. In March, Glen Oaks tenants filed complaints with the Placer County Department of Environmental Health, citing large piles of trash and debris, open sewer lines and electrical boxes, inaccurate electric bills, aesthetically unappealing water and large quantities of mold in the park?s cabins among their living conditions. The State Department of Housing and Community Development inspected the property and confirmed there were several violations Some changes were made by previous owner Randy Wetzel, but residents complained progress was slow and minimal. Fixing the 19 violations issued by the state is his first priority, Boley added. ?We have a list of all the violations. Whether there is one thing or 1,000 things, that needs to be addressed first,? Boley said. ?There are 19 code violations on the list. It just makes sense to fix them if you are a decent human being or good business person.? Rent will likely increase, Boley said, but they will work with tenants to keep the increase minimal and affordable. He added that rent is unlikely to increase until the park is up to code. Work on the property?s cabins is scheduled to begin immediately. He said he and Howard have already signed contracts with contractors. They hope to have the park fully renovated six months from now, with progress along the way. Ken Stuart, interim director of Placer County Environmental Health, confirmed a building permit had been taken out on the cabin of resident Heather Huff. The walls of Huff?s cabin were covered in mold in March and many of her possessions had been ruined. ?They already started gutting some of the places this morning,? Huff said. ?It seems like they have money. He has the money attitude.? Huff said she would be willing to pay a little bit more in rent to have livable conditions for her and her son. Boley said he could not discuss a possible change in the employment of the current manager Mary Carlson, yet, out of fairness to her. Ray Rivers, 76, a Glen Oaks resident, said Carlson worked hard on the property and several of the parks tenants contributed to the poor conditions. ?The tenants are lazy. They throw their garbage any place they want to,? Rivers said. ?Mary really is a nice woman and she really works hard. She is 70 years old, but mostly what she is doing is cleaning up after other people.? Carlson has declined comment on any further stories. Rivers said he has met the new owners and has some concerns, but is hopeful the park will get cleaned up so that he can possibly put his trailer on the market. ?I was concerned that he was going to tear them all down and I have put a lot of money into it,? Rivers said. ?I?d like to be able to sell it and get the heck out of here.? He added that he is not as worried about an increase in rent. ?It starts today,? Boley said. ?I would think every week there is going to be a whole lot of stuff done.? Water safe, but contains chlorine taste One resident of another local mobile home park said he is concerned about the quality of his water. Benjamin Nelson, who lives in Rockanna Royale Mobile Home Park, off of Ophir Road, said after receiving a notice on June 21 that Coliform Bacteria above the drinking water standard was in the park?s water system his water began to taste strongly of chlorine. ?It smells like a pool,? Nelson said. ?I?m not going to drink pool water and I am pretty sure my neighbors don?t want to drink pool water either.? On March 16 a similar, but more drastic notice was issued to residents of the park to inform them that E. coli was found in the water and they should not drink their water without boiling it first. Three days later, on March 19, residents were issued another notice informing them that water tests no longer showed signs of E. Coli and they no longer needed to boil their water before drinking it. He added that many residents, including him, now buy bottled water, tea or soda, instead of drinking the water. Placer County Environmental Health officials say the park?s property managers, J&H Asset Management, based in Yorba Linda, have complied with all standards to fix the water supply and the water is safe to drink, despite the chlorine taste. ?If there is a taste of chlorine that is quite possibility just because it?s just doing its job,? said Ken Stuart, interim director of environmental health for Placer County. ?To be real honest, total Coliform, they are indicators that the system is not the way it should be. It doesn?t say there is disease present. The only way to really treat it is chlorine.? He added that there was no time in which the water was unsafe to drink and the management has been more cooperative in resolving the issues than most are. ?I would say they shouldn?t be concerned. I would say the fact that the company is responding and trying to identify the problem should give them security,? Stuart said. Thomas Pacelli, property manager for J&H Asset Management, said the company has taken all of the necessary steps throughout its time managing the park to ensure the drinking water is safe. Currently, the water is tested two to three times a week. ?We know water is a precious commodity and it?s in everybody?s best interest to ensure that resource is given the upmost concern,? Pacelli said. ?We have only had one complaint about the drinking water. It?s from the same resident who complains about everything. We have corrected that and our latest reports have come up everything is in compliance.? Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.