Neighbors of Melody Estates came into the Price City Council meeting last Wednesday singing a sour tune about the mobile home park, and they pleaded that something be done about the situation.
"We think that some of the residents care about the park and some don't," said Sherald Law, a neighbor who lives next to the park on Fausett Lane. "We think the standards ought to be brought up so it is as livable place."
The park has been a concern of the city for a long time. It is located at the east entrance to the town and the appearance of the fence, the weeds around the park and the park itself have drawn criticism over the years.
Law and others came to the council meeting armed with a long list of problems they have with the park. They say the park makes the town and their neighborhood look bad and some also complained about their property values going down because of the park's condition.
The list of things they want to see done in the park includes cleaning up the trash in the park (including old cars that aren't running), cleaning up dog droppings that neighbors say are everywhere, fixing the fence along the south side of the park, fixing the roads (which are private), repairing old trailers that are parked there (including broken windows), replacing old, ineffective roofs on trailers that are located in the park and trimming large trees that are growing around the park from which branches sometimes break off and create a mess.
Law said that the problems cause concern of everyone on the street, and some of those problems don't stay within the park.
"Everyone knows there are lots of dogs there," he said. "During the good weather we often have to close our windows because there is so much noise from all the animals. They bark continually."
This is despite a sign at the front of the park that says "No dogs."
Trash, theft problems reported
He also pointed out that on his property he has to clean up trash that is thrown over the fence onto his property at least twice a year.
He also had a theft problem that he believes emanated from the park. Batteries were stolen out of his travel trailer and when he called the Price Police the officer and he traced the footprints in the snow of the people who took the batteries right to the park. They did not find the batteries nor the perpetrators of the crime however.
"Would you want to live on Fausett Lane?" he asked the council. "I know the person who owns the trailer park certainly wouldn't." (The Sun Advocate was not able to contact the park owner despite repeated calls over several days.)
He also brought up another problem that irritates residents. The park was built with turns into the streets that makes it so moving any new additional homes into the park is very difficult.
"Whenever the owner has a trailer brought into the park the street is blocked for up to an hour because they can't make the turn," he said. "They have to jack it around until it can go down the street. What if an ambulance or something had to come up there when that was going on?"
Fire hydrants less than optimum
Over the years there have also been a number of fires that have taken place in the park and he pointed out that the last time there was a fire it didn't seem the fire hydrant in the area worked well.
"We just want to see the park get cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time," he stated. "And we want the people who live there to have better living conditions too."
The brought response from a number of neighbors who said they supported what Law had said and they told the council and that they thought some of the trailers were in poor condition.
"The trailers have holes in the floors and the ceilings," said Beverly Branch, who lives across the street from the park. "It bothers me that so many of these places are paid for by the government and the owner gets the money."
"We feel bad for the people who live in those conditions," said Reeva Douros, another neighbor. "You drive into town and all you see is that ugly trailer court, You've improved Price City so much in the last few years. We just want people to see this town is beautiful."
After a few more residents had spoken, Mayor Joe Piccolo told the residents that the city is working on the problem and understands their situation.
"We could give you hours of stories about Melody Estates," said Piccolo. "Serious fines have not worked and now we have a written complaint (given to the council by those in attendance) that we will follow up on. We have accountability in helping with this problem. Your comments have not fallen on deaf ears."
Councilman Rick Davis told the residents that the city has recently adopted a new maintenance code and so the city has more power to enforce actions.
Councilwoman Kathy Smith also commented that "we have our teeth into this one and we are on our way. We are better suited now to change things more than we ever have been."
Piccolo ended the discussion by saying "...things need to improve and improve. But our last call would be if they aren't improved than it would be to eliminate."