REESE — For about 30 years, Roger Metiva, of Reese, worked hard to customize his home at Meadows Mobile Home Park on Reese Road.
He started by planting 37 pine trees around the home, growing a strawberry patch in the backyard, and later built a wooden swing set, formed a path with stepping stones and decorated the yard with bird houses.
Metiva said the blue mobile home, full of character, holds a lifetime of memories.
“This is my home,” he said. “It’s a lifetime here.”
But Metiva is one of about 70 residents at Meadows Mobile Home Park who could be forced to uproot from their homes.
If property owners with Park Lane Management fail to make a sewer payment of $24,269.92 by Jan. 30, the Village of Reese will arrange to plug the sewer pipes the following business day, Village Council announced in Monday’s council meeting
“I have no plan,” Metiva said. “There’s no place for me to go.”
Metiva said a dispute between the Village of Reese and Park Lane Management has carried on for about nine years, putting its residents, who pay their bills, at risk of losing their home.
Park Lane Management complained of the sewer rates, filed a lawsuit against the Village of Reese and lost, Village Manager David Tatrow said, sending them into bankruptcy.
Though they’ve managed to pull themselves out of chapter 11, the management still owes nearly $25,000 for sewer services, a payment that’s been overdue for about nine months, Trustee Courtney Ross said.
Ross, whose mom, Pat Davis, just moved into a mobile home at Meadows Mobile Home Park in August, expressed concerns about the harsh resolution.
“My mom’s all stressed about it,” Ross said. “After having a heart-to-heart with mom, she said she’s going to ride it out … she likes her trailer.”
Village President Gerald Ellison said Park Lane Management has been warned, and it’s up to them to notify their residents.
But Ross said she plans to go door-to-door to tell each resident the news.
“I feel horrible that there’s families that are not going to find out until Feb. 1,” Ross said.
She added that the residents who are aware of the worst-case scenario are frustrated.
“Most of the residents are pretty fed up with it,” she said. “Most of the residents are withholding rent.”
Metiva said he hasn’t gone that far yet and he’s hoping the Village of Reese is bluffing until management will write a check as soon as village officials arrive Feb. 1 to plug the pipes.
“Where are they going to send 60-some people?” Metiva said. “In the street?”
But Ellison said the council isn’t bluffing.
“Our hands are actually tied,” Ellison said at the meeting. “It’s an unfortunate thing, but we need to stand by our guns and show them we’re serious.”
Ross added that her mother is one of many who has decided to stay and hope for the best.
“A lot are going to leave and others will stay until the health department kicks them out,” she said.
Sarah Costello, co-owner of Nick’s Construction in Reese, said Park Lane Management also owes Nick’s Construction $1,500 for snow plowing services from January until March of 2014.
Costello said she and her husband filed a lawsuit, but the management didn’t show in court.
“They just don’t care,” she said. “It used to be a really nice, safe little park … now it’s really gone down hill.”
After watching his pine seedlings grow taller than his mobile home over the years, Metiva said leaving everything behind would be extremely tough, but the home is too old to move.
“I’d hate to move,” he said. “Reese is my home … I’ve lived here all my life.”
Two messages were left by The Advertiser for Park Lane Management but a representative did not respond by press time.