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Wood County monitors trailer park cleanup

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission is continuing to monitor the cleanup efforts at the trailer park at Gihon Terraces Community.

Property owner Tom Hohman appeared via telephone and property manager Lisa Lions appeared in person.

Hohman appeared before the commission in early October to discuss the property with commissioners after a complaint was filed regarding the appearance of the property.

Wood County Compliance Officer Sarah Robinson and Wood County Engineer Maria Hardy have been out and inspected the property and the trailers located there.

At the time, the commission gave Hohman 60 days to make progress on getting the property cleaned up and a hearing was held Thursday to review where they were in the process.

The initial complaint dealt with a trailer which was not secure on its foundation and leaning. It was propped up in places with cement blocks and more. Officials found toys and other things underneath. Rainwater runoff also flowed under the trailer where there was no slab the trailer was sitting on.

Hardy said at the time it could pose a danger to people in the immediate area.

Since that time, the trailer has been relocated and secured on a new foundation.

Right now, Robinson said there were six or seven livable trailers in the park.

“The majority are abandoned and dilapidated,” she said.

Lions said there are actually eight abandoned trailers. One they managed to get a repossession on through Wood County Magistrate Court and are working on getting the title to that trailer. They are in the process of contacting the owners of the other trailers, she said, adding some have the same owners who live out of state.

It has been difficult to track down some of the owners, Lions said. They have filed for repossession on those properties and are looking into how to serve the owners with the appropriate paperwork to move the process forward.

Three of the trailers are owner occupied homes where they own the trailer itself and rent the lot it is on.

Once they get possession of the trailers, they will work on them to make them livable, Lions said.

“That would be cleaning the inside and outside of each mobile home,” Lions said.

Officials wondered how they could get anyone to want to move into the park based on its current appearance.

Lions said they actually have a waiting list of people interested in moving in there.

As work crews have been doing repair work and cleaning on some of the trailers, people have inquired about availability, she said.

“We have been working for the last three months,” Lions said.

Hohman said with the trailers they have, they have ripped everything out and rebuilt the interiors.

“It is like a regular apartment in there,” he said.

Lions said all of the paneling is taken out of the trailer, new drywall is put in and new plumbing and electric installed.

“It is basically a brand new mobile home when they are done,” Lions said.

Hardy commended the work that has been done on some of the trailers.

Lions said they have been talking to some of the owners of some of the occupied trailers about cleaning up around their homes.

Hohman also said they are looking into requiring heavy duty trash containers for people in the park when they rework the lease agreements.

“Trash has been a problem, because the residents don’t want to invest in good receptacles,” he said.

He is looking at vendors and is looking at adding that expense onto the rent.

“You have made some progress on this and we will want to review it again in 60 days,” Commission President Blair Couch said. “At that time, we will do another review with our staff.”

They will also want proof the work being done is being done by licensed contractors.

“Otherwise, good job on moving on this,” Couch said.

In other business:

* The commission reappointed Kenny Harris, Todd Wines, Karen Elliott, Terry Moore, Glenn Kelly, Anthony Edwards, Larry Stephens, Steve Stephens, Rick Woodyard, Shawn Graham and John Cumpston to the Wood County Local Emergency Planning Committee.

* The commission reappointed Michael Miller to Claywood Park PSD.

* The commission is considering the nominations to the Wood County Fire Board. Due to the group’s by-laws, Dan McPherson and Bill Summers cannot serve another term on the board and new appointments are being sought. Commissioners want representatives from the fire board to appear before the commission so they can discuss some possibilities as well as other matters relating to the fire board. Many of the original members of the board are no longer there.

“We need to reinvigorate the board with some new blood,” Couch said.

The next round of bills for the county’s fire fee are expected to go out in January.

Contact Brett Dunlap at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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