MENTONE — The Mentone Town Council heard concerns regarding living conditions in a local mobile home court at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Councilmember Tim Croy brought to the council’s attention complaints regarding the conditions at Kline Trailer Court.
Jeff and Sarah McCoy, currently of Rochester, lived in a house trailer on Lot 10 from October to mid-November of this year. The 13-lot mobile home court is owned by Bob Kline of Fort Wayne. McCoy claims Kline currently resides in Warsaw.
McCoy said the couple moved into the mobile home at Lot 10 as a way to establish a home closer to their jobs.
McCoy said the area within the court was littered with trash, even around the dumpster provided to residents of the trailer court. Upon moving into the trailer court, McCoy said he “took it upon himself to clean it up a bit.”
He said that the cleanliness of the area was his first concern.
Heavy rains on their first night in the mobile home caused water to leak through a hole in the bedroom ceiling of the trailer. He also claimed they woke up covered with bug bites.
McCoy also noted issues with the structural integrity of the trailer. “The bathroom floor was caving in by the tub,” said McCoy.
Croy said the trailers in the area date back to the 1960s and 1970s. He also noted that McCoy wasn’t the only tenant who experienced concerns. Croy said he received a letter with photos from another tenant of the trailer court that he forwarded to Town Attorney Andrew Grossnickle.
Croy said the tenant claimed to lose part of her electricity in the back half of the home. According to Croy, the letter stated that Kline sent an electrician to repair the issue. When the electrician failed to find a problem at the fuse box, “he started pounding on the wall where he thought where electric might be,” said Croy. After pounding on several spots in the trailer, the power returned.
Croy said that Kline failed to keep his word in improving the trailer court since taking ownership several years ago. “There were pallets stacked up on one of the lots,” Croy said of when he asked Kline to clean the area ahead of the Egg Festival in June. “They’re still there,” said Croy. He also claims many tenants won’t speak up with their own concerns for fear of eviction.
Croy confirmed that he and Grossnickle are in communication with Kline.
Kline did not attend the meeting.
Croy said Kline texted him a note saying the town council should take what they are hearing with a grain of salt because many of the tenants owe him money.
Croy said he and Grossnicke are looking into seeking health and building inspectors to investigate the court. Croy is unable to conduct the building inspections since he serves on the town council.
Worried about future tenants of the trailer court, “What’s going on in those trailers is going to affect the health and wellbeing of someone else,” said McCoy.
Other business included:
- Rich Haddad, President of K21 Health Foundation provided information regarding the $200,000 grant made available for health and wellness initiatives within the town. He said there wasn’t a deadline for funds usage. Council President Jill Gross suggested the town hold community meetings to explore how the money could be used and how to pursue supplemental funds from grants.
- Loose-leaf pickup ends Friday, Dec. 6, said Town Utilities Supervisor Josh Shepherd. Leaves will need to be in bags for pick up after Dec. 6.
- The council approved further reminders about leaving furniture and large items out for trash pickup. The council urges residents to call Valley Sanitation at (574) 893-7070 to have the large items removed for an extra fee. Failure to do so may result in warnings and fines, said Gross.
- The next town council meeting with be Jan. 2, 2020. The council will swear in members for the year and appoint a council president.