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Residents in closing mobile home park face more difficulties

Residents at a trailer park in Columbia had no warning they would be without water for about four hours Wednesday morning.

One resident said this isn’t the first time the water has gone off without warning.

“No, they don’t tell us nothing,” said Eugene Schaffer. “They just shut the water off when they want to.”

ABC17 has been checking in with residents there since March, when they learned the park would be closed by October to make room for a new hospital on the land.

The plans for that hospital fell through when officials voted it down two weeks ago, but the park will still be shut down.

The owner called maintenance workers about 7 a.m. to fix the leak and they said they made the repairs as quickly as they could.

The water was back on about noon.

Many residents said the water outage is just one more unwelcome headache they have had to deal with in the past few months.

Schaffer said he is more worried about where he’ll go after the park closes since he doesn’t have money or a place to go.

He said he’s not the only one and the owner, Ron Netemeyer, isn’t taking into account all the families who live there.

“He ought to wake up and realize what he’s doing to a lot of kids and a lot of grown-ups and a lot of elderly people,” he said. “It’s wrong what he’s doing.”

But Netemeyer said he’s given residents more than enough time and recourse to get ready for the move.

“I can’t imagine there being a longer notice period for a park than the six months we provided,” he said. “Nor does the law require that we abate lot rent and utilities, which we’ve done. So we’ve done way more than is required of us and way more than what the other parks have done previously.”

Netemeyer also said he would notify the residents, but many of them don’t have working numbers, or don’t answer the door when he has knocked.

Despite Netemeyer’s statements, his residents said they never see him and are still confused.

“Everybody in this park I’ve been talking to, they ask me about it and everything. I’ve heard rumors and everything,” Schaffer said. “They’re saying what’s happening, what’s he going to do, what he’s not going to do, and that’s all i know.”

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