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Residents speak up about Split Rock

August 9, 2013

Park to be inspected in November

EXETER – The Exeter Town Council agreed to set up a meeting with the landlord of Split Rock Trailer Park at a future date where any residents can attend and voice their concerns about the condition of the park.

The trailer park on South County trail has been in terrible condition and is not due for inspection until November. However, residents feel as though something needs to be done sooner and that the landlord Richard Palmer should take action.
At the request of Council member Arlene Hicks, Town Solicitor James Marusak agreed to look into the issue legally and see what the town can do for the residents at this point.
Palmer was not present at the meeting but several residents of the trailer park spoke out about the issues they see on a daily basis in their community.
“It has to be a health issue and it needs to be cleaned up,” resident Norma Allen said. “There is no safe code enforcement. Why does no one on the council have anything to do with this?”
Hicks explained the importance of a tenant’s organization for the members of the park to come together to try and fix this issue.
“I have been complaining for a few years now about people coming and leaving their junk around the park,” Allen said. “People do not want to get involved one way or another, [and] we have tried before.”
The issue has been complicated by the fact that one individual owns the property, who then leases it to the trailer owners. Residents are having the most trouble with following their leases at the park. “People are selling and moving out and in without even notifying the landlord,” Allen explained.
Resident Charles Nielson said the law states that when someone is going to sell a trailer, it needs to be inspected in order to confirm it is livable, which is not the case. “The landlord should not be granting a lease unless it is in living condition.” Nielson said. “The roads are in bad condition, several trailers are torn apart and people are living in them. [The building inspector] needs to go through each home and check the infrastructure.”
“It is a violation of the quality of life at this point,” said Councilor Raymond Morrissey. “I suggest starting from scratch.”
Councilor William Monahan noted, “The town can’t close down the trailer park because it would be responsible for giving residents a place to live, but the building was inspected in the past.”

With reports from Maria Shanahan

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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