Springfield, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – An entire mobile home park has been without water for nearly two days, and it’s unclear when residents can expect it to come back on.
All water bills have been paid. The water shutdown is due to an ongoing dispute between the city of Springfield and the park’s owner. Records show the city repeatedly tried to move existing water meters to public property. But the project requires the cooperation of the owner. After 10 months of back-and-forth, city officials told NewsChannel 7 they had to move on, and as a result, the water stopped.
The incident happened on Monday morning. Residents of the Panama City Mobile Home Park located in Springfield woke up to find their water shut off.
“It was very bad in all these families. I mean, we have kids here. There,” resident Don Julian said.
“There are two pregnant women who can give birth. I do not understand. I thought I was living in America, not Russia,” resident Sonya Weir said.
Decades ago, the city of Springfield installed water meters throughout the park, which later became a problem when trying to fix leaks on private property.
Betty Anderson owned the property for nearly 40 years before selling it to Ronnie Bressman this year.
“They came and put meters. They have put meters everywhere they have been here for so long. Now, there’s a new group of people in Springfield who are deciding how bad the pictures they came in because they’re not good enough, and they’re replacing the old water lines they just put in there. It should be moved down the road,” Anderson said.
The new meters are now lined up along the road. It’s what ties them together, and the city told NewsChannel 7 that the current landlord is responsible for doing this.
“Now they want us to move the water lines. We discussed it with them. It should be their financial responsibility. We tried to come up with a plan together. “They didn’t give us an alternative, just shut off the water,” said Ronnie Bresman, current property owner of the Panama City Mobile Home Park. “So no, we didn’t expect them to turn off the water.”
While Bressman claims the idea of turning off Springfield’s water was shocking, the project as a whole was not. Last year, the city began sending letters to the former owners, the Andersons. Bresman was notified last February. Multiple letters and phone calls were exchanged thereafter. In an Oct. 4 letter, the city clearly stated its intention to terminate the service.
Now Bresman is working to connect those lines as quickly as possible. But more than 20 residential houses have to wait without water.
Families are forced to find ways to cook and bathe.
“Now I have to go to my mom and dad, take the kids to school and everything,” Julio said. “It’s been a little bit of a problem for my family. I mean, I work every day, 40 sometimes 50 hours a week. I also pay my bills.
Others can’t even do that. Veer has been in a wheelchair for almost 30 years.
“No one is willing to help me. I don’t have transportation. I’m in a wheelchair. I’m in a camper. I have two cats,” Weir said. “But look at me. I can’t walk. I can’t fetch water from other people’s houses.
Municipal officials said that the new taps have been put in place. Once the new lines are in, the water will be turned back on.
The current landlord said that they are trying to connect the water lines in the next 24 to 48 hours, but have not yet received an exact date.
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