City May Shut Down Mobile Home Park For Health, Safety Violations

By Dina Kaplan

(LOUISVILLE, May 5th, 2004, 7 p.m.) -- Louisville police, fire officials, the director of the health department and other city officials converged on the Colonial Estates mobile home park Wednesday for an unprecedented sweep. They confirmed what residents had complained about for months: hundreds of health and safety violations that could force the entire park to be shut down. WAVE 3's Dina Kaplan reports.

City officials were issuing hundreds of citations for the owner of the mobile home park who will soon have a choice: bring in a team of electricians, builders and others to make repairs or go to jail.

After individual agencies heard hundreds of complaints from dozens of residents at the Colonial Estates mobile home park off Dixie Highway, Wednesday was D-Day, and police, building inspectors, and health department officials swooped in.

Dr. Adewale Troutman, the head of Louisville's Health Department, says many serious problems were found. "I am very concerned about the health and safety of this community," he said.

When asked about some of the things being found, Bill Schreck, the director of Louisville Inspections, Permits and Licenses replied simply: "everything you can imagine."

Officers from the Louisville Metro Animal Center hauled away 13 stray cats and issued more than a half-dozen violations, including one for leaving dog with no fresh water or food.

Outside another trailer, a water pipe was planted in the mud, and that could be a problem. The State Director of Plumming Code Enforcement says "it's a health hazard. It could be siphoned back into their drinking water, and that would make them very sick."

Hazards appeared to be everywhere, with resident Frank Radmacher pointing them out left and right. "The floor boards are rotted all the way out." Because of that, Radmacher's water heater is in jeapardy. "It could fall through at any time," he said.

Susan Hughes, Louisville's Chief Code Enforcement officer says structures in the mobile home park "by far do not meet the international property maintenance code."

Fire inspectors found several fire code violations, but no one could find the owner of the park. We could only locate a maintenance worker, who did not want to answer any questions.

But metro council member Doug Hawkins says "we are going to prosecute this with the full extent of the law."

A few hours before this story was aired, Paul Metzger, the owner of the Colonial Estates mobile home park, shut off its electricity. In the next few days, he will receive hundreds of citations, and with those citations come court dates and the possibility the entire park could be shut down.

Online Reporter: Dina Kaplan

Online Producer: Michael Dever