City of Moss Point takes stand after trailer park resident failed to pay their water bills

ESCATAWPA, MS (WLOX) - Big Oaks Trailer Park residents have been living without running water since April 13th when the City of Moss Point turned off the water.

Jamie Delaughter said, "It's very difficult, that you're not able to take a bath."

Moss Point City Attorney Amy St. Pe' says the water was turned off because no one was paying the water bills.

"To my knowledge it's been almost a decade since water has been consistently paid for at the trailer park," St. Pe' stated.  "We have contacted the owner numerous times and have gotten no where."

Gene Moore is the owner of the trailer park.

Moore said, "They say it's been going on for years and I don't understand how any of this can be happening. I thought everyone was paying water."

Moore told me individual water meters were installed after Hurricane Katrina, but according the city, no one paid the bills. Last year, the city installed a master meter for the entire trailer park, leaving the owner responsible for the bill. How he collected that money from residents was up to him.@

Lee Scott moved into the trailer park in December in a MEMA cottage.

Scott said , "I was told by the manager at the time not to worry about paying for the water bill."

Jeanie Burbage moved into a FEMA trailer here in 2006. And even though FEMA required all occupant to pay their own water bills, Burbage says she too was told by the trailer park manager, don't worry about the water bills.

"I'm on disability. I get $655.00 a month and now they're trying to say I've got to pay all the way back from the time I moved in I've never had a meter," Burbage stated.

But in order to get water service again, Burbage will have to pay for a meter... and pay the back bills.

St. Pe' said, "We've given them until May 2nd to come in and pay a $140.00 to turn it back on. $200.00 towards any past due amount."

St. Pe' says the city is willing to work out a payment plan for residents who met that deadline.

Moore says the city blamed him for having the water turned off to the trailer park and led to a personal attack by someone the day after the water was turned off.

Moore exclaimed, "It's been burned down. My house is burned down!"

Sheriff's investigators confirmed they are investigating the fire as arson but have no suspects at this time.

According to the Moss Point City Clerk's office 16 of the 22 Big Oaks Trailer Park residents met with city officials and worked out a payment plan to take care of their water bills.

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