Trailer Park Cleanup Underway

Last October, a Biloxi City Judge ordered Thomas Houlihan to remove abandoned cars, trailers, and other debris from the Air-Way Trailer Park on Judge Sekul Avenue. Houlihan failed to do so, and on Dec. 21, he didn't show up in court to explain why he didn't comply with the judge's order. He's been sitting in jail on contempt charges since then.

Now, the property owner is getting involved.

Workers are hauling off old appliances and burning debris that cover the property owned by Clay Johnson of Ocean Springs. Johnson says about a year ago he sub-leased the property to Thomas Houlihan with an option to buy. The city code officer says when Houlihan moved in, the problems started.

"As soon as Mr. Houlihan moved in, he started bringing in other trash and debris, trailers, automobiles, junk parts, engines, tractors, just about anything you can think of," Rogers says.  "What you typically see is a flea market and a junk yard."

Rogers says the city notified Houlihan that he was violating several codes.

"He was actually renting some of these trailers that you see here and again that was in violation because we have no sanitary sewer and water that's active on the trailer park and he was also running a trailer repair business from what we understand and he was also working on automobiles, doing automobile repairs and doing sales and service without benefit of a license."

Clay Johnson couldn't do an on-camera interview with us, but he did say when he realized how bad Houlihan had let the property get, he evicted him about a month ago. Johnson says he's not at all happy about what's happened here and that's why he hired people to clean up the mess.

As the property owner, state law requires Johnson to maintain the park. Rogers says if Johnson continues to clean it up and bring it into compliance, the city will no longer have a beef with Johnson.

As far as the contempt charges against Houlihan, Rogers says it will be up to the city judge to determine the outcome.  As a misdemeanor, Houlihan could be fined up to $1,000.