Walnut Grove Mobile Home Park in Locke.

The Citizen file

A Locke mobile home park may soon be shut down and auctioned off after its owners failed to address over a decade of public health violations to the satisfaction of county officials. 

In May, Cayuga County hired the Harris Beach law firm, which is currently putting together paperwork to perform a property execution on Walnut Grove Mobile Home Park on Tucker Hill Road, said Kathleen Cuddy, the county's public health director. An execution to seize and sell the property would likely satisfy the judgement against Four Winds LLC, the entity that owns park and owes the county approximately $28,000 in fines for various health violations, including the lack of a functional sanitation system for the park's water supply.

Four Winds owners Thelma Slater-Chapman and Andrew Chapman have failed to comply with the order to fix the sanitation system since at least 2013, records show. Multiple other health department violations date back to 2005, including standing sewage in the back yard of some of the tenants' homes, no water and units found in disrepair.

As of May, the park had about eight tenants, Slater-Chapman said at the time. Tenants have been advised by the health department to boil their water because there is no functional UV light treatment system and no chlorine being added to the water. Eileen O'Connor, the county director of environmental health, said the park also does not have an operating permit.

Slater-Chapman's attorney, Carl DePalma, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Originally the health department had been waiting for the Chapmans to sell their property so it could work with new management. Slater-Chapman had said in an interview in May with The Citizen that she chose not to sell it because prospective buyers wanted her to address the violations first.

Should the property execution go forward, the county would then arrange a sheriff's auction of the mobile home park to satisfy the Chapmans' obligations.

Cuddy said her office is working with the county Department of Social Services to help those still living at Walnut Grove find new housing arrangements. Ray Bizzari, the county's director of community services, said the office has set up a phone line for residents to call for assistance.

"If they don't have a place to stay, they'll have to be housed on an emergency basis," Bizzari said. "We would try to do whatever we could do to help them get some permanent, safe housing."

Walnut Grove residents who may need assistance should call (315) 253-1201.

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.


County Government Reporter