Walnut Grove Mobile Home Park in Locke.

The Citizen file

A Locke mobile home park cited for multiple public health violations over the last decade has been sold and county fines have been paid, the Cayuga County Health Department said.

The new owners of the former Walnut Grove Mobile Home Park on Tucker Hill Road plan to keep the property a mobile home park and current tenants are expected to remain, said Public Health Director Kathleen Cuddy. It marks the end of a long and arduous process for the county and especially current tenants of the park, who have been under a boil water notice since about 2013 due to a non-functioning sanitation system. 

"We're certainly glad to have things moving forward in a positive direction, and we have every indication to think that things will continue that way, which is good for the residents, good for the community," Cuddy said in a phone interview Wednesday.

According to property transfer records, former owner Thelma Slater-Chapman sold the park for $65,000 to Groton residents Robert G. and Deserae L. Miller. The property had been assessed at $135,000. 

Cuddy said the county granted a mobile home permit to the Millers on Nov. 7 under the name Apple-I-Acres Mobile Home Park. There are still eight occupied units on the site, all still under a boil-water notice. Cuddy said health officials will be checking in with the new owners in a month to see their progress in installing an updated water sanitation system. The Millers could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Besides a non-functional UV light and a lack of chlorine to disinfect the water, records show Slater-Chapman received other public health violations over the years. Some of those included units in disrepair and standing sewage on the ground surface. 

Slater-Chapman paid off her approximately $39,000 in health code violation fines this month. Cuddy said the county received a $42,024.18 check not only satisfying the fines but also interest accrued and sheriff's office fees. 

The county had made attempts to seize the property and go through a sheriff's auction on the steps of the Cayuga County Courthouse. The day before the scheduled Aug. 10 auction, Slater-Chapman filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy effectively halting that process. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Syracuse reviewed the petition and dismissed it weeks later. 

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


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