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Owner of mobile home park sought

Numerous violations uncovered at south Augusta's Pine View

Thursday, May 3, 2012 4:24 PM
Last updated Friday, May 4, 2012 5:07 PM
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A task force of local agencies intends to summon the owner of a south Augusta mobile home park after finding numerous violations during a cursory inspection of the property Thursday.

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Sheriff's deputies inspect Pine View mobile home park, where raw sewage flows under some rental dwellings.  BIANCA CAIN JOHNSON/STAFF
BIANCA CAIN JOHNSON/STAFF
Sheriff's deputies inspect Pine View mobile home park, where raw sewage flows under some rental dwellings.

Licensing and Inspection Director Rob Sherman said Pine View property management has been unresponsive to problems, which have been ongoing since the property changed ownership in 2006.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said the new owners came in with big plans to turn the property around, but all they did was change the name and put up new signs.

Raw sewage running under homes and into retention ponds, broken windows and residences without electricity and running water are just a few of the things the task force discovered.

“I think even the DNR has been out there over this sewage issue,” Sherman said.

Representatives from the sheriff’s office, marshal’s office, Licensing and Inspection, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Child and Family Services discussed issues with tenants but many of the issues were evident without having to enter the homes.

“These people are profiting from renting substandard homes to unfortunate people,” Gay said.

There are currently more than 100 rentals starting at $295 per month. Most are not occupied.

The property is owned by Florence S. Waterman Trust, of Los Angeles, and managed by another California company, M.W. Real Estate Group. A person who answered the phone at M.W. Real Estate referred inquiries about Pine View to Wolf Baschung, who did not respond to a message Thursday.

Sherman said some of the current problems have to do with raw sewage running across the ground. He said the local property managers had the maintenance person working on the problem, resulting in at least eight large holes in the ground about 4 feet deep, but the problem persists.

“I don’t know why they didn’t just call in a contractor to take care of it,” he said. “There just hasn’t been an effort to invest any money in the property and over time it has continued to decline.”

In addition to sanitary issues, crime is another factor.

The sheriff’s office has been dispatched to the property close to 20 times this year and 50 times in 2011.

On one of those occasions recently, investigators condemned a home with an active methamphetamine lab.

On another call April 15, investigators found a dead 5-month-old boy who had been living in deplorable conditions with four of his siblings. Authorities are still waiting on autopsy results to explain the numerous bite marks on his body. However, they suspect the bites are from the roaches that covered the residence.

Immediately after arriving at the property Thursday, the task force discovered another home where children were living in deplorable conditions.

At least four children, younger than 5 years old, were found living in a single-wide trailer covered in feces at the entrance to the park.

Sherman said he expects everyone to get together in coming days, evaluate and quantify all the problems and then demand that the property owner come from California to meet with them to resolve the problems at Pine View.

“We are going to insist that the owner be here for our meeting,” Sherman said.

Comments (12) Add comment
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HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 05/03/12 - 04:33 pm
4
0
Breaks my heart to see

Breaks my heart to see children living in these conditions. The projects are in better condition then this property.

Put these families in the new houses sitting vacant in the Laney Walker area. It doesn't look like their going to sell anytime soon.

mrducks
59
Points
mrducks 05/03/12 - 05:05 pm
0
0
"in a single wide trailer
Unpublished

"in a single wide trailer covered in feces at the entrance to the park"
Grammar, people, grammar!

Just My Opinion
5680
Points
Just My Opinion 05/03/12 - 05:22 pm
1
0
I think it's way past time

I think it's way past time that the renters just didn't pay their rent! If enough of them do that, MAYBE the slumlords will act on the problems? I once rented from a well known Augusta realtor and the place had numerous electrical problems. Friends of mine with professional electrical licenses told me that I should move out. When I later talked to somebody with the city, she told me I could legally move out and there's nothing the landlord could do because I was in danger. I did move out and the landlord tried to get another month out of me, but I never responded to his letter. (BTW, I did send a certified/registered letter to him, telling him what I was planning on doing if I didn't hear from him.) I'd love for him to come on here now and say something about it. Any of you "well-known Augusta realtors" out there want to comment?

TrulyWorried
14505
Points
TrulyWorried 05/03/12 - 05:31 pm
2
0
It is utterly disgusting that

It is utterly disgusting that people are forced to live in these conditions because they don't earn enough money to pay more for rent. The owners of this SLUM park - need to be called to the task - if they don't make any attempts to ease this situation immediately then the Health Department and any other agency that can assist should be called into this situation. And Family and Children Services ought to be able to help these folks get out of that squalor. Hopefully some of those tenants that have given up hope and don't care what they live in will then make all efforts to improve their lot - they have to pitch in!

whiteflighttocc1
20
Points
whiteflighttocc1 05/04/12 - 01:21 am
0
0
Keller Williams manages this
Unpublished

Keller Williams manages this place. Thats who Mr. Baschung works for if you look up his website. Why cant the city do something about this place? Had the city not wasted tons of money in bethlehem area (which didnt even get spent...it went to line peoples pockets on our county commission) they might have the money to relocate these people. isnt there a nuissance property code that this is violating???

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 05/04/12 - 02:12 am
0
0
thats off topic countyman. my

thats off topic countyman. my sister lived at that mobile home park for a few months before it got to be unbearable. what a raggedy place. they told her she could buy her unit, so she blew her tax refund on it.. i tried to advise her not too.. oh well.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 05/04/12 - 07:05 am
1
0
Those rose colored glasses
Unpublished

Those rose colored glasses that countyman wears....so the county is responsible for physically checking into these trailers...unlike the one that burned down?

JRC2024
9048
Points
JRC2024 05/04/12 - 08:01 am
1
0
You can be poor but you can

You can be poor but you can also be clean. While the tenants can not do anything about sewage problems it falls squarely on them to keep their homes and children clean. That is inexcusable.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/04/12 - 08:12 am
0
0
That place has been a dump

That place has been a dump for years, it needs to be bulldozed down. The owners past and present collect rent money every month, put it in thier pockets and don't do a thing to repair things. My daughter stopped there to look at a mobile home years ago before it ever changed ownership and I told her heck no, you can find something better that you can afford. Scum lords are all lthe owners are and this place should be shut down and the company not allowed to collect any rent until the units are up to standard and safe for families. Then of course they will probably raise the rent to try to make up their losses....

bigclaude
339
Points
bigclaude 05/04/12 - 08:16 am
0
0
Did anyone else find that

Did anyone else find that video to be a complete waste of time? How about some commentary on there to point out what it is that we are supposed to be looking at? That's 90 seconds of my life that I will never get back!! I wonder if I can send the AC a bill.

jross1981
66
Points
jross1981 05/04/12 - 09:25 am
0
0
I think it's time to condemn

I think it's time to condemn the property! It's obviously a blight on the community.

sucram
0
Points
sucram 05/04/12 - 11:44 am
0
0
Wow, a young baby had to lose

Wow, a young baby had to lose his life in order to get this exposed. So Sad.

InChristLove
22480
Points
InChristLove 05/04/12 - 12:14 pm
0
0
I can see where the raw

I can see where the raw sewage and broken windows may be the responsiblity of the park owner but homes without electricity and water, wouldn't that be the renter's responsiblity (if they are shut off due to non-payment).

It also said that the sheriff's office has been dispatched to this location almost 20 times this year and about 50 times last year but did not give any details to why they were called out.

Children living in feces covered trailers, a 5 month old found dead with bite marks (possibly from all the roaches in the residence)......I'm sorry but this just makes me sick. How can parents allow their children to live in these horrible conditions. There is help out there for low income families and single moms. Makes me wonder if it's drugs or just lack of parental common sense.

Since most of the trailers are unoccuppied, I wonder how many familes are currently living there and if arrangements for more humane situations can be made through an agency.

cytoranger
6
Points
cytoranger 05/06/12 - 10:12 am
0
0
The families need to be

The families need to be relocated, the action 8funds which paid rent rent returned to the government and the owner and I say that with the loosest of words, should be held accountable for the conditions and in part dot the invention that was allowed to eat away on the flesh of this saddly lost gift from God. Parents, look at the conditions you live in , if the is any fight or motivation in you , strive to do better for your your little ones, or allow them to live for a time with others who can care for them better until your situation , through motivation and a desire for your babies improves. god bless

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