A1 Mobile 0112 - Mobile Home Park in Sewage Dispute

Ron Lesoch, at the doorway of the trailer he rents at Gordon’s Trailer Park, and other residents are scrambling to find a place to live because of their landlord’s sewage dispute with the state. Says Lesoch, “I have no idea where we’ll go yet.”

Scott Lesoch is losing the roof over his head in a situation that might have been prevented.

But the anger on his face is for his elderly father, who also is his neighbor.

“There are about 50 families here that don’t know where the heck they’re going,” Lesoch said.

He and his father, 69-year-old Ron, have lived in separate trailers at Gordon’s Mobile Home Park along Route 30 for 10 years.

Both rent from landlord and park owner Tom Gordon Sr. And both now are scrambling to find a new place to live.

After failing to comply with a Department of Environmental Protection order to expand the park’s sewage plant in February, Gordon is under court order to give residents notice that they have 150 days to move. Park residents said Thursday they have not been notified about the situation.

The older Lesoch said Gordon has been an absentee landlord for years. Lesoch even went without a commode for awhile waiting on his landlord to replace it.

“He never finishes anything,” he said, recalling how he has seen raw sewage running into other trailers’ walkways.

A plant processing a higher capacity than is permitted can cause any number of problems, including leaks and groundwater contamination.

“I made repairs myself,” Ron Lesoch added.

Lesoch pays $270 a month for his run-down trailer. “I have always paid on time,” he said. “But I think I’m done paying.”

He’s just begun to think about what he and his yipping Jack Russell terrier, Rachel Lynn, will do.

“I guess we’re planning to move, but I have no idea where we’ll go yet,” he said.

Jeremy Oldham has a story about almost every trailer there and his buddies who live in them.

The 6-year-old said friends at school are asking about what his family will do now. He shrugs when they ask.

“We don’t know,” he said.

He knows he’ll miss his friends and sledding and playing with pretend guns in the woods behind the homes.

“I’m mad at him,” he said of Gordon. “I heard about this on the news.”

Gordon’s phone number is disconnected. Plant operator Ralph Glessner, who was hired by Gordon to maintain the plant, said he had no comment.

Tenant Holly Britton, 23, was stunned to hear about the order to vacate the premises through a friend Thursday afternoon.

“I guess I’m moving again,” she said.

She and her boyfriend began renting there about a month ago. They have an 8-month-old son and are expecting another child in May.

“I just saw (Gordon) walking around there this morning, and he didn’t say a word,” she said. “He kept telling us not to believe the rumors that they would shut the park down.”

The organization formerly known as Tableland Services Inc. maintains a list of some landlords who rent subsidized apartments.

Jeff Masterson, executive director of the Community Action Partnership for Somerset County, said the organization also offers programs to help renters buy homes. Tableland officials already have heard from some of the trailer park’s tenants, Masterson said.

Those interested in Tableland’s programs can call 445-9628 or (800) 452-0148.

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