A few families will soon be without a home once half of the trailer park on Swann Road closes at the end of the month.
The state and county condemned three trailers and ordered repairs on a sewage line in the area, but have not evicted any tenants due to this.
The county has “only condemned the trailers that were empty or had fire damage,” said Aaron Menke, a county building inspector.
The state encountered a sewage violation on the site, according to Allen Charboneau, a state environmentalist specialist. As per state policy, the landlords were sent a letter with instructions on what they needed to fix and when it needed to be done. The letter was sent on Monday, June 25. Once delivered, the landlords have 10 days to seek a repair permit and, once the permit is approved, have 20 days to fix the problem.
The land is owned by Daniel Carroll. He has a contract with Jewell Frame that allows Frame to operate the park and put money down to eventually buy the land. Carroll claims that while the state is addressing their repair instructions to him, he has no power to fix the issue because Frame operates the land and park.
Frame is not going forward with the repairs and is choosing evict the trailers 6-13, which are affected by the sewage issue. The tenants must be out by July 26. Frame claims he has spent thousands of dollars trying to repair the park and has not been able to fix the sewage lines.
“I hate that everybody’s lost their homes and stuff, but the way it’s been,” Frame said.
“We’re just exhausted with it. We don’t really know what to do other than have people move out,” he added.
Swann Road’s trailer park has 12 units on the site. Trailers 1, 3, 4 and 5 are remaining open.
The Times spoke with both Carroll and Frame. Both offered contradicting stories. The pair are both in contact with lawyers are trying to settle the situation. Below are each of their claims.
Daniel Carroll’s version
Carroll claims he signed the contract with Jewell years ago. The 72-year-old veteran believes Frame is three years behind on paying land taxes and nearly four months behind on payments to the bank.
“I’m too old to get down and wrestle anymore,” Carroll said. “I’m trying to work out something where he will surrender the park.”
Carroll is talking with an attorney to see what he can do to keep the tenants in their homes.
Carroll also has personal stake in this, as his house, which is near the trailer park, was listed as an area affected by the sewage repairs in the state’s letter. He claims he can get a fix done if that state will allow it.
Carroll’s house is allegedly listed on the property to be closed and is worried he will lose his house over this.
“I never thought it would turn out like this,” Carroll said.
“It’s all my fault, he added. “ I just didn’t know [the contract with Frame] was so terrible. I didn’t know I couldn’t get out of it. I take full responsibility.”
He stated he drafted a letter with the bank that would void the contract and give him back full operations of the Swann Road site, but Frame refused to sign it.
Carroll added that he’s been trying to take Frame to court, but due to a previous bankruptcy on Frame’s record, a judge won’t hear the case.
Jewell Frame’s version
Frame owns Jewell’s Auction Company and is a pastor at the House of Truth/Community Outreach Church.
When Frame signed Carroll’s contract, he claimed he had no idea the state had condemned a few trailers on the property 4-5 years ago.
“Half of the trailer park is supposed to be condemned,” Frame said.
“If the original owner had been honest from the beginning, then we would never have bought the trailer park,” he later added.
Frame explained that he didn’t know about the septic issues either. When he found out about the problems, he claims he spent over $50,000 trying to repair the park to fix it up and get it ready for future tenants. The work he’s done included redoing the septic tank, which is connected to four sewer lines, but his repairs never worked.
“We’ve done everything we can," he said.
Frame explained that he and Carroll have been in and out of legal battles for years, something that has set him back a lot of money as well.
He planned on using the income from the park as a retirement fund. For now, he is debating on backing out of the contract and letting Carroll have the land back to deal with it.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he concluded.