SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Dozens of families are fighting to keep their homes after getting just over 24 hours notice the water at their Bryant trailer park would be turned off Monday, and they had 30 days to move out.
Instead of celebrating Father’s Day, Jonathan Campos spent Sunday stocking up on water for his family.
He’s one of the tenets living at B & M Mobile Home Park off Highway 5 who say they found out about the closure and water shut off after a note from their landlord started circulating Saturday afternoon.
“That’s just not fair at all,” he said. “You need water to live.”
The message from park owner Mary Bivens reads, “I am sorry but I have no choice. I am carrying way too many past due balances on tenants that do not pay on time and do not pay in full. Bryant Water will no longer work with me on my enormous water/sewer bills that I pay for tenants that won’t pay me.”
Campos says he has a lot of unanswered questions about the park’s bills. The father of 2 says his family has lived in the park for about 2 years. He says he owns his trailer but pays rent for the lot, which includes water.
“You don’t treat people like this,” he added. “Where’s the justice at? I need some help or something because that’s not right.”
Bivens didn’t want to go on camera, but her daughter told KARK 4 over the phone, the park owes the city of Bryant over $100,000 mainly in sewer bills.
“This has been a long running issue with the city of Bryant and they have been trying to force my mother out of business,” said Bivens daughter, who asked not to be named.
Families who just moved into the park are wondering why they weren’t told about these issues before unpacking.
“I’m a single mom with kids, so I really appreciate it you’d just be honest with me,” said Christina Murillo, who moved in with her 3 kids a couple months ago. “We’re living day by day, dollar for dollar.”
Murillo is one of several tenants saying their frustration is building since they owns their trailer but were told it was too old to move to another lot, or too expensive for them to afford with a month’s notice.
Meanwhile Campos is preparing proof, showing receipts that his rent was paid in full and on time.
“Do your job. You’re our landlord. Take care of us,” he added.
Campos says a group of residents are planning to speak with the city water department on Monday to see if anything can be done to keep their water running.