Deadline set for Mercer Co. mobile home parks to meet health requirements

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - Mobile home park residents in Mercer County continued to struggle with increased lot rent and alleged health risks on Friday, as around a dozen attended a status conference regarding one of two ongoing civil suits against the owners of five parks in the county.

The Friday proceeding ended with Judge Derek Swope requiring Smith Management LLC, the company in-question, to properly address a range of potential health and other risks by August 1st, 2023.

“Having some deadlines that are court ordered in this case will be helpful,” said Adam Wolfe, Staff Attorney with Mountain State Justice. “The judge made it clear that permits are not the issue until these issues are corrected.”

Since December of last year, mobile home park residents have been struggling to pay drastically increased lot rent prices at at least five different parks in the area, all owned by Smith Management LLC.

“I’m strictly on Social Security, so it’s been tough,” said Larry Bowman, resident of Shadow Wood Valley Mobile Home Park. “We planned on moving like a month ago. We were going to go back to Richmond or Roanoke. Can’t afford that either.”

WVVA has been following this story since it broke in 2022, and has made numerous attempts to contact Smith Management LLC with no response. Friday was the first time WVVA was able to confirm anyone with relation to the company’s presence in Mercer County, and those present did not accept our request for comment.