WHITE CITY, Ore-- Since 2016, the Medford Water Commission(MWC) has issued warnings to the property owners of Bunny Trail Mobile Home Park to fix an active leak, that's been losing gallons and gallons of water every year. After years of the problem not being addressed, MWC decided on Tuesday to shut off the park's water.
Now, the five to six residents living on the property are left with the responsibility of figuring out how and where they'll get water.
But instead of leaving the property, residents have told us that in reality, they have no choice to stay because of their circumstances.
"We've got nowhere to go," said Robert Hodge. "We’re not in a position to go anywhere unless we’re forced to.”
"I have no place to go," said Sue Albright. "But also, in honor of my grandmother who had tenants, and rented out to people who were in desperate situations, I'm going to help Bunny whether she is dead or alive."
According to the MWC, monthly use at the mobile home park just exceeded over 800,000 gallons used in October, which is about 40 times the amount that the property should be using this time of the year.
The MWC told NewsWatch 12 that they understand that this is an extremely rare situation, in that residents are being negatively impacted by the negligence of the mobile home park's property owners. But because of the sheer amount of water being wasted, year after year, MWC had no choice but to shut off water, especially with Jackson County in a significant drought.
The Medford Water Commission has told NewsWatch 12 that they will turn the water back on once they see proof that the property owners have fixed the leak and pay the $25,000 that they owe.
Some residents that Newswatch 12 spoke with on Wednesday, told us that they believe this may be the final push for the property owners to fix the leak and take responsibility for their actions
"The responsible person needs to be responsible for the damage, injuries and personal injures that have happened because of the muddy mucky mess," said Albright.
However, if the property owners continue to ignore the leak, the MWC is recommending that those living on the property seek legal council.
“It’s just an unfortunate situation and I’ve been directing them to local resources here in the valley ... the Housing Authority of Jackson County, Access, legal services, and there’s Oregon manufactured home associations that would probably like to hear about what's happening out there,” said Julie Smitherman, the Water Resources Coordinator for the Medford Water Commission, "and may just be able to provide them with steps in the right direction for how they need to handle this going forward."
Bottles of drinking water were donated on Wednesday to residents living at the mobile home park because of the shut off.