MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tenants of Leahy’s Motel mobile home park won’t have their electricity and water disconnected next week after all.
The property owner now has until August 19 to pay a MLGW bill of more than $50,000.
Thursday, John Leahy said MLGW told him there’s an ongoing leak on the property.
“For the last five years we have searched for it. We have spent every dollar that we have had to spare looking for the leak, because we knew this would be the death of us,” Leahy said.
Friday night, WREG broke the news to at least a dozen tenants.
“Nobody told us! You’re the first person that even told us that,” said tenant Tiffany Durdin.
“No. I haven’t heard that. That would have been nice to know,” said another tenant Judy Pennington.
Councilman Jim Strickland, Councilwoman Wanda Halbert, MLGW and Public Works cut a deal giving the manager until August 19th to pay the money he owes, and it will give more time for people who live in the mobile home park to move.
“I didn’t hear about this until yesterday morning, and immediately called MLGW and the city administration to get these folks more than one week to move,” said Strickland.
“When you’re told one day that utilities are going to be cut off in five days that’s not even enough time to pack!” said Pennington, who is relieved she gets more time.
Many tenants are on a fixed income, including Durdin. They don’t have the money to pick up and find a new home.
“You still have to have money to move your trailer and get your kids in school. You’ve got to have money to get kids stuff for school. Being on a low income, you can’t do that,” said Durdin.
Halbert was unable to talk to us on camera, but sent us this statement:
“After being contacted, I notified the city of Memphis about the utility problem. This is clearly an ongoing issue we continue to experience in Memphis. Delaying the disconnect is certainly a noble deed because in other complexes, families have been immediately displaced the city would scramble to find temporary housing.”
Halbert said she is sponsoring an ordinance requiring “multiple dwelling property owners to create an escrow account solely to pay for utility services so we can prevent this growing problem from happening in the future and families can feel safe their rent is not frivolously used by landlords leaving them displaced.”