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Published: 10/11/2006

Lack of leaf pickup riles mobile-home residents

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Adrienne Estep was waking up every morning last week in her mobile home at Southview Estates in Perrysburg wondering the same thing.

What was she going to do with all of those leaves?

Ms. Estep was one of a few residents in the mobile-home park off Five Point Road trying to get the city of Perrysburg to overturn its decision to collect only refuse, leaves, and brush from single family houses, condominiums, apartment buildings with six or fewer apartments, and federally subsidized housing projects for the elderly, disabled, or infirm.

Perrysburg City Council passed an ordinance that made most commercial enterprises, including mobile-home parks, responsible for their own garbage and leaf pick-ups in December. The law went into effect in March.

Ms. Estep said she is upset over the ruling because she was asked to vote for a levy to continue garbage collection last year yet is now unable to receive the services covered by higher taxes she and other residents approved.

"This is ridiculous," Ms. Estep said. "We're paying the city taxes and we're paying rent, yet we aren't getting the amenities that should go along with having to pay."

Ms. Estep said Bob Maurer, owner of Southview Estates, was making his own residents responsible for their leaf and brush disposal.

Since Ms. Estep was interviewed by The Blade last week, Mr. Maurer has said he has designated two spots in the mobile-home park for residents to dump their leaves for mass collection.

Mr. Maurer, who also owns mobile-home properties in Bowling Green, said he has no plans to immediately raise his tenants' rent at Southview because of the leaf and refuse matter. However, he said when rent does increase, it's normally because of such issues.

"I sympathize with my tenants on this one," Mr. Maurer said. "I understand why they have a sour taste in their mouths."

Mr. Maurer said he is most disappointed because he agreed for Southview to be annexed into Perrysburg from Perrysburg Township in 2004 based on the lure of free refuse collection.

Councilman Kevin Rantanen, who heads Perrysburg's health, sanitation, and public utilities committee, said he would consider voting to change the law to resume leaf and brush collection services at mobile-home parks.

Mr. Rantanen said the ordinance was passed to make services provided by the street division more effective, but he didn't see how no longer picking up leaves at Southview would make a significant difference.

"Even on lots where there are no tenants, leaves and brush will still fall," Mr. Rantanen said. "I don't know that the tenants or the parks in general should be responsible for that."

He said he voted for the ordinance but regrets not entering into discussions then about mobile-home parks and leaf collection. He said there does not seem to be much support from council members or the administration to revisit the law.

"My colleagues feel we should not be responsible for refuse collection from commercial enterprises, and I feel the same way," he said. "I just feel the portion of the law concerning leaf pickup needs to be looked at."



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