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Published: Tuesday, 4/5/2005

Owners get 1 month to right sewage woes

A Lucas County judge yesterday said the owners of the Peaceful Acres Mobile Home Park in Providence Township have a month to comply with court orders to fix the park's sewage system or the court will take drastic action.

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and the Lucas County health department filed a lawsuit last month against Pat and Mel Gitler, the owners of Peaceful Acres who live in Waterford, Mich. The mobile home park's sewage system was dumping polluted water into a nearby creek and spilling raw sewage around the park, prosecutors said.

Common Pleas Judge James Bates issued a court order in March listing 10 conditions the park must meet to improve its wastewater treatment plant and clean up previous sewage spills.

"There is no question that Peaceful Acres is not in compliance with the majority of the orders," Judge Bates said yesterday.

Judge Bates set the next hearing on the issue for May 2 and said that would be the last chance for the mobile home park to comply with court orders.

"If the premises isn't in compliance," he said, "it will leave me no alternative than to either abandon the property as a mobile home park or put someone else in charge other than the Gitlers."

Judge Bates is scheduled to hold a final hearing on April 25 for another court case dealing with problems at Peaceful Acres. Health officials have said the mobile home park has unsafe drinking water.

Several law suits have been filed against the Gitlers over the last few years because of alleged health problems at Peaceful Acres. The mobile home park, located about seven miles west of Waterville, has more than 150 people living in about 45 occupied trailers.

The Gitlers did not appear in court yesterday, but Pat Gitler said last night in a phone interview that sewer problems at the park have been fixed and said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has lied about the park's drinking water being polluted.

"There's nothing wrong with our water," she said.

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