Residents of the Lewis River RV Park in Woodland, Wash., have received a second extension to their power service, courtesy of another last-minute deal between the park’s owner and the Cowlitz County Public Utility District, according to The Columbian.
The service cutoff date, previously scheduled for Jan. 22, has been pushed back to Jan. 30, but the week has brought little other clarity about the long-term future of the park, which is home to approximately 60 families.
An underlying dispute between the park’s current landowner, Jerry Reeves, and its former owner, John Berman, remains unresolved.
Neither party appeared willing to budge on Wednesday afternoon, and each person directly blamed the other in separate interviews. In the meantime, the park’s residents have been left in the lurch, with no clear direction about how long the lights will remain on.
“They should be battling in court, and we (should be) left out of it,” said Valerie Gardner, one of the park’s residents. “It’s left us with, ‘Well, looks like we’d better get generators.’”
Cowlitz County officials have gotten involved, as well. Axel Swanson, the county’s chief of staff, said the county has a public interest in working to make sure the park’s power, sewer, water and garbage services remain active during the next few weeks.
The situation arose last week when utility staff notified residents that the RV park was facing a Jan. 16 power cut off because it had recently changed owners and the new owner, Reeves, had refused to set up an account with the utility district.
Reeves contended that the park’s previous owner and manager, Berman, was the one who had shut off the power. Berman replied that he was obligated to terminate service when he ceased to be the park’s owner, and it would be up to Reeves to restart it.
The change in ownership stems from an ongoing legal dispute that began several years ago, and it isn’t the first time the park has changed owners. In fact, in the past three years, the park has twice bounced from Reeves to Berman, then back to Reeves.
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