BAY BRIDGE ESTATES RESIDENTS direct questions to Brunswick town officials who attended a meeting Friday to talk about water problems at the mobile home park.

BAY BRIDGE ESTATES RESIDENTS direct questions to Brunswick town officials who attended a meeting Friday to talk about water problems at the mobile home park.

BATH

An organizational meeting of Bay Bridge Estates residents on Friday in Bath ended with the election of incorporators to allow them to form a tenant association.

The two-hour meeting also drew many questions from frustrated residents wanting to know if, when and how the water supply and infrastructure problems will be addressed.

John Eldridge ... Brunswick town manager

John Eldridge … Brunswick town manager

Residents at the mobile home park off Old Bath Road in Brunswick began experiencing water shortages on Dec. 29. The situation has pushed residents to organize in an effort to get the water shortage addressed, initiate other changes and provide a line of communication between park management and residents.

“Everybody has a voice,” said incorporator Rodney Doray, who helped organize the meeting Friday. “We want everyone to come together to make sure that our community is safe.”

Jeanee Wright of the Cooperative Development Institute in Freeport has volunteered to help residents form a legal tenant association. She also spoke Friday about possible development of a cooperative.

Wright works for a larger corporation, a national movement that she said has helped residents of more than 210 manufactured housing parks throughout the country get out from living underneath a landlord and take control of their community by becoming a resident-owned co-op.

As a cooperative, residents will get a voice, and their park fees will pay for park expenses with no profit margin, Wright said.

Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge told residents the town’s focus over the last few days has been to get a crisis and health issue solved, as best and quickly as possible. Bulk water deliveries began Friday to bolster the system.

A resident asked Eldridge why the park isn’t on city water, adding the water and septic systems can’t handle the current demand. The comments drew applause.

Eldridge responded that someone decided not to extend it to the park years ago. That can change, but would come at a cost.

Another resident asked if residents are being held responsible for the repairs incurred by many broken and burst pipes due to the water being shut off.

“That’s something that we’re going to talk about,” said Micheala Aube, who was elected as an incorporator on Friday. “We are making rounds to see who has pressure and who does not have pressure when the pressure is on.”

Then the issue of leaking septic systems arose.

“If you have leaking septic systems, that’s a public health and plumbing issue, and you can call the codes office at the town and report that, and it will be investigated,” Eldridge said.

Residents also wanted to know if water will be tested from the faucet, given the condition of the aging water lines.

“We told the park management that we intended to have the water tested and it will be tested in accordance with whatever the state standards are,” Eldridge said.

Councilor David Watson, who represents Bay Bridge Estates, said he’s never seen the town respond so quickly to a situation.

“As long as I am on the town council you will not be forgotten,” he pledged.

He said he’s asked state Rep. Jay McCreight to investigate legislation to protect mobile home parks. State Sen. Brownie Carson was also at the meeting.

“We can work as a team to support you,” Watson said. “Is this going to happen all at once? There ain’t no way. No way. Our first issue is to get you water, to get you so you can wash your clothes, flush the toilet, get your kids washed.”

Watson said the infrastructure needs to be updated to help water quality.

“Do it one step at a time,” he said. “Work with us, we’ll work with you.”

The four elected incorporators are Rodney Doray, Micheala Aube, Marieke Gaisson and Savannah Ventry. The full board for the Bay Bridge Estates tenant association will be elected at the next meeting at 2 p.m. Jan. 28. That meeting is expected to take place at the Brunswick Recreation Center or the Brunswick American Legion.


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