rising dispute over a mutual agreement has prompted one business owner to ask the court to immediately intervene and provide equitable relief.
On Wednesday, May 29, Ferrelwood Mobile Home Park petitioned the Platte County Circuit Court to explain the rights and obligations under its contract with the Village of Ferrelview and Phil Gilliam, chairman of the Village of Ferrelview Board of Trustees.
The Ferrelwood Mobile Home Park is a limited liability company out of Colorado, operating a mobile home park at 201 6th Street in Ferrelview.
According to the six page lawsuit, the Ferrelwood Mobile Home Park entered into a mutual agreement with Ferrelview on June 30, 2003. As part of the longstanding agreement, Ferrelwood would compensate the Village of Ferrelview $10,000 for the village to “assume responsibility for maintaining, repairing and replacing water line and individual meters” inside the mobile home park, the lawsuit claims.
The mobile home park alleges when it added additional mobile units at the park, the Village of Ferrelview overcharged residents to relocate a water meter.
“Instead of charging its actual expenses to relocate a meter, the village charged $750.00 to hook up the water services for those residents, even when the village incurred no additional costs,” the suit says.
The mobile home park contends under the agreement, the Village of Ferrelview may only charge residents what it truly costs to relocate the meter and the amount should not exceed $50.
According to the lawsuit, the Village of Ferrelview claims to collect the $750 fee based on an “initial connection fee” applied to single-family dwellings.
Although Ferrelview agreed to pay the $750 fee until an order by a court can be made, the mobile home park claims it has been “adversely impacted” for its past loss. As a result, it is also seeking money damages for water meter installation costs, lost sales and ancillary business costs.
The mobile home park is seeking immediate equitable relief, because if the dispute continues, the mobile home business could continue to lose money, the rate of which would be hard to calculate, according to the lawsuit.
The mobile home park has secured Steven Mauer of the Mauer Law Firm.
Occupancy permits and improper home inspections
The lawsuit goes on to state that the Village of Ferrelview withheld occupancy permits from a few residents. As a result, the mobile home business lost the sale and income of the sale. The suit claims the act of improperly denying occupancy permits “was neither justified, privileged nor excusable.”
The lawsuit also accuses Phil Gilliam of using his position on the Village Board of Trustees to “improperly inspect homes and lots for his own purposes.” More specifically, Gilliam allegedly denied issuing permits until corner markers were placed on a property boundary line.
“Ordinance No. 171 of the village provides the list of what is needed to grant an occupancy permit. Nothing in the ordinance requires corner markers,” the suit says.
City officials amended an ordinance on Dec. 22, 2018, modifying the fees the village collects for business licenses. Pursuant to the ordinance, a $7 fee is applied for each apartment and $25 fee is levied on each trailer space. The suit alleges the ordinance increases business license fees “unequally between apartments and mobile homes.” The complaint says this ordinance was passed to punish and retaliate against the mobile home park.
A hearing on this case has been set for Sept. 6.