LARGO — More than two years after Paradise Island mobile home park manager Nancy Perry started complaining that the city was to blame for a foul smell in her park and damage to its private sewer lines, Largo officials have admitted some blame and offered a settlement.
But the yearslong saga of the smelly mobile home park isn't over.
Perry and her residents are not happy with the city's offer to pay half of the $15,000 her park spent to repair a manhole in 2009 and half of whatever the park spends to fix another damaged manhole.
"We want to be paid in full," Perry told city commissioners at their Wednesday meeting. "Not half."
Some commissioners have been sympathetic to Perry's cause in the past and pushed for the $60,700 consultant's study this year that showed city sewers contributed to the smell and pipe corrosion in Paradise Island.
But Perry might be hard-pressed to get what she wants — for commissioners to force City Manager Mac Craig to pay the full bill for both manholes.
The city staff gave two reasons Wednesday night why the city offered to pay half. First, they said, the consultant's study didn't put the blame entirely on Largo. Just partially. And second, there are other mobile home parks in that area.
"They'll all be here, looking for $15,000 a manhole, for many manholes," said City Attorney Alan Zimmet. "We're trying to look at the big picture."
Perry and the residents of her 828-unit park disagree with the city staff's claim that lack of maintenance contributed to the damage to Paradise Island's sewer pipes.
"Have you ever been to Paradise Island?" she asked commissioners Wednesday. "It's probably one of the neatest, cleanest and newest parks in Largo … We don't let our infrastructure go down."
The city staff pointed out, however, that Paradise Island has only been under current management since 2006.
"Their lack of maintenance over a long period of time, and the previous owners as well, contributed," said Environmental Services director Irvin Kety.
Commissioners voted to have the city manager schedule a negotiation meeting with Perry. Told about this later, Perry said she would gladly meet with Craig, but didn't indicate a willingness to budge from her demands.
And if she isn't satisfied with the negotiations? Perry said she'll just keep coming to commission meetings with her residents.
"Don't think that Paradise Island isn't watching what is going on," she warned commissioners. "We are not going to stop."
Contact Will Hobson at (727) 445-4167 or [email protected]