Major concerns over a Rawls Springs Trailer Park

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A concerned citizen is speaking out about living conditions in a Rawls Springs trailer park, which he said are both dangerous and unhealthy.

Former State Representative Gene Saucier, spent years as a voice for the citizens of Mississippi, although politics are now behind him, he still looks after those who seem to have no voice.

"This is something you can't imagine it existed in Mississippi. I mean, you have heard about bad times in the past but this is 21st century and we still have people living like they live in foreign countries. I look at it and it breaks my heart."

The Lakewood Loop Subdivision in Rawls Springs is filled with dilapidated trailers, trash, overgrown trees and underbrush. Which Saucier said,  is not only dangerous for residents of the subdivision but neighboring communities too.

Saucier approached the Forrest County Board of Supervisors about the situation last November, voicing his concerns.

"They need to go through and correct some of these things that are hazardous for the people, fire trucks can't get in, no garbage pick up, they need to address those situations," said Saucier.

Board President David Hogan said, the Board  recently adopted a resolution to update the county ordinance."Any new subdivision or trailer park in Forrest County with more than three lots will be required to build their roads to county specifications and will not be allowed to have more than four units per acre."

Unfortunately,  it doesn't apply to existing trailer parks like the ones in Lakewood Loop, said Hogan.

"We are going to encourage and have encouraged that property owner to do a better job over there."

Saucier feels the county is on the right track, but asked the State Fire Marshal's Office to step in and do something.

State Chief Deputy Ricky Davis  and Assistant Chief Deputy of the manufactured homes division Scott Barnes, toured the park and have major concerns.

"We've come down to look over the situation and see if it warrants doing an inspection, and of course it does. Davis said,  "we will be sending investigators back, to do a more thorough inspection of the park."

Barnes said, " these houses that people are living in as well as the debris and clutter around them is a concern from a fire standpoint and in the event a fire erupts and spreads, not only is it a hazard to the property here but other citizens nearby have no control of what goes on here."

Saucier said, there are laws in the state of Mississippi that would address these things, "we have the means to make it happen, I made sure of that when I was in the Legislature and since then the Senate has come back and reinforced what we did. So, there is no excuse."

State Fire Marshal investigators will come back next week to investigate further.