Woman wants city to clean up toxic trailer park

(Source: Karen Lowery)
(Source: Karen Lowery)

GOSNELL, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 woman claims the trailer park behind her home is a health risk and a problem area for drugs.

Karen Lowery says since she's voiced her concern, she's even received threats.  She wants something done, but believes the Mayor and property owner are neglecting the problem.

Lowery claims the trailer park contains a dangerous mold.  She told Region 8 News she obtained a mold sample from one of the trailers, which tested positive for toxic black mold.  Karen called Region 8 News because she wants the trailers torn down.

"It is a health hazard and I want it cleaned up and I'm not going to stop until it's cleaned up," said Lowery.

Located in South Gosnell, directly behind Karen Lowery's rental home, sits Quality Acres Trailer Park owned by Buddy Knight.  Karen tells Region 8 News she has lived in the neighborhood for two years.

She claims the trailers are covered in toxic mold and attributes that to her recent health problems.  "Vomiting, dehydration, respiratory distress. I have been hospitalized three times," said Lowery, mounting to thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Karen showed Region 8 News pictures she took from inside one of the trailers.  The photos were taken back in July when Karen approached the Mayor and city council about the problem.  "We walked these streets. I showed him the mold that was visible from the trailers. Not just one, but about 10 to 15 trailers. They are abandoned that have drug dealers," said Lowery.

After her meeting with city leaders Karen thought something would be done...."When I took them to this trailer here.  The mold was so bad that the Mayor had the owner of the trailer demolished the trailer the very next day...with the promise that one trailer would be torn down every month to six weeks,"

But Karen tells me that never happened.  "He (the mayor) says it's costly."

Region 8 News tracked down Gosnell Mayor Don Marshall.  "You just can't allocate all the money to one general area.  The trailer they tore down had a lot of black stuff in it. I don't work for ADEQ. I don't know, if it was the black mold they're talking about," said Mayor Marshall.

But from our lab testing at ASU, it was flagged as Stachybotrys- what many call TOXIC BLACK MOLD.

Mayor Marshall says he knows the Quality Acres Trailer Park needs to be cleaned up.  "They're just trashy looking it does need to be cleaned up. Despite the black mold that she's addressing, I don't know if every trailer has got that. I haven't been through every one of them," said Mayor Marshall.

While Karen says the city is dragging their feet to fix the problem area, Mayor Marshall says it can't happen overnight.

"We're going to get with the code enforcement officer and start condemning some of them. I've talked with Mr. Knight, the owner of the trailer park, and they are going to start tearing down some of the trailers, but they can't do it all at once," said Mayor Marshall.

Karen says she's waiting..."Whether I move to another state or I stay, I want it cleaned up because that's the right thing to do."

A day after I went to Gosnell, Karen says the owner of Quality Acres and the mayor came in to demolish one of the trailers.  She just hopes it continues.

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