JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A disabled veteran living in a Westside mobile home park was once again shocked after she was charged hundreds of dollars for water that even inspectors with the City of Jacksonville said she never consumed.
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Kelly O’Neil lives at the Three Seasons Mobile Home Village on the Westside which was recently sold.
O’Neil said she just wants this water bill issue to go away, but instead, she said she’s being billed nearly $1,700 for water in the month of October, according to her online payment portal.
“And there’s no way anybody can use one person, especially use that much water, especially three months in a row,” O’Neil said.
Even under new ownership, O’Neil is facing the same old problem at the Three Seasons Mobile Home Village previously owned by Moore Enterprises. She said her online payment portal shows she has a balance of $1652.88, even though James Moore and Moore Enterprises sold their three Jacksonville properties to another company on Nov. 1.
O’Neil said the balance couldn’t be right because the City of Jacksonville inspectors, independent plumbers and JEA all agreed that she didn’t have any leaks.
The final report from City of Jacksonville Consumer Affairs Manager Jimmie Carter concluded the following about O’Neil’s persistent water woes: “In my professional opinion, I attribute human error to be the possible cause of Ms. O’Neil’s exorbitant water bills. Based on our observations and collaborative opinions. We do not have any other plausible reason for Ms. O’Neil’s experience.”
The City of Jacksonville’s Office of Consumer Affairs and city council members gave Moore Enterprises a mid-October deadline to explain the reason for the high bill. The company never revealed the reason why, but soon sold all three of its Jacksonville properties to companies affiliated with a Dallas Texas company, Oak Wood Ventures.
According to the deed of sale obtained by the News4JAX I-TEAM, Moore Enterprises sold Three Seasons for roughly $18.4 million, Americana Mobile Home Park for $5 million and Orange Park North for $24 million.
MORE: Owners of Jax mobile home park where residents hit with huge water bills sell properties after city demands explanation
O’Neil said the sale came as a surprise to residents who weren’t given any warning about the mobile home park’s future. She paid Moore Enterprises more than $2,200 for water for the months of August and September under the threat of eviction. O’Neil said she is hoping a community meeting on Monday evening will reveal if others are experiencing similar problems.
“Maybe that will convince people that it’s okay to report and show proof. You know, that their water bills have been like my water bills, overly high and that they feel taken advantage of,” she said.
News4JAX reached out to Oak Wood Ventures on Monday for any information about O’Neil’s balance but we have not heard back.
The City of Jacksonville is pursuing legal action through the State Attorney’s Office against the Three Seasons Mobile home park.
Councilman Rahman Johnson hosted a community meeting at the Calvary Chapel Church on the Westside to get answers to the ongoing issues.
Johnson told concerned residents that he was trying to get an update on the situation. He said the consumer affairs department with the city sent information over to the State Attorney’s Office but the change in management threw a wrench into the investigation.
“The initial owner sold the company. So we think that kind of resets the clock, so right now I’m working with the office of general counsel on the city side. Legal Aid has also reached out,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that legal aid can pursue a class-action lawsuit if enough people reach out with complaints. Residents can reach out to Johnson’s office or contact Legal Aid to remain anonymous.
“I reached out to legal aid and while they can’t come to my office, they have to put it on record, which is why I invited people to come today. We can connect you with legal aid and those things can become anonymous,” Johnson said.
For O’Neal, she’s hoping more people will come forward so they can get their money back.
“I don’t know what the huge amount of money I’m being charged for water is supposed to be covering because it doesn’t make any sense at all. Somebody’s pocketing money somewhere and it’s my money and I’m disabled and I can’t work and I need that money,” she said.
The State Attorney’s Office was also present at the meeting but declined to comment.
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