Recreation center showers are provided to residents
The Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park on Lightner Creek Road (County Road 207) west of Durango has had no running water for 15 days. At the request of La Plata County, residents received Red Cross water and free showers at the Durango Community Recreation Center. (File by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
La Plata County and the City of Durango have stepped in to provide basic services to residents of the Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park, who are now in their 15th day without running water.
At the request of the county, the American Red Cross of Western Colorado delivered 180 gallons of water to residents Saturday, and the city opened the doors of the Durango Community Recreation Center so residents could shower for free.
County Manager Chuck Stevens said the county reached out to the Department of Local Affairs, which is responsible for enforcing the Mobile Home Park Act, on Friday to offer help on the situation. The park’s embattled owner, Donna Mann, had provided residents with minimal fresh water, and portable toilets did not appear until Thursday — 11 days after water service was suspended.
Although DOLA is responsible for enforcing state laws that require RV park landlords to be responsible for providing and paying for alternative drinking water sources and portable toilets, the agency told the county it could be helpful by increasing access to drinking water and showering easier.
In response, the county contacted the Red Cross and the city of Durango, which owns the recreation center.
Though the park isn’t within city limits, the recreation center’s manager, John Robinette, said Lightner Creek residents can use the facility’s showers for free if they show proof of address at the front desk. As of Monday afternoon, eight local residents had done so.
John Seward, a Red Cross spokesman, said volunteers made water deliveries at the park’s 30 or so units on Saturday and would return sometime this week if needed. If the water supply isn’t restored in the near future, the next step could be for residents to move into some sort of short-term housing, he said.
DOLA filed a lawsuit in La Plata County Combined Court on February 21 to enforce a February 15 injunction that Mann failed to comply with.
On Friday, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office filed a motion asking the court to compel Mann to provide each resident with at least 20 gallons of drinking water per day in “sealed drinking water bottles or water jugs fitted with hand pumps” and to clean up the sewage spill , which remains on the site and reimburses local residents who have documented their costs related to the lack of running water.
A hearing will be held on Tuesday morning.
This story has been updated to include new information about the Department of Local Affairs’ legal action against Lightner Creek Mobile Home owner Donna Mann.