Box Elder mobile home park will continue to receive water service

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BOX ELDER, S.D. -

Residents of a mobile home park in Box Elder will continue to receive water and sewer service from the city despite an ongoing debate over water payments.

Box Elder city officials say the owners of Wagon Wheel Village are still responsible for unpaid water bills. The mobile home park is owned by Eastgate Estates LLC, currently on the hook for around $60,000. Eastgate owners paid the city $20,000 on Wednesday.

“The misunderstanding, I think, is that we’re just charging them some random fee," said Box Elder Mayor Larry Larson. "We’re not.”

Wagon Wheel tenants say that a mobile home owner pays around $320 a month. That fee includes water and sewer service and trash removal, but it doesn't include pet fees. For the past several months, property owners have been charged $413 per month per trailer - just for water and sewer utilities. That's almost three times the normal rate.

Larson says that Eastgate Estates owns the properties shown in the map below, highlighted in yellow, as well as the blue area. Wagon Wheel Village is the large yellow area off Hub Road.

The mayor says there is a water meter at the northeastern corner of Howard Street that reads the majority of the mobile home park. He says the city determines water bills for Eastgate properties by subtracting individual meters in the area from the large meter.

Larson says that Wagon Wheel's high water rates may be attributed to water line leaks on the property, and the fact that mobile home owners need to keep their water running at all times during the winter so their pipes do not freeze.

Even though $20,000 had been paid Eastgate owners, the city still needs the additional $60,000. If no more payments are made, the mayor says, "We're really back to square one."

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