Tuesday, Somerset Borough officials appeared in court, asking a judge to rule that the burned and vacant trailers at Cherry Lane Estates are a nuisance and a dangerous eyesore, and that the property’s owner, Divinity Investments, LLC, needs to pay to clean them up.
There have been 13 arsons and two attempted arsons at the park since May of 2018. No arrests have been made.
In court, Somerset Borough Police Chief Randy Cox testified that the burnt trailers are dangerous. Back in August, Chief Cox told WTAJ that the fires could have spread and the damaged and vacant trailers could collapse.
“There’s always a chance that some resident down there could be affected or injured or even worse,” Chief Cox said.
In September, the borough also filed another lawsuit against Divinity, claiming the Chambersburg-based company, which has owned the park since 2014, owes the borough more than $320,000 in unpaid sewer and water bills.
Borough Manager Michele Enos is not able to comment on the lawsuits, citing borough policy not to speak about pending litigation.
Both the Somerset Borough solicitor and Divinity Investments did not respond to phone calls for a comment.
Neighbors who live in Cherry Lane Estates told WTAJ that they hope the borough wins the lawsuits and that the owner cleans up the trailers.
However, others were doubtful. They believe it’s more likely the owner will go to jail before he pays.
The judge is taking the case under advisement. It’s unclear when he will make a decision.