Making your community a better place
Most of us are familiar with the popular motto, “God helps those who help themselves”. The motto emphasizes the importance of self-initiative and used often to inspire people for self-help.
It is certainly an appropriate expression to illustrate what the residents of Lakeshore are doing for themselves in dealing with community blight, management issues, illegal dumping and even unwelcome squatters pitching tents on vacant lots.
Lakeshore Estate Mobile Home Park, once the largest mobile home park in all of Arkansas, has been in a state of decline for years with little help from outside government entities until recently.
Realizing change with a positive impact will come about only when concerned residents take it upon themselves to get involved several residents, under the direction of Cassy Bretherick, who have formed the neighborhood watch and cleanup campaign that has made a big impact on the park’s appearance.
Their concerns and efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by county leaders, and in fact, Judge Wood Wheeless as well as members of the Quorum Court, have offered the county’s help in providing large Dumpsters for debris, old building materials as well as old tires that have been carelessly dumped where the old general store was located.
Sadly, someone set fire to a pile of old tires which has created a hazardous materials issues that Judge Wheeless said will require a hazardous material cleanup.
Besides the blight and obvious disregard for keeping the park somewhat presentable there are management complaints ranging from alleged neglect and price gouging for services, situations that has led to a formal complaint to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office in Little Rock.
For a long time part residents appealed to county officials for help in dealing with the situation, which at the time, made it appear they wanted the county to clean up the mess which we all know is not their responsibility.
Now that there is an organized community involvement we see county leaders lending a helping hand in the form of providing Dumpsters as well as assistance in cleaning up the hazardous materials.
It is now clear that this neighborhood group of concerned residents has sparked an interest among their neighbors who are actually getting involved in cleaning up their own yards but joining in park cleanup events.
This is all about community pride and getting involved in making what was once a popular mobile home park and we certainly commend Bretherick as well as group leader Marvin Tucker for inspiring their friends and neighbors in doing something that will make a tremendous difference.
Now then, with that said there is certainly another big problem that we feel Judge Wheeless could help address and that is the proliferation of people living in pop up trailers on vacant lots within the park that have no authorization to be there.
Also, there is a problem of some occupants failing to abide by the county’s building codes and obtaining the necessary permits to build additions and other structures within the park.
This is a problem we feel Judge Wheeless could authorize the county’s code enforcement officer to investigate and possibly issue citations to violators.
Now, we know that Lakeshore will never return to the status of what it once was, but the work that the community is doing to make their community a better place to live is a vast improvement over what it once was.