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Jan. 28, 2022

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Woodland RV park owner opens PUD account

Cowlitz County agency to continue service to tenants

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LONGVIEW — The property owner of the Lewis River RV Park has signed up for Cowlitz Public Utility District electric service after a court order Monday ordered him to do so at least through Feb. 19.

“He’s a paying customer, and we will continue to provide service to the RV park,” Cowlitz PUD spokeswoman Alice Dietz said Tuesday.

The Lewis River Homeowners Association asked a Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge on Monday to order Jerry Reeves to open an account with the PUD and maintain power to the more than 60 families living at the park.

The PUD was scheduled to cut service Tuesday after granting a third and final extension paid for through community donations.

“The court finds that Jerry Reeves has a legal duty to supply electricity to tenants at Lewis River RV Park,” the judge found, and residents “have a well-grounded fear of losing both electricity and water and … will suffer irreparable injury if (Reeves) does not make arrangements with the PUD.”

The RV park relies on a well with an electric pump, so losing power would mean losing water, too.

Residents have been at risk of losing electricity and water for weeks. They already had lost garbage service, internet and septic maintenance due to a legal conflict between Reeves, who owns the property, and John Berman, the attorney representing the estate of Reeves’ late ex-wife.

Losing power would keep residents from being able to bathe, cook, stay warm or tend to their health and hygiene, the judge found. And because many residents live there permanently, relocating would take a long time.

The temporary order also requires Reeves to make regular payments for the PUD bill and work with Waste Management to haul away the park’s garbage on a regular basis. Had Reeves not set up an account, or if he fails to restore garbage service by Wednesday, the order will allow RV park residents to pay rent, including utility costs, through a court-appointed custodian.

The temporary orders will remain in effect until the residents’ motion to force Reeves to continue to arrange for power, garbage and other services is heard Feb. 19.

Alex Bruell: alex.bruell@tdn.com; 360-577-2541.

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