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Last Residents Leave Abandoned Ohio Campground

July 14, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

001The Champaign, Ohio, Health District has suspended the license of Meadow Lake Resort, and 14 small-claims cases have been filed in Champaign County Municipal Court against its owners, Mike and Kathleen Cahill. 

Jeff Webb, environmental health supervisor for the health district, inspected the camprounds, located 30 miles west of Columbus, on June 2, 3 19 and 22 and July 9. Webb said he found the power had been shut off by Pioneer Electric on his most recent visit, leaving the remaining campers without electricity and running water, according to The Urbana Daily Citizen

“Counting the recreational vehicles, there are about 10 or 15 out there, but as for people actively staying there, three sites are still occupied,” Webb said. “We had to ask these people to vacate the premises within 48 hours.” 

Webb said the violations of the Ohio Administrative Code he cited in his earlier inspections had for the most part been remedied after Mike Cahill met with Health Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson approximately two weeks ago. 

“It got down to where he had only two things left to do, and that was pump the septic tanks and provide a Dumpster for solid waste removal,” Webb said. 

During the first inspection in June, Webb found that the violations included not having a responsible adult available at all times, no solid waste removal, no access to water sampling records and overflowing toilets and Dumpsters. 

“At this point he can remove all the recreational vehicles by July 23 or he can abate the violations and we would consider lifting the suspension, but it seems like it’s been one thing after another,” Webb said. “If they don’t do either one, it will result in license revocation and the case being turned over to the prosecutor’s office, which has already received copies of all of our correspondence.” 

The Cahills, who purchased the 20-acre, 235-site property for $500,000 in April last year from Meadow Lake Associates, abruptly left the premises at the end of May, and their whereabouts is unknown. Webb’s letter was addressed to their home in Land O’ Lakes, Fla. 

All the civil actions filed in Champaign County Municipal Court by campers allege breach of contract with regard to camping fees, most in the range of $1,000 to $2,500. In the claims, each plaintiff seeks prorated or full restitution of a portion of the up-front amount paid for seasonal or monthly site rental. 

Several campers said they had paid to stay through November and paid for off-season storage of their recreational vehicles at the resort. All are scheduled for hearings on Friday (July 17) before Judge Susan J. Fornof-Lippencott.

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