New London resident concerned about damage to her property
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — Fed up with other people parking on her yard and damaging her property, Samantha Shumaker took her complaints to the New London City Council Tuesday night to discuss finding a solution top her property.
An item on Tuesday’s agenda was discussion of no parking in the vicinity of the 600 block of East Cleveland Street (where Shumaker resides).
“The reason for this item is that during baseball season, people try to walk in her yard and walk all over her property and stuff,” said New London Mayor Ron Sadler.
“Right now they put that new football field in, and I guess there is little kids’ football going on so it is no longer ruining my property during baseball season, but now it is ruining my property during football season, too,” said Shumaker.
Shumaker’s property lies next to the athletic complex where the school’s baseball, softball and now flag football games are being played which leaves her property vulnerable to cars parking on her yard and unattended children playing on and destroying her property.
“I don’t know what you can do about it but now I have a broken mailbox, a broken lamp post, a broken window and someone tried to start a fire in my yard,” said Shumaker. “They walk though it, park in it and sit in it. I couldn’t plant my garden because last year they trampled it. I also had to get rid of my kids’ trampoline because other people’s kids would come and play on it during games.
“There have ben kids up on my deck playing on my deck and on top of my little shed playing and jumping off of there,” she continued. “Who is liable for all of that if someone gets hurt?”
“Their parents,” responded Council member Alisha Hudnall.
“It should be their parents, but if someone gets hurt then it wouldn’t be their parents’ fault, it would be mine because it is on my property,” said Shumaker.
“Well, it should be the parents’ fault,” said Hudnall.
Shumaker told the council that she has tried several different ways to keep people off of her property, including building a fence.
“I put up a fence in the back saying private property, but it didn’t help,” said Shumaker. “They climb over the fence and climb under the fence. I don’t know what I am supposed to do anymore . I am trying to sell my house but no one even wants to look at it because there is constantly something going on now.”
“People don’t event want to look at it because it is way too close to all of that,” chimed in her mother, Cheryl Christensen.
“It isn’t just the parking either,” said Shumaker. “I have a three year old who likes to play outside, but there are kids with dirt bikes that keep coming out there and the coach brings his wheeler thing through my yard.
“I have had to put a lot of money into fixing what other people have broken,” continued Shumaker.
Christensen noted that the distance between the football field and the Shumaker property is only a matter of a few feet.
“We are talking about the football field being right there, it isn’t far away or anything,” said Christiansen. “I don’t know whose bright idea it was to put the football field right there, but there wasn’t any asking or notice or anything.”
“I don’t know what can be done, but if they are going to push me out like this then I suggest one of them buy the property and level the house and use it for parking,” said Shumaker. “Clearly they need it for parking since they park in my yard anyway.”
Council member Kirk Miller ended the discussion on the item by letting Shumaker know that the council heard and understands her complaint.
“This is only a ‘discuss’ item on the agenda, so we can’t take any action on it tonight,” said Miller. “We will check into it and have our departments check into it and see what can be done.”
The council also:
• Set their public works meeting for Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m.
• Set the public safety meeting for Sept. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
• Discussed the annexation of the city-owned property on East Cleveland Street and Main Street east of the ball diamonds.
• Approved donating funds to the 2013 Red Flag Run.
• Set Beggar’s Night for Oct. 31. from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
• Discussed amending the water service system ordinance to require trustees to reside in the New London Municipal Utilities service area.
The next New London City Council meeting will be on Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m.