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TACO Defending RV Parks in Water Fee Dustup

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October 9, 2012 by   Leave a Comment

RV park managers in San Benito, Texas, fear a new ordinance could open their financial records to the city and unfairly penalize them if their count of mobile homes and park models doesn’t match the city’s count.

The revised ordinance, which took effect Monday, imposes a $10 monthly water fee on mobile homes and park models, The Brownsville Herald reported.

The law can “permanently” charge RV parks additional fees if their tallies of mobile homes and park models differ from the city’s counts, Curtis Richardson, maintenance supervisor at First Colony Mobile Home and RV Park, said.

The ordinance describes such discrepancies as “violations” and “theft of services.”

“They can come in here and open up our financial records and see what kind of business we’re doing,” Richardson said.

Pete Claudio, chairman of the city’s utility board, denied the accusation.

The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), an Arlington association that lobbies for RV parks, wants to know if the ordinance violates Senate Bill 569 and House Bill 841, the laws passed in 2005 that prohibit cities from charging water fees to unmetered RV sites, said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive director.

“It is incredible,” Schaeffer said. “We had a problem with the general access to a park’s books. They want auditing rights over your books. We’re going to see if it violates the law and if we need to tighten up (the law) because this is ridiculous.”

Claudio said the city will not apply the penalties unless parks misrepresent their numbers.

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