City leaders are recommending the case involving Moore Enterprises — owner of Three Seasons, Orange Park North and Americana Mobile Home Parks — now be investigated by the State Attorney’s Office after missing their Friday deadline to explain why they charged outrageously high water bills to one of its residents.
The city is also recommending the Department of Agriculture investigate Moore Enterprises after the News4JAX I-TEAM reported on a pattern of the mobile home park owners charging tenants thousands of dollars for water, under the threat of eviction.
Kelly O’Neil, who originally brought the issue to the I-TEAM, said she’s also pursuing legal action against the Three Seasons Mobile Home Park, and at the same time rejecting their offer to pay for her latest water bill.
In a letter from Moore Enterprises to Three Seasons Mobile Home Park tenant O’Neil, their Director of Finances and Business Operations, Joan Alvares wrote the following: “Three Seasons has agreed to waive the water bill in the amount of $1731.88 billed October 1, 2023. Ms. Kelly O’neil has been a long-time resident at our community and we appreciate her residency.”
O’Neil said the offer failed to include a full refund for the $2,418.39 that she paid for water consumption during the months of September and August.
An inspection of O’Neil’s water lines by the City of Jacksonville, JEA, and independent plumbers revealed she didn’t have leaks in her line which would have led to the massive bill.
“Where’s the buck? Stop? When is somebody gonna take responsibility for what’s going on? Because Moore Enterprises doesn’t seem to be taking responsibility for anything at all,” O’Neil said.
Former Three Seasons Property Manager TeriAnne Werner told News4JAX in September that she noticed the water meter readings were estimated, and some of the meters didn’t work when she was a manager back in 2018 and 2019.
Werner told the News4JAX ITEAM that at least 10 other families were charged outrageous water bills as well when there was no water leak.
“We ourselves called JEA to ask, like, ‘Why did their water bill increase? Is there an increase in the actual part water bill, to support the fact that there’s these huge amounts between these houses?’ and there was no discrepancy from JEA, the bill had stayed the same and showed no excess usage,” Werner said.
The News4JAX ITEAM learned Moore Enterprises was under investigation for similar allegations in 2018 just outside of Columbus, Ohio, where mobile home tenants also complained about sky-high bills, and reports there also showed no water leaks on their property.
Local City Councilmembers gave the owners of Three Seasons a deadline of noon Friday to explain why they charged O’Neil thousands of dollars for water.
Without an adequate explanation, Jacksonville’s Office of Consumer of Affairs said “the next step is to forward the complaint to the State Attorney’s Office and The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Mediation and Enforcement.”
O’Neil said she also plans to take the owners to court.
“The only way that I will ever see any kind of resolution myself for this, I believe, will be taking them to court to get it back,” O’Neil said.
If you are being pressured to pay a high water bill at one of Moore Enterprises’ properties, lawyers with Jax Legal Aid are willing to help you fight the mobile home park.
Also, if you’ve received a high water bill in the past at The Three Seasons Mobile Home Park, Orange Park North or Americana, city Inspectors still want to hear from you.
You can file an official complaint at Jacksonville’s Office of Consumer Affairs by calling 904-255-7198.