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Friend of mobile home owner told not to involve company

KINGWOOD — A mobile home that the court ordered the owner to move in Albright is still there, and a man who is helping the owner has been told by his employer not to get it involved.
On Nov. 14, Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer gave Amy Sapp, the owner of the mobile home, 10 days to remove it. If she did not, the town has authority to do so. As of Friday morning, it had not been moved.
Albright filed a civil suit in Preston Circuit Court in July, saying the mobile home was placed on land owned by Amy Sapp’s mother, Susan Sapp, in violation of town and county flood control ordinances. The town first contacted Sapp in April, when the trailer was moved onto the property.
At the November hearing, Kent Rollins, spoke on behalf of his fiancee, Susan Sapp. Rollins, a project specialist for Region VI Planning and Development Council, said he is a floodplain coordinator and the mobile home doesn’t pose a danger if there is flooding.
Albright sits alongside the Cheat River. Sapp’s property is on Main Street.
In letters received by the court Dec. 2 and 4, Rollins provided updates on efforts to move the trailer. The letters were on Region VI Planning and Development Council stationery and included his title and contact information there.
Asked if he thought it was appropriate to use his work stationery for this matter, Rollins said, “I was floodplain coordinator for all six counties since 1985 and I had the oversight of all those other coordinators out there … I should have been involved. I should have been involved when the town first started getting involved with it.”
The first letter he sent the court said he was “acting on behalf of Susan L. Sapp.”
After being provided with copies of the letters Thursday, Sheena Hunt, executive director for Region VI, said she had not been aware letters were done on Region stationery.
“This is not Region VI’s position on this,” Hunt said. “We have nothing in this matter, and my suggestion for Kent is to as soon as possible — almost immediately — he needs to take this off Region VI letterhead and resubmit it to the courts, because this is something we have no need to be involved in.”
Hunt said she told Rollins he can include in those letters that, through his capacity with Region VI, he has knowledge and experience in flood control issues.
“But this is not a Region VI issue,” she said.
Trying to move it
At the hearing and again in a recent interview, Rollins blamed the newspaper for Sapp not being able to find a company to move the trailer, saying no one would move it because of stories about the lawsuit in The Dominion Post.
In his first letter to the judge, dated Nov. 27 and received Dec. 2, Rollins wrote that an agreement was made to remove the trailer to a farm in Bruceton Mills for $1,500, as soon as the company, L&L Transport, finished other jobs.
“I foolishly gave Amy [Sapp] the $1,500 since I couldn’t be here on Friday, and she was supposed to be on-hand to give the cash to L&L before they would hook up. That was the agreement,” Rollins wrote. “Susan [Sapp] nor I know where the cash is.”
The owner of a mobile home park would take the trailer but has no funds to move it, he wrote. Rollins planned to meet with the owner to “possibly give her money toward any tow she can arrange.”
“We are working feverishly to find even a wrecker service to pull it,” Rollins said.
He told the newspaper that the 30-year-old trailer’s frame was broken the last time it was moved.
The second letter was received by the court Dec. 4, In it, Rollins said the trailer was sold to Teter’s Campground, which planned to move the trailer on Nov. 27, “but the high winds precluded the movers to hook up.”
Albright’s attorney, Buddy Turner of Gaydos & Turner, said, “We’re going to follow the court’s order to the best of our abilities.” He declined further comment.
Earlier, Preston County’s floodplain coordinator said if floodplain ordinances are not followed, FEMA can withdraw residents’ access to the National Flood Insurance Program or ability to apply for disaster assistance, and any town not enforcing the rules may not be eligible for federal grants.