SPENCER, Iowa (KCAU) — The owner and a resident of a mobile home community have filed for an injunction against the City of Spencer after the electricity was shut off while residents still live there.  

According to the documents of the petition for the injunction, Bill Caskey and Margaret George are asking the Iowa District Court to ensure that George along with other residents can get their power restored, allowing Caskey sufficient time to comply with orders from the City of Spencer.  

The petition alleges that on June 9, the City of Spencer made a non-routine inspection of the mobile home park owned by Caskey. The inspection resulted in violations in City of Spencer city codes relating to electrical, sewer, and general conditions.  

Caskey and the residents were informed on June 21 that due to the violations of city code, the park was deemed ‘un-inhabitable’ and they had to vacate the property less than two weeks later by July 5 when the utilities would be shut off, according to the petition. It was further stated that residents were notified on July 5 that the deadline had been extended to July 12 at 10 a.m. 

Caskey and his attorney met with city officials on July 8 to discuss the violations, and the petition indicated that the city officials provided Caskey with an “alternative list” which specified that the utilities would not be turned off if Caskey could complete the items on the alternative list by the extended deadline.  

The petition stated that Caskey and his hired electrician worked for the next three days to meet the criteria of the alternative list. The injunction alleged that when the electrician met with the Planning Director for the City of Spencer on July 12 at 10 a.m., the electricity had already been disconnected.  

When the first petition for injunction was filed on July 14, the electricity had not been restored and residents still living there had to use candles, flashlights, and generators. It was specified in the petition that many of the residents do not have the ability to find housing elsewhere, and high temperatures are expected to continue in the area.  

The petition stated that the injunction would be necessary to prevent harm to the residents and the property, including the ability to provide air conditioning to residents during the “extreme July heat.”  

The City of Spencer answered the petition on Monday, and they denied that the city was responsible for turning off the electricity, and it was stated that the power was turned off by Spencer Municipal Utilities (SMU). The documents specified that SMU is a city agency that is governed by a board that is separate from the City Council and SMU disconnected the power to protect the safety of the residents and visitors of the mobile home community.  

The documents stated that the conditions of the Caskey mobile home park formed a public safety emergency and the City of Spencer “reasonably responded.” The documents also stated that the City of Spencer “made reasonable and extraordinary efforts” to help residents relocate  

Caskey filed an amended petition that re-alleged the actions of the City of Spencer from June 9 to July 12, and a hearing for the petitions has been scheduled for August 2.