BERWICK – Neighbors living next to Test Track Park in Berwick say squatters moved onto nearby property back in April. Now illegal campers and clutter are fueling a neighborhood feud that property owners and borough officials agree is a problem.
Take a walk into Dan Bogart’s back yard in Berwick and take a look at his view. There’s junk piled on top of junk, covered with a tarp and trailers where he says several squatters are staying.
“These people, they just moved in, they squatted , they live in campers. They were tearing down this mobile home and all they did was throw the garbage and everything all over the yard,” said Bogart.
The property’s owner says a few months ago these people offered to tear down a trailer on this property, but that’s not all being done.
“All they do is sit there and build fires, drink beer all day, foul language, the language is unbelievable,” said Bogart.
Police have been called here to Ruhmels Lane for reports of people walk around in the nude, and illegal fires, but this man at the property says Bogart has his facts all wrong.
“Am I a squatter here? I own my own home. I`m not a squatter here,” said alleged squatter Alan Kmietowicz.
He says these trailers are job trailers and they didn’t have enough dumpsters to put the trash in.
“Oh the yard needs some work, of course it needs some work. Yeah, and we were actually supposed to of had it done, that`s you know, that`s our fault,” said Kmietowicz.
Neighbors say after three months of this, they just want the borough to step in and help clean this up so they can go back to enjoying their homes.
Berwick’s Code Enforcement Officer says he’s visited this property about 15 times over the past few months and issued citations for the first time this week, but some neighbors don’t know if that will be enough.
“I don`t have no idea, they had the police down here, and the Mayor. Nothing seems to get done,” said Ray Fenstermacher of Berwick.
And it’s a nightmare neighbors say has gone on long enough.
“What`s happened down here is pathetic. Just flat pathetic,” said Ray Bores of Berwick.
The property’s owner says he feels bad about the mess and is working to get dumpsters over to clean it up as soon as he can.