Roommates without water pointing fingers at trailer park owner

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KENOSHA (WITI) -- Two Kenosha women say their pipes have been frozen, and they've been without water for nearly a month. They're blaming their landlord -- who also happens to be an alderman who sits on the Water Commission. He says he's not responsible, but says he's tried to help.

Inside an already cramped mobile home in Kenosha, roomated Jackie McDremid and Robin Bell have even less space with jugs of water everywhere.

The jugs of water are necessary -- because they have no water in their home. Their pipes froze following a brutal stretch of January cold.

"It's been hell living like this," McDremid said.

Over a month later, buckets are used to wash dishes, cook and even bathe.

The woman are pointing their fingers at the trailer park's owner.

Alpine Village owner John Ruffolo knows a thing or two about water issues. He's an alderman in Kenosha's 4th District, and sits on the Public Works and Storm Water Utility Committees. He's also on the city's Water Commission.

"We're not responsible for it," Ruffolo told FOX6 News on the phone.

Ruffolo says he doesn't own the trailer, just the land. Like any homeowner, he says pipes leading into the trailer are the owner's responsibility.

"Every homeowner should be responsible, and have the sewer maintained," Ruffolo said.

Ruffolo says there have been pipe insulation problems, and the owners turned off their water -- causing the pipes to freeze.

"We had been running water the entire time, and the pipes froze -- while we were running water," Bell said.

McDermid and Bell say that's not true -- and the problem is from Ruffolo's pipes, not theirs.

They say like their plumbing, they're being left out in the cold when it comes to getting help.

They are praying for warmer days ahead.

"That's all I can do. I just have to keep asking people for help," McDermid said.

Alderman Ruffolo says he's tried to help the women all winter, by helping them get a grant for a new water heater and insulation for pipes.

The two sides disagree on whose pipes are frozen.

Both sides say the problem could be fixed with temperatures above freezing.

5 comments

  • Grace

    Wow they pay for use of water so they should get city to fix it easy since he’s on the board!!!

  • Mary

    Shame on Mr. Ruffolo. Instead of being an upstanding landlord, alderman and human being in general…he leaves these women without running water and tries to refer them for government grant assistance to fix the problem? SSurely given his roles, he has access to other resources to help them. This is shameful behavior by Mr. Ruffolo.

  • Dawn

    I’m originally Frm up north and often took my vacations down south. What has made me a permanent resident is the hospitality of the southern ppl. Even today going up north once a year I see nothing but selfishness and greedy. I’m sorry to say this but its not God’s way. Its important to help each either no matter what.

  • Kim

    Ruffolo has always been a slum lord does fix a thing always says it’s tenants responsibility you can’t file complaints against him he is on housing board nothing but a snake a pervert when I lived in a trailer we owned he would walk in like he owned the place made indecent comments like when I fell behind on rent after surgery and my husband going to prison he would call all hours talking of there are other ways of working it off tried to report but like I said he was on board I cleaned apts for him worked off what I owed then I had a biracial child white and black he informed me there would be none of those people living on his property but all the Mexicans he has renting with two to three family’s in each trailor 90% of them are illigals and he knows it made home unsafe to live in moved out temporyly and I’m positive he had someone go in my property take furnace and central air appliance to finsh another property he was selling he has rented to illegally people then chase away with immigration just to make more money reselling to more illegals people have reported him but because he is an alderman and has his dirty hands in on other boards people get no where do not rent from this man not trustworthy at all ladies your best bet is to move sorry you go thru this I did too when I moved he claims I still owe him I owe nothing to this man I worked it off legally and we never been to court he’s a dirty alderman with friends the same way all in courts city hall housing and list goes on glad I got out he thinks he’s a man he’s a pig with his comments like when my husband went to prison he said when you want a real man I’m here yuck never I’ve made mistakes in my life but he was never one of them I do have self respect good luck sell your place now that you’ve gone to news he will make your life miserable god bless

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