Webster

Webster campground deemed uninhabitable, leaving families scrambling

The town says they found multiple health violations at the property and that the issues have been going on for years, while the owner believes the case is personal

NBC Universal, Inc.

Tensions were high in Webster, Massachusetts, on Tuesday after 25 families were given 48 hours to leave their homes.

Families living at the Webster Family Campground have been told to leave after a judge deemed the property uninhabitable.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

In the case of The Town of Webster v. Michael Finamore and Finecamp, the health department found several serious violations of the Sanitary Code at the campsite including, raw sewage, lack of hot water and excessive debris.

“This place has provided everything we need they have electricity year round and there's sewers there's bathrooms there’s everything you need right here,” said Jason Holmes, who’s lived with his family on the campground for years. 

NBC10 Boston sat down with the Town Administrator Richard LaFond, who explained that the site has had several violations over the past 10 years. He said the town pursued legal action following consistent violations and even said in an unprecedented move, the judge personally visited the site before making a decision. 

“If someone should get hurt up there the town could certainly not in any way deny that we weren't aware of potential danger,” said LaFond. 

The campground owner, Michael Finamore believes the town’s case against him is personal.

“They’re anti-Mike Fenimore, you go downtown anybody that knows me knows that they’re been after me for 25 years.” 

He claims the violations have been fixed.

“Every time the building inspector comes up here he finds something else to pick on and we fix it.” 

The town said they haven't seen any permits taken out to fix the violations. Now families are facing difficulties finding places to stay on short notice. 

“There might be a chance that I have to go down South but then that's my husband having to lose his job,” said Danielle White. She said she's called trailer parks from Massachusetts, to Connecticut, and even Rhode Island, but with the fall season already approaching, it's hard to find a spot for the winter season. She now faces the possibility of relocating her entire family. 

The judge’s ruling places the owner, Finamore, in charge of helping campers relocate.

"I have called, there are no hotel rooms, there are no campgrounds in the State of Massachusetts that are taking winter campers anymore, “ Finamore said. 

Neighbors at the campgrounds have until Wednesday morning to relocate. The building commissioner and health director will conduct a reinspection of the property in 15 days. In the meantime the town said they have provided resources to neighbors at the site in case they need additional help relocating. 

Resources for residents

Tri Valley, Inc.: 508-949-6640: Help for elderly, disabled and veterans

Department of Transitional Assistance: 508-765-2400  

Legal aid through the Worcester County Bar Association: 800-622-9700

Webster, Mass. Veteran Services: 508-949-3855 - help for veterans and veteran spouses

 Worcester Community Action Council: 508-754-1176  - help with housing, furniture, SNAP, and fuel assistance.

Emergency Housing Assistance Programs | Mass.gov

Contact Us