Woman says families are on their own in development

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:21

    DINGMAN - Five years ago Darlene Neitzel and her husband Cornell moved to Sunrise Lake from Fishkill, N.Y., seeking a peaceful community. It hasn’t worked out. “Sunrise Lake is not a good place to raise a family,” she said of the 850-home subdivision on state Route 739. Her peace lasted only about a month until the local kids finished up their school year. “Ever since then there has been no mercy,” Neitzel said. The Neitzel’s wrote the owners of Sunrise Lake, Bob and Bill Ramagosa, shortly after they moved to Sunrise and told them of the problems they were experiencing. They included: the lack of a security force, road maintenance and signage, lots of noisy kids carousing till all hours of the night, no help from the Pennsylvania State Police because Sunrise is private, and no community association to hear their complaints. “Bill Ramagosa just told us to call the state police, take pictures of the trouble makers, get their names and license plate numbers, but he offered no help,” she said. The first week they moved to Sunrise, Neitzel had to call the state police because there was what she called “a gang war” taking place just outside her home. She held her phone out from the “safety” of her yard and asked the police to listen. By the time they arrived the kids had all dispersed. Bob Ramagosa told the Courier that the Pennsylvania State Police are understaffed and don’t provide adequate protection for private community residents. “The town or county should have their own police force to protect subdivision homeowners who pay the same property and school taxes as everyone else,” Ramagosa said. “My husband and I pay $500 a year for dues, $300 for water and sewage charges, and we also have to pay $320 for private garbage pick up and we get nothing from Sunrise,” she said. “The basketball court is all torn up, the swimming pool which you have to pay extra for is too dirty for me to use and the fence around the pool is in need of repair. There are no chairs or umbrellas to use if you do use the pool.” Ramagosa said that most of the people who live in Sunrise are pretty happy with what they get for their yearly dues. He said they aren’t looking for extra amenities which would raise the dues to the level of other communities. “It is difficult enough to deal with the littering in Sunrise which is very costly,” remarked Ramagosa. “We have problems just like the other communities with teenagers driving too fast and making noise late at night.” The Neitzels say the Ramagosas don’t live in Sunrise Lake themselves, but if they did the couple thought the owners might be more concerned. Darlene Neitzel said her complaints fall on deaf ears when she contacts the Ramagosas and wished they would care more about the residents that live there rather than planning to expand Sunrise once again and put more money in their pockets. “If you live in Sunrise you’re on your own,” said Neitzel with frustration in her voice. “There will always be someone that is unhappy with the way things are going but we try to do the best we can,” responded Ramagosa to most of the claims made by Neitzel. “She is entitled to her opinion.”