Marchi’s labor camps have a tradition of substandard housing

By on Wed, June 2, 2010

Marchi’s Central Farm’s labor camps have a history of repeated county health and safety violations stretching back more than forty years, reports Julia Scott in the County Times. Farmer and landlord "Red" Marchi currently houses about 100 tenants without a housing permit, and has a June 13 deadline to correct violations.

But Marchi’s record of substandard housing goes back decades.

  • Marchi’s housing has passed inspections for a decade despite a lack of certified wall heaters, missing windows, broken smoke detectors, leaky plumbing, holes in the roof, dangerous electrical wiring and septic tank waste running into a nearby creek.
  • A trailer caught fire at a camp on Bean Hollow Road in 2002 from a towel thrown over a bare light bulb. Yet bare light bulbs are still a pervasive problem, as noted by inspectors as recently as April 2010.
  • It took Marchi’s Central Farm six years to replace a dangerous trailer with illegal sewage and electrical connections starting in 1982. The farm continued to house employees there even after the county began denying operating permits for the site.

[...]Records show the Environmental Health Division has issued annual housing permits to Marchi’s camps automatically, without follow-up inspections to ensure problems were being dealt with.

Employee housing inspection reports show a nearly identical list of violations for 2009 and 2010 at two of Marchi’s camps. Yet they were still
able to obtain housing permits from the county.