LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — It's been nearly one week since residents of the privately-owned Eagle Lake Community were told they would not be allowed on their property.
On May 1, Governor Wolf authorized the reopening of all private campgrounds, which would include Eagle Lake.
However, hours later after reopening, an injunction was filed by Covington Township and signed off by the Lackawanna Court of Common Pleas prohibiting residents from going to their properties.
"I feel violated. I think that's a good word for it. We're taxpayers, we have deeds to our property, we also pay dues to the Eagle Lake Community Association, and they represent us, and we're not seeing any movement on anybody's part to allow us access on to our property," said Amos Vered of Clarks Summit, originally from Brooklyn, NY.
The court order touches on two main points. The first one being the difficulties in following social distancing guidelines. The second talks about the number of residents who come from the greater New York, New Jersey areas, hotspots for COVID-19.
Property owners feel they're being discriminated against.
"Locals never like what they call transient visitors, but hey, we do contribute a lot to this economy, so please don't single us out," said Artur Asriyan of Brooklyn, NY.
Covington Township supervisor Thomas Yerke said that he understands and is sorry for what's going on, but the situation is unavoidable. He said many Eagle Lake residents are coming from the epicenter of this virus, and he must protect the people of Covington Township.
"We feel it's our home away from home, we come here to enjoy, not having any problems. We don't want to drive two hours to the gate just to be turned around because Covington Township feels, again, they don't know they feel, like were a threat to them, but we are not," said Asriyan.
Residents say they are more than willing to do whatever it takes to get back on their property.
The township will re-evaluate the coronavirus situation on June 3 and see if Eagle Lake can reopen.