Federal funds to help clean up trailer park
RIVERSIDE — The city plans to use a $120,000 federal grant to remove abandoned and damaged trailers at Laws Mobile Home Park, even though new owner Jerry McMahan said he has sufficient resources to take care of those issues.
City manager Bryan Chodkowski said it is too late to amend the grant application to re-purpose the federal dollars, and returning the money could make it harder in the future to obtain funding.
“The bottom line is Laws trailer park in its current condition has been an eyesore and a blight upon the community, and this is an opportunity for us to address it in the most expedient manner possible,” he said.
The city applied for a Community Development Block Grant in 2008 to remove trailers from the run-down park, and it was awarded $120,000 for the project in 2009.
Before the city bid out the work, Montgomery County Water Services announced plans to shut off the park’s water because of $340,000 in unpaid water and tax bills. Public Health — Dayton and Montgomery County planned to revoke the license once water services were terminated.
But McMahan, who owns a number of mobile home parks in the area, purchased the property before the deadline and paid the bills. He said he had ample resources to clean up the park, and he has already fixed leaking water pipes and cleared out overgrowth.
But McMahan will receive the city’s help in cleaning up the park. Depending on the bids, the city will be able to use the CDBG dollars to remove between 25 and 40 of the 42 abandoned trailers, Chodkowski said.
Several council members raised concerns last week about using grant money to help the well-financed McMahan clean up the park, but they ultimately did not object to moving forward with the plan.
Chodkowski said the city’s primary interest is having that property brought into compliance with Riverside’s maintenance codes.
“By us utilizing Community Development Block Grant dollars to remove those trailers, that allows Mr. McMahan to have more capital to make
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1 col. x 2.4” Contact this reporter at (937) 225-0749 or cfrolik@Dayton DailyNews.com.