Residents of the Clarke Cres. mobile home court in Meadow Lake say they feel defeated and angry about the lot’s potential sale.
Judy Larson, a resident of the mobile home court, said she recently received a letter from the city notifying her of plans to bring in more trailers. The letter also stated rent would increase from $150 to $170 per month.
“It made me think they’re going to be there for a while,” Larson said. “Then all of a sudden there’s this letter saying they’re considering the sale of the trailer court.”
She said it’s disheartening and added many, including herself, worked hard for their trailers and take pride in home ownership.
Larson’s main concern about the potential sale is rental prices increasing to a point beyond her income. She said some places charge over $600 and being low-income already, higher rent will be a problem.
Information about the potential purchaser and selling price is being kept confidential until an offer is signed.
The initial offer for $700,000 was countered by city council. The topic was briefly discussed at the Sept. 26 council meeting where City Manager Diana Burton said she did get a chance to speak to the potential purchaser between council meetings.
“He did confirm the intention is to keep it a mobile home court and his only comment was he wants to enhance it and see the trailer court filled up,” Burton said.
She added the person or group owns a number of trailer courts in different places.
If the city considers selling the land, administration is required by the city’s own bylaw and policy to provide public notice. Part of the requirement includes posting the notice on the city website and in a public place, such as the post office or city hall. As a courtesy to residents of Clarke Cres. Burton said she also sent letters to all residents advising them the sale is being considered.
However, some Clarke Cres. residents say they did not receive the letter. Dale Partridge said he didn’t find out about the potential sale until two days after the initial Sept. 12 meeting.
I feel “shocked, surprised, and like I wasn’t given sufficient notice in my opinion,” Partridge said.
Like Larson, Partridge is concerned about the new landlord raising the rent but more so, he’s concerned on how he’s going to make upgrades to the area.
“Is he going to say that trailer is too old, it’s got to go, that trailer is too small, (and) it’s got to go? I mean, this is a scary thought, these are people we’re talking about and those are their homes,” he said. “That’s one of the things, where are we supposed to go? All of us worked hard for those places and some of us are renovating them as we speak. To have a new owner come and say get this junk out of here, that’s the scary part.”
Residents tried to stop the sale by signing a petition urging the city to hold public hearings, however, it didn’t get enough signatures.
Partridge signed the petition and said not having that recognized and not allowing the nearly two dozen people in attendance at the Sept. 26 meeting felt like a low blow.
“We’re hardworking people in the community. To have management like this kind of bulldoze over us without getting our thoughts or ideas on where it should go,” Partridge said.
More information on the potential sale could possibly be released at the next council meeting on Oct. 10.
Colton Swiderski is meadowlakeNOW's municipal affairs, crime and court, health and education reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @coltonswiderski.
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