Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Macedon cleaning house, on mobile home parks

The Town of Macedon Code Enforcement Officers are cleaning house. Starting last week Code Enforcement Officers Scott Allen and Michael Nelson began “red tagging” empty mobile homes in the Town’s mobile home parks.
The Town has seven mobile home parks, and Allen stated that several of the park owners are offering abandoned trailer homes on the internet site Craigslist under “rent to own” fixer-upper deals. According to Allen, the park owners are trying to fill the often abandoned homes just to collect monthly lot fees. The abandoned mobile homes are often being offered at as low as $10 over the normal $370-$390 per month lot charges.
According to Allen, these abandoned trailer homes are generally in need of extensive repairs and are simply not fit for occupancy. They are often scooped up by low-income individuals with otherwise little means of owning a home.
The concern by Macedon is that these low-income people do not know what they are getting themselves into and often do not have the means to make even the basic repairs. In addition, many of the parks need massive investment in infrastructure. Poor drainage, septic, roads, electrical and management plague many of the older parks. Allen fears that any onrush of buyers will only aggravate existing problems and further deteriorate the parks.
“Red Tagging’, posting the abandoned homes as uninhabitable, will force the potential buyers into checking with the Town to see what problems exist in their choice of housing, as well as issues within the park itself.
The red tagging began last week at the Meadowview Trailer Park located at Routes 350 and 31F. When the code enforcement officers were done with their visual, outside-only inspections, 13 homes were deemed unfit, one fourth of the total number of trailer homes within the park. “Somebody in the park called us after we left to tell us about another trailer we missed. People who live there care,” said Scott.
Allen stated that Meadowview is probably not even the worst of the parks in Macedon. Three trailer homes have already been tagged at the Pinewood Trailer Park on North Wayneport Road and many more are on the code enforcement officer’s chopping block. “That place is a mess,” said Macedon Town Supervisor Bill Hammond.
One park owner was critical of the town officials – stating that the only reason they were hampering the rent-to-own fixer-uppers was because of the death of a 16 year-old boy in a trailer fire at the Arrowbend Trailer Park on Route 31 and West Walworth Road in Macedon on April 23rd. In that fire, Michael Hall Jr., died when a fire in the family trailer home fully engulfed the residence in minutes.
“This was no knee-jerk reaction. We were planning this for months. We were going to start this (red tagging) in the Spring, but were unable to start earlier because of the heavy rains,” asserted Allen.
Macedon officials wanted current mobile homeowners to understand that they will not red tag any currently occupied homes. Allen said that there are also regular single family homes that are red tagged in the town, but they (the town) legally cannot enter a residence without permission, or some type of a court order. Allen said that if some handyman is serious about actually fixing up one of these abandoned trailer homes, the town will work with that person to ensure it is brought up to code. He added that the cost would probably be prohibitive, since most of the homes are the older style (pre 1976) and would need total overhauls.
The problem with offering the abandoned homes for scrap, is that, although the aluminum siding and steel under carriage have some value, there are the chances of asbestos, formaldehyde and other toxic materials that also must be dealt with. Allen said that legitimate scrappers would have to charge to take the abandoned trailer homes away.