Council examines compliance issues
One of the main topics at the meeting of the Price City Council on April 15 was the ongoing compliance issues at the Melody Estates Mobile Home Park.
Several residents made a showing to discuss their concerns with the city council. Many of the residents arrived prepared to get concerns on the record and others were present simply to ask the council to intervene on their behalf and encourage the compliance department not to close the park and force them to move their families.
Owner of the park, Joanne Wilson, was present to represent her interests. She said there have been ongoing issues with compliance at the park for nearly seven years. Community director Nick Tatton stated the city has taken an active interest since last August.
The city has issue with many compliance violations relating to health and safety, specifically chapter seven of the Land Use Development and Management Code which is the chapter pertaining to conditional uses. Section 7.5.3 indicates the standards by which all mobile home parks within the Price city limits are required to meet.
Specific to Melody Estates there are reportedly many violations. There are several doublewide trailers in the park that have not been hooked together and are sitting in two pieces on frames and axles.
Some residents have erected fencing that is too tall and too close to the roadway.
There is also purportedly clutter and garbage strewn about throughout the park.
Councilperson Kathy Hanna-Smith also asked the Melody Estates residents present to consider the property value of the homes around the park.
Residents questioned the council about where they might find the funding to make the improvements.
"We would be happy to help any way we can with any improvements as they apply to code," Price Mayor Joe Piccolo told them.
The park owner said people are willing to help ,too.
"The park is on fire with enthusiasm, god willing it will be done and it will be beautiful," said Wilson.
Residents also had concerns to voice about speeding through the park as well as suspected criminal drug activity.
"The police department responds there regularly, so much so that if the park closed I would have to lay off an officer," stated Piccolo.
The mayor's remark that elicited a laugh from the residents of Melody Estates in attendance at the meeting.
"The strongest element against this drug activity is a neighborhood watch," pointed out Piccolo.
Price Police Chief Aleck Shilaos reinforced the mayor's statement by noting that city has two other trailer parks and an apartment complex that have this same situation.
But the other trailer parks and appartment complex "have significantly reduced their problem by getting a concerned group of citizens active," added the police chief.
Shilaos also noted that the owner has the majority of the power to change things and "has to be involved" in resolving the situation
During the meeting,Tatton outlined the requirements that must be met to bring Melody Estates into compliance.
"There is a long list and a short list," said Tatton. "The short list must be completed by May 11 and the long list must be completed by July 20 in order to become compliant."
When a resident asked what would happen if they didn't meet the dates, Tatton answered, "If the dates are not met a finding of non compliance is possible."
That could result in the closure of the park.
Later, in an e-mail to the Sun Advocate, Tatton clearly stated the goal of the city in this issue.
"The city's perspective is to enforce the requirements contained within the code to improve the conditions at the trailer park," wrote. the community director "I know that sounds simplistic, but it is really all the city is needing. The primary and mandated objective of a governmental entity is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. The city clearly does not want to be in a position where the park would need to be closed down through revoking of the permits due to non-compliance and hopefully Joanne Wilson, the park owner, will not put Price city in that position."
Following the discussion, the issue was tabled by the council for ongoing review of the matter.