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April 11, 2014

Trailer park shutdown causing pain for some residents

CHICKASHA —

With the first of three deadlines for financial reimbursement near, two of the 10 trailers located in the Chickasha Municipal Trailer Park have relocated as of Friday night, but some of the remaining residents are bemoaning the process. 

"I can't afford the cost up front," resident Charlie Helm said. 

The city council voted to close the city run park (7-2, Council Members Mike Sutterfield and Howard Carpenter dissenting) in late 2013 to make way for industrial development. The council's decision detailed a plan where the city would cover up to $2,000 of the moving costs for single wide trailers, and up to $4,000 of the cost for double wides. The money can be allocated for trailer relocation, and connection and disconnection of utilities as long as the resident is moved by May 1. 

Those numbers will reduce by 50 percent for homes remaining in the park after May 1, and no city money will be used after Sept. 1.

None of these figures cover 100 percent of the moving cost, according to Helm. 

"It's unfair," he said. "They are not taking into account all the money I have paid in rent during my time here." 

City Manager Stewart Fairburn said the city consulted multiple sources, which resulted in the ordinance and dollar amounts allocated for the move. 

"We did a lot of checking around, and it's going to be real close to that number," he said. 

Watson Estates Manufactured Home Community is offering an incentive for those displaced by the trailer park's closing. Manager Anamarie Chalepah said she is offering a $2,000 move-in bonus in the form of lot rent credit for those Chickasha Municipal Airport Trailer Park residents who move into Watson Estates. She said Watson's charges $180 a month in lot rent.

Fairburn said the city will not pay moving costs up front, but residents can submit invoices, which the city will cover. 

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