Residents of several mobile home parks made pleas to the city of Brainerd Monday to adopt a mobile home park ordinance, but council members decided to hold off discussion until January.
Council members listened to several people as they spoke at times passionately about the independence they found with their own homes and their worth as taxpaying residents. With two council members leaving at the end of the year, James Dehen and Gary Scheeler, the council voted to postpone greater discussion on the matter until new council members are installed.
Council members were looking at two issues. By state law cities may require mobile home park owners to pay displaced residents reasonable relocation costs. Many of the 50 people who attended the meeting wore stickers in support of a mobile home park ordinance.
At issue is the planned closing of East Gate Mobile Home Park in northeast Brainerd. But other residents of mobile home parks in Brainerd were in attendance Monday wondering what might happen if their parks were next to close.
Jean Maldanado, a single mom with three teenage daughters living in the East Gate park, said she manages without government assistance and should not be treated differently than other taxpayers because she lives in a mobile home.
If mobile home parks are done away with completely, Maldanado asked what would become of the more than 350 people and about 200 children living in mobile home parks in the city now.
"We are all dealt a different hand in life," she said, noting some are not as easy as others. "Please believe in us enough to pass a park closing ordinance."
Council member Bob Olson said a committee developed a mobile home park closing ordinance five years ago and he felt the ordinance needed to be passed. Olson's motion to start a first reading on an ordinance failed for lack of a second. Council President James Dehen said the wording of five years ago may need to be modified for its age. The council unanimously supported a return to the issue the first week in January.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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