Mobile home residents being forced from park because of owners' dispute with city

Monday, July 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

JENKS, Okla. (AP) -- About 150 residents in a Jenks mobile home park have a little more than a month to get out and take their homes with them. The owner of the Shady Grove Mobile Home Park notified them of an Aug. 30 deadline. Jerry Jones told owners of the 40 mobile homes a week ago that he would be closing the park rather than spend more than $250,000 to make improvements mandated by the city. Jones and his attorney declined to comment on the situation.

Residents like Charlotte Hill still hope city leaders and Jones can find a solution, since they have few relocation options. Most of the homes are at least 20 years old and area mobile home parks with vacancies won't allow homes older than 10 years. Hill has put a "for sale" sign on her 1982 trailer. "Maybe I can get a down payment for a home new enough to move to another park," she said. "I found out today that it will cost$1,085 just to unhook and move. I will also have to pay to remove the fence and storage shed."

Hill was aware of some park problems but had adjusted to things like low electricity power. The assistant living center employee said Jones had fixed her sewer problem and she had no complaints about the park in Jenks' downtown area. "We all felt safe here," Hill said. "Everyone kept an eye out or each other, and most of the homes are kept up nice." Hill doesn't have a family, except her cats, which she said she would not be able to take with her if she moved into an apartment. "I'm like everyone else here. We live from paycheck to paycheck. There aren't any solutions at this point. I'm very scared and concerned."

Hill and the other residents would have liked more notice. She said she didn't know of Jones' problems with the city and other government agencies, including the state Department of Environmental Quality and Tulsa County Health Department. Jenks City Planner Bob Richards said the city has worked with Jones for four years trying to help the park meet minimum standards. The agencies had given Jones to July 31 to meet the criteria. Jones owns two other mobile home parks in Jenks. Richards said Jones has indicated he will close KRW Park, but has filed an extension to bring utilities up to standard at Riverside Park. "There have been obvious health and safety issues at Shady Grove," Richards said. "I wish we had a plan to help these people."

R.D. Frazier, 66, bought a mobile home and moved it to Shady Grove as his retirement home six years ago. "I absolutely don't have any idea what I'm going to do," he said. "Even if I could find a place that would take my trailer, I can't afford the move." Frazier is one of several senior citizens living in the park. Other residents include young couples with small children, o single mothers like Pat Sherman, who has two teenagers. She moved her $35,000 mobile home here because of the school system. Now her 15-year-old home is too old to move anywhere else. "None of us are wealthy people," said Sherman, who manages a pizza restaurant in Tulsa. "My kids are doing good here. My daughter is in band, color guard ... her dance lessons are close by. We live here because we like it."