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One final meeting needed to settle trailer park issues

Based on Public Health and Safety Committee recommendations, the ordinance on trailer park courts in Cornell, was going to see a major overhaul. However, those plans saw a wrench thrown in them at a regular Cornell City Council meeting March 5.

The committee had suggested any new trailer placed on the property must be 12 years or newer, while those currently older than that would be grandfathered in. Once vacated by the current occupant, any trailer 30 years or older, would need to be removed from the lot.

Suggestions also included 72 hours to set up and attach proper skirting on any new trailers, as well as providing the city with a register of names and addresses. Garbage removal was also looked at, with the suggestion that the operator of the park provide services to each unit.

Elroy Leja, owner of the Southview Court and Eighth Street Court, objected to the age of trailers he would be limited to bring in.

“So, I’m out of business, shortly, if that’s what you’re going to do,” said Leja.

Aimee Korger, council member, said this is something that has been dealt with since last July, after Leja brought in a “new” trailer and still hadn’t attached skirting by last November.

“I think that by placing younger trailers, the amount of time it takes to place and rent a trailer, starts to decrease,” said Korger.

Cornell Police Chief Brian Hurt also commented he would like to see Leja conduct thorough background checks to bring in good people to the trailer courts.

Leja said he is concerned, because all his trailers are at least 30 years old and that the timelines for setting in are unrealistic.

“Where do you think’s a fair line?” asked city administrator Dave DeJongh.

Leja says in looking at other city’s ordinances, operators have 60 days to get the skirting on.

Mayor Judy Talbot asked for a consensus from members going forward and while there were feelings that the matter has taken enough time, the majority ruled.

“Well, you just can’t run a person out of business,” said council member Mark Larson.

“It’s got to go back to committee,” said council member Floyd Hickethier.

Talbot said every interested party should be at the committee meeting (once set) and that if they can’t make it, to submit questions or solutions in writing. After the meeting, recommendations will be sent to the city’s attorney for updating the ordinance.

“One more meeting is what you’re going to get, that’s it,” said Talbot.