City has a big job with Mimosa Park - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City has a big job with Mimosa Park

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Albany Code Enforcement officers are making slow progress in cleaning up a mobile home park near the new east Albany Walmart site. They're taking some of the owners to court,  to force them to bring rundown trailers up to code or tear them down.

But that isn't an easy. The vehicle identification number that's found on every mobile home muddies the water. Are mobile homes vehicles or structures?

Code enforcement officers say they see them as living dwellings, and for that reason, will move forward requiring owners to bring them up to shape or tear them down.

Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson has his work cut out for him as Code Enforcement director. He says he doesn't like seeing people live in substandard conditions, unfortunately, the standards are sometimes hard to define, especially when it comes to trailers.

"In some circles, they're seen as vehicles. They are also homes, structures and so they fall under building codes when they're constructed."

But many of the trailers at Mimosa Trailer Park, were built more than 30 years ago.  "And in that era, there really weren't any standards."

But there are now, and Tilson says it's time to hold the owners to them.  "For me, as the code enforcer, it's very frustrating because I want to see people living nicely. I want everybody in Albany to live nicely."

So he's taking the owners of the trailer park and many of the trailers to court.  "In this case, everybody that we can find is going to get a notice."

He hopes they'll then get an order to clean up, tear down, or pay the price.  "That's what code enforcement is about, is trying to keep the property, be it houses, be it commercial property, be it mobile homes, to a certain maintenance standard. No litter on the ground, no illegal dumping going on, no homes falling apart. That's what we would like to see."

Raising the standard for all. There are seven current cases-- with five different owners-- waiting to be heard in Municipal court from Mimosa Trailer Park.

Tilson says it's important that tenants also speak up. If their landlords won't make improvements to properties that aren't up to code, they can call 311 and report it to code enforcement.


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