Homeowners say city not moving fast enough

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com, Lindsey Gordon

Published 06/07 2014 06:17PM

Updated 07/08 2014 05:14PM

Latest: 5:01 pm, 7/8/14, Tuesday
URBANA -- Homeowners at Barnes Mobile Home Park have to move out. The city plans to help, but homeowners say it's not coming fast enough. The city bought the land for $113,000. People who live there are being told to be out by April. In order to do that, they need help. A lot of them say they can't do it without the help.

The city plans to meet them halfway using money from its relocation fund, but it's been about three months and some homeowners say the city is dragging its feet. The city met with nine residents once before. They looked at the needs of each homeowner. Now, they're going to make suggestions on what type of housing would work best for each home.

But, some say the fall will be here before you know it and the city has to move faster. The relocation fund has about $50,000 in it. City leaders are willing to offer extensions to homeowners if they aren't able to find a place in time. The property will eventually be used to expand the public works department.
Update: 10:07 pm, 6/25/14, Wednesday
URBANA -- People getting kicked off their land are getting money from the city to move. Land at the Barnes Mobile Home Park, off South Glover Avenue, was sold to the city. People living in mobile homes there were told they had to move.

Urbana paid the landowner a price which was supposed to include money to help them relocate, but the landlord told homeowners they're on their own. So, the city council decided to put $50,000 in a relocation fund to help them. Another concern for homeowners? Some worry their trailers won't survive the move.
Original: 6:17 pm, 6/7/14, Saturday
URBANA -- John got a letter from his property owners. It gives him and his neighbors two choices: move their owner trailer by 2015, or they’ll be removed and be charged.

"Not making enough to save up enough to move no trailer," he said.

The Weisiger Family Trust owns Barnes Mobile Home Park. It made a deal with the city to clear out the land right next to Urbana Public Works for an expansion.

"Enough money was provided in these sales to help relocate the tenants," said Charlie Smyth, a council member with the city of Urbana.

The city says they paid $113,000 for the land, but they’re not in a rush to build and, after getting complaints, are willing to work with residents.

"Relocating some of them, helping them relocate to some of the other mobile home parks some can move their units, some can't," said Smyth.

Eventually the city will want to build there and every trailer will have to go. But Corina Bauman never planned on leaving and says, because their mobile home is old, moving it will cause a lot of damage.

"Lots of money was put into this home and now lots of money is going to be taken away from this home," said Bauman. "It's a home and it's going to be very sad to leave this home."

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