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Mobile home park residents upset with city warning

ROCK FALLS – Mike Swanson has an insulin pump attached to his waist. He suffers from a host of medical problems. 

His wife, Marlene, holds a cane. She recently had surgery on her left leg.

They’re not ready to move out of their trailer in the mobile home park at 1507 W. Route 30 in Rock Falls, which is across from Dohrn, a trucking company.

But they might have to. The city of Rock Falls mailed notices to the trailer park’s residents that the park’s owner must cease operations within 7 days unless violations of city regulations are corrected.

Related: Mobile home park could be shut down

Swanson, 57, and his wife, 48, moved into their trailer in October. They lived in the park some years before. 

Just before winter, they said, the city sent them and other residents a list of problems that needed to be corrected.

Then the worst winter in years began, not the time to begin projects, the Swansons said.

“I think this is wrong. Our bills are paid. Our taxes are paid,” Mike said as he was leaning against the back of his pickup truck. “They’re not giving enough time. They’ve been wanting to shut down this place for a long time. Where are you going to put everyone?”

His wife, sitting on the trailer’s front steps, said the mobile home park is a lot cleaner than it used to be. 

Next door, a 28-year-old man, who declined to be named, was standing outside holding a soda in a can insulator. He said he heard about the city’s warning from his neighbor, Marie Aguilar, only a few minutes before a reporter arrived. He said he never received a notice from the city.

“Currently, I don’t have a job,” he said. “It’ll be hard for me to fix this place.”

Aguilar, 37, lives with her boyfriend, son, daughter and grandson. She’s not sure what she’s going to do if the city follows through on its warning. She doubted whether another mobile home park would accept her trailer.

Many of the city’s listed violations, including the requirement for window screens, are “stupid things,” she said.

“They’re going to leave 22 families without homes because of screens,” Aguilar said with tears in her eyes.

Many of the people are disabled and are unable to quickly correct problems, she said.

“We’re all happy there,” Aguilar said. “We’re a little community. We get along.”

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