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Trailer park owner on track for license renewal

Committee satisfied with progress made on code violations

Published: Friday, May 23, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – The city moved one step closer to renewing the operating license of beleaguered mobile home park owner Terry Helt.

City Building Inspector Mark Searing told the Ordinance and Licensing Committee Thursday that Helt has addressed an overwhelming majority of the building code violations cited at the Easy Living Trailer Park at 1507 W. Route 30.

“Terry has made progress by leaps and bounds,” Searing said. “Overall, I’d say we’re about 90 percent there.”

The committee agreed that Searing would call Helt the first week in June to set up an inspection. If all goes well, Helt’s license will be renewed.

Helt has been without a business license for the trailer park since his expired May 1. At that time, Helt received a letter from the city telling him that a new license would not be issued until a list of city and fire code violations at the park were corrected.

Tenants received copies of the letter saying that it corrections were not made in 7 days, the park would be forced to cease operations.

The most significant public safety concern on the list was electrical work, including several old meter bases that needed to be replaced. Some of the meters also were closer to the trailers than the minimum 3 feet required by code. 

Another serious problem was several sheds that had been built too close to the trailers, in violation of the International Fire Code.

“I got rid of most of the sheds – just had to burn them, and took them to the landfill,” Helt said.

Searing said he went through the park again Wednesday, and only “odds and end” were left to address. Included are putting screens in windows, completing work on railings and steps, and two remaining sheds.

“All of the life and safety issues are taken care of,” Searing said. “The last meter should now be finished, and the electrician will be back next week for a couple of minor things.”

Helt said the tenants have been cooperative with the public nuisance problems.

“The garbage is all picked up, and they are still working on weeds,” Helt said.

Helt said he was pleased with the city’s decision, and he is determined to make sure the code problems don’t resurface.

“The city said if we made a difference, they’d reconsider, and they kept their word,” Helt said. “Going forward, I’m not gonna get in this pinch again.”

Helt said he plans to crack down on uncooperative tenants. He also plans to improve the landscaping with frequent mowing and flower planting.

“I’ve got good people here, I just have to get after them to keep there lawns mowed and pick up the garbage,” Helt said.

Mayor Bill Wescott commended Helt and his tenants for the marked improvement.

“It looks like a totally different place,” Wescott said. “This has been a collaborative effort, and you should be proud.”

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