Urbana to help displaced mobile home park residents

URBANA – People who live in an Urbana mobile home park were told in April they had to leave their lots within a year. In June, the city council granted thousands of dollars to help with the move. But now, residents say they have yet to see the money.

Corina Bauman has called Barnes Park home for the last nine years, but she won’t make it past year ten.

“We got a letter stating that Barnes Park will not be operating as Barnes Mobile Home Park on April 15th,” said Bauman.

Since the park sits directly north of the city’s Public Works department, the Urbana city council purchased the land this community lives on for $113,000 in December (for future expansion purposes). But the deal was done under the condition that the owner would relocate the residents. That promise has not been kept.

“We're not going to do anything without talking to the people affected,” said Mayor Laurel Prussing. “And I feel like that probably should've been done a long time ago, but it wasn't so we're doing it now.”

“The city has come out and talked to us about some of the options they have, what they're willing to do what have you,” said Bauman. “We don't want to be relocated to another park knowing that this could happen again. We would rather just be compensated.”

 So in June, the city council decided to put $50,000 dollars into an Emergency Tenant Relocation Fund, to help the nine affected families through the move. But what was left undecided was how to distribute the money. Residents have some ideas.

“We feel like they should equally divide it between nine families and be done with it,” said Bauman.

Prussing says that’s unlikely.

“We’re not going to say that we're just going to write checks to people. It will depend on what the individual situation is,” said Prussing. “We don't expect to spend $50,000 by any means.”

 But residents hope they do because, if not, they fear they’ll have to explore more drastic moves.

“Relocating to another state even,” said Bauman.

Something she never thought she’d have to do after nine years at Barnes Mobile Home Park.

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