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MAYOR BREAKS TIE, SAVES HOMES IN TRAILER PARK

Forty-six residents of a trailer park are no longer in danger of losing their homes. And the park's owner can keep his land.

They can thank Mayor Carl Johnson.Johnson broke a 2-2 City Council vote last week and took the trailer park, which is on seven acres west of I-15, out of the city's proposed redevelopment agency project.

It was the first time Johnson had cast a vote in his three years as mayor. "The (trailer park) residents had a great need to have this situation resolved," he said. "So I guess that was part of the rationale for me to vote that way."

The City Council had originally included the trailer park in its study of the proposed project, which includes a 3,200-foot-wide corridor along 500 South that extends to Redwood Road.

But residents and the park owner, Streeper Wood, fought the idea. Wood vowed the city would have to take the park by condemning it. He had already endured four government condemnations of surrounding property during the past 40 years.

Waiting for a decision agonized the park's residents, he said.

"They're all breathing a little easier now," Wood said. "There wasn't a day that went by but several asked me if I'd heard anything more."

One resident, despite the council's decision, was unsettled by the situation and moved her trailer from the park, he said.

The city could claim the park for another redevelopment project in the future but that isn't likely, Johnson said. And the two council members who voted with Johnson - Vicki Stock and Ruth Steele - promise they'll vote against any such proposal.

Councilmen Paul Toller and Bruce Talbot cast their votes against taking the park out of the study area because they wanted to see the results of the study prepared by a consultant, Johnson said.

The consultant is expected to present his findings to the council Oct. 6. His report will detail what areas in the project are "blighted" and therefore qualify for redevelopment under state law.

Meanwhile, Wood says the park's residents will have a home for several years, or as long as he or his family can take care of the place.