Lawrenceburg trailer park sold, residents evicted

Tate St. Trailer Park site to become senior home

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - Bryan King and Dawn Kinnett were stunned Sunday when an eviction notice was delivered to the door of their mobile home in Lawrenceburg.

"I was just totally dumbfounded," said King.

The couple and their two children have lived in the Tate Street Mobile Home Park for the past four years and had no idea the notice was coming.

Now, with the holidays fast approaching, they have to move within 30 days. King and Kinnett own their trailer, so they have another 15 days to relocate it.

"Here we are struggling paycheck to paycheck and we're expected to have the extra funds to be able to just up and move," King said. "How can you do that?"

Kinnett said she is more worried about the children.

"Instead of having Christmas dinner and Christmas presents for my children, I have to figure out how to find a house," she said.

Lawrenceburg Redevelopment Director Grant Hughes confirmed Monday that the park's owners, George and Kay Ballart, have signed a deal with the city to sell the 37-unit property for $890,000. It's expected to close by the end of the year.

Hughes said the city will try to redevelop the site as senior citizen housing. The Dearborn Adult Center is just across the street, adjacent to city parks and the community center.

Kay Ballart was on the park's grounds Monday, but told residents she had no comment and that she didn't want to speak on-camera to WCPO-TV. A call to the Ballart home in Dillsboro wasn't returned.

Word of the evictions quickly spread throughout the facility. Groups of residents gathered in living rooms or outside to talk about their next move.

William Lawson said he's in a predicament because he only has four more payments left on his trailer before he owns it.

"So far, this notice to move has no information on if I'm going to be able to pay off my trailer or be reimbursed for money that was going toward the ownership of it," he said. "I'm kind of disappointed because it kind of messes up that five-year plan."

Having just paid her monthly rent, Peggy Barragan called the eviction decision "hurtful."

"I'm not so much worried about my Christmas, but I'm just worried about how we're going to get everything out of here like they want us to," she said.

What angered Courtney Shuler the most was the fact that her handwritten eviction notice was addressed to a "Courtney Cox," which is the name of a television actress.

Now, Shuler has to find a place for her and her 5-year-old daughter to stay.

"I've been looking for weeks now and there's nothing," she said.  "A lot of people don't want to rent because I have a child and she's five. She's running around. People don't like that, so it's hard to find a place."

Kinnett said she believes the owners need to help residents move the trailers they own.

"I don't think it's right that we should have to pay for our trailers to be moved," she said. "If they can't move us, they should able to buy the trailers back from us."

However, relocation might be difficult for many of the mobile homes, given their age. The question is whether they've been in place for so long that moving them could produce structural challenges.

Lawrenceburg Mayor Dennis Carr said he believes the trailers are outdated and that senior housing would be an improvement for the city.

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