10/17/07 — Fremont will reject older mobile homes now

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Fremont will reject older mobile homes now

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 17, 2007 2:02 PM

FREMONT -- If you hope to move a mobile home into town, you will need to know its birthday.

Town aldermen passed a resolution Tuesday night prohibiting new installations of mobile homes older than eight years.

That took place after a comment-free public hearing in which Mayor Devone Jones called for public input three times.

Alderman Billy Harvey cast the lone dissenting vote as the issue passed.

The proposal came about after a recommendation from the town's planning board, officials said.

Town Manager Kerry McDuffie said before the meeting that there are no current requests for trailers more than eight years old before the town.

Towns generally have the authority to pass restrictions that are tougher, not weaker, than federal or state guidelines.

In this case, McDuffie said, federal guidelines allowed for mobile homes that are much older than eight years.

"Currently, you can put a home as old as a 1976 model, because that's when (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) started doing inspection of mobile homes," McDuffie said.

The resolution was a preemptive move, McDuffie said.

"The planning board recommended doing it, 'Let's kind of look at this before it becomes a problem," he said.

The proposal does not affect mobile homes currently in town, officials said.

"We do have some older mobile homes around town -- they have been here since they were newer," McDuffie said. "We haven't had an influx of those things coming in."

The town manager figured controversy would only come when a resident wanted to move a mobile home older than eight years into town.

"It could affect the decisions of people. It could affect lifestyle choices down the road," McDuffie said.

The board also voted to board up 103 E. Ward Street, owned by Jimmy McLean, if it is not boarded up by Oct. 26. Aldermen said the home was considered a danger to the public.

Harvey said he had talked to the homeowners, who McDuffie said had not contacted him since July.

Harvey said McLean told him he would board up the home himself.

Town Alderman Leroy Ruffin cast a dissenting vote against the measure to board up the house, saying the town should also have pursued cost estimates for fixing a damaged roof on the property.