ST. ANTHONY, Minn. - Bill McConnell has called Lowry Grove Mobile Park home for decades. However, the trailer park will close on Friday after nearly 70 years of operation.
The property in St. Anthony will be redeveloped. The residents learned last year that the property had been sold.
“I have been here forever, 31 years. I moved in in 1986,” McConnell said. “This was my American dream and it has turned into an American nightmare.”
Minnesota state law gives mobile home park residents like McConnell an option to buy a park to keep it open.
McConnell says Lowry Grove residents tried but their purchase agreement was turned down.
McConnell says he and the other residents have questioned the legality of the purchase.
They have a case still moving through the courts.
“We put up a good fight but the powers that be won over. I believe all mobile home parks are in danger because the statue, McConnell said.
Kate Martin is one of several volunteers helping the residents relocate. She is trying to see if any RV parks had available space. Martin said a fund has been set up to help the families.
Martin says some of the other residents have not qualified for housing due to poor credit and income requirements. Most of the residents paid between $400 and $500 a month to rent the spaces in the park, according to McConell.
“It is just a depressing situation right now trying to make plans for people and find temporary housing and running into road blocks all the way. We will keep going,” Martin said. “It is important to help our neighbors.”
Martin and other volunteers have provided meals for the residents.
Other community members have stepped up too, and offered temporary housing.
Financial donations are being accepted online at Nourish282.com.
The new property owners did help some of residents relocate.
The new owners, McConnell says, provided financial support. But he says the stipend isn’t enough to purchase a new home. Some of the homes were demolished because they were too old to be transported.
KARE 11 left messages with St. Anthony’s Mayor and City Manager. We did not get a response.