Mobile home residents offered money to leave

January 30, 2012 9:45:18 PM PST
The city of Capitola is kicking-out residents of a mobile home park that flooded last year. Notices went out Monday giving dozens of people six months to get out and the city is offering to pay for them to leave.

Marian Jackson doesn't like moving. Neither does her 90-year-old husband. They've lived in their mobile home for 40 years and like everyone else must be out by the end of July.

"We've been through this so many times. It's not fair to be as old as we are and be pushed," said Jackson.

The city of Capitola says it has no choice. There were heavy rains last march, a broken storm pipe, and intense flooding, not once, but twice at the Pacific Cove Mobile Home Park. After much debate Capitola has decided to shut down the city owned property.

"It is very complex, we've decided to incur debt to take out a loan for about $2.3 million in order to fund the removal of all the people from Pacific Cove," said Capitola Mayor Michael Termini.

Under state law, the city will pay Pacific Cove residents to move. The amount will depend on how long they have lived here and if this is considered their full-time home. The city manager says the checks will range from a low of $3,000 to a high of $115,000. There are 41 mobile home spaces and there's already controversy about how owners will be compensated for the fair market value of their homes.

"If they give me a satisfactory offer, then I'll go with it. If not, we're going to have to go to court," said Pacific Cover resident Larry Machado.

There are also critics of the payouts saying the city gave Pacific Cove residents a sweetheart deal for decades and shouldn't take out a loan to finalize the park closure. The mayor says the approved process is what's needed.

"If we didn't do it now and we put it off there would be more danger and it would probably cost more the longer we took to do it," said Termini.

At this stage, in this story, Jackson is entitled to at least one thing -- the last word.

"So I've said my say and I don't wish to say any more, but I am thoroughly and utterly disgusted," said Jackson.