Mobile home park owner earns reprieve

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

A Clovis mobile home park owner’s pleas during Thursday’s City Commission meeting earned him more time to save his property from condemnation.

Wandel Massey told commissioners if they gave him 60 days, he would be able repair the five mobile homes the city planned to have condemned and demolished.

Commissioners voted 5-1 in favor of Massey’s request. Commissioner Juan Garza voted against the request.

Building Safety Department Director Pete Wilt said Massey’s properties, located on Prince and Neptune streets, were health and fire hazards. Wilt presented pictures, which showed mobile homes without siding and broken windows. He said in his opinion most of the properties are irreparable.

“It’s not going to take much to (set them) on fire,” he said. “Anyone could walk in there and do drugs.”

Garza, the lone dissenter, he said he visited the properties and said they were worse than the pictures Wilt showed.

Commissioner Len Vohs, who represents the district where the mobile home park is located, said it was a tough decision for him because he sits on the Clovis Pride Committee, which addresses beautification within the city, but agreed to give Massey the extra time.

“You really are going to have to get on the ball on this,” Vohs told Massey.

Wilt said Massey was notified a year ago to bring his repair his property and complied for a time.

Massey said he was given a notice of condemnation … four months ago, and said he would have made repairs during that time but didn’t want to risk investing the money only to have the building condemned anyway.

“It’s kind very difficult (to invest money in repairs) with that hanging over your head,” he said. “They had me deadlocked.”

Wilt said before Massey can start repairing his properties he will have to get a permit from the state Manufactured Housing Division.

If Massey fails to repair his properties within the 60-day time period, the city can condemn and request bids to demolish the property.

“It’s back on me now,” he said. “I understand that.”

In other business, commissioners:
• Altered an ordinance to the hours of operation of the Municipal Court. The new hours are 7 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Renewed a contract with Matthew Lansford of the Lansford Cattle Co. for a cattle grazing lease at Ned Houk Park.
The cattle company will pay the city $15,000 to allow cattle to graze on the park from May 1 to Oct. 31.

• Re-elected District 1 Commissioner Randal Crowder as the Mayor Pro-Tem.