Mobile park owner selling to keep residents safe

By Alissa Jacob

Frank Santoro has agreed to sell his Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park to DeKalb County for $1.47 million.

The DeKalb County Board had implemented a plan to relocate the residents of Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park, 955 E. State St., due to flooding that can damage residents’ property.

Paul Miller, Planning, Zoning and Building director of DeKalb County, said the county made its first offer in October and Santoro rejected the offer in November, saying he wanted $2.6 million for the mobile home park.

“The county emphasis is to get the residents out of harm’s way, to get them out of the flood plane,” Miller said.

Miller said the county has devoted seven years and thousands of dollars to this project, so if the owner rejected the offer the project would have been canceled.

Julia Fullerton, DeKalb County Board member, said grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state have been awarded for the project.

Fullerton said Miller discussed at the County Board meeting Wednesday that the next step, which will begin May 30, is for the board to go to each family’s mobile home and make sure the residents are aware of their options. The board will give residents resources to help them relocate. It was emphasized at the meeting that the board’s focus is to get families with children moved before the fall semester so it doesn’t coincide with school.

“We are very excited to get this project underway. There were quite a few residents from the mobile home at the meeting, and they were eagerly waiting to get the resolution,” Fullerton said.

John Frieders, DeKalb County Board member, said the Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park has been at its location for more than 50 years.

“I have heard about this project every month at least one or two meetings. I’ve seen the residents turn up to previous meetings and they seem frightened and confused,” Frieders said.

The Evergreen Village mobile home park will remain open until April 20, 2015.