CLINTON — On Monday, County Attorney Mike Wolf sought authorization from the County Board of Supervisors to begin a nuisance abatement process regarding a former mobile home park in Folletts.

Wolf said the Iowa Department of Natural Resources revoked the waste disposal permit of the mobile home park known as “Buffalo Bill Mobile Home Park” earlier this year and the park was closed, forcing the residents to leave their homes.

He said trailers in the mobile home park are being demolished or scrapped and the remaining debris is being left at the site. The former owner, who officials believe to be Victor Hanks, was issued a cease and desist order regarding the dismantling of trailers in the park and was told to begin cleanup of the debris. Wolf said the mess is creating a health and safety hazard.

“I believe the county needs to step in. It’s not being handled properly by the owner,” Wolf said. “It needs to be abated as soon as possible and the county needs to abate it.”

Neighbor to the trailer park, Wayne Harksen, urged the board to travel by the park and look at the mess left in the wake of the demolition. He noted that one good storm would be all it would take for the mess to end up in the neighboring cornfields. Another neighbor, Charles Watkins, said he understands there will be debris as the trailers are demolished, but asked why the debris cannot be cleaned up as the trailers are demolished. Watkins said it appears the people are removing whatever is salvageable and valuable and leaving the rest for someone else to clean up. He added that burning has occurred at the site, including burning of fiberglass insulation.

Wolf asked the neighbors to call the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office if they observe activity in violation of the law, including illegal burning or demolition of further trailers against the DNR order and the owner would face criminal or civil penalties. The board approved a motion authorizing Wolf to begin abatement of the nuisance on behalf of the county.

Wolf said the next steps in the process include performing a lien search on the property to determine the present owner of the site because the parcel recently was sold at tax sale. He said a letter would be sent notifying the owner that immediate abatement of the health and safety hazard is necessary or the county will take action in the form of hiring a contractor to clean up the property and assessing the owner for the cost.

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