PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The owners of a rural Platteville mobile home park have agreed to work with officials to improve conditions at the property following a public meeting during which neighbors aired their concerns.
Don and Ginny Berg, who co-own Oak Park Mobile Home Park, 5215 Classic Lane, said they provide low-cost, unsubsidized housing to tenants and are doing their best to minimize problems.
“Sometimes, we work with people who are ‘borderline,’ I guess you could say,” Don Berg said. “As a result, we do get some police calls. More than we should, probably,” adding, “We don’t judge people by their social status.”
The matter was brought to the attention of the board of the Town of Platteville in May by Kevin and Jane Leighty, owners of Woodland Terrace Mobile Home Park, 5325 Classic Lane.
They, along with dozens of neighborhood residents, have expressed concern regarding the safety and property conditions at Oak Park, which contains 47 lots.
“Platteville Township should be proactive,” Kevin Leighty said. “This is an ongoing issue that everyone knows about. It’s hurting our business.”
The Leightys previously submitted a petition with 43 signatures requesting that the town board revoke the Bergs’ operating license or rename the street north of Oak Park.
The town board took no action at its Monday meeting, which was attended by about 30 people.
Berg told meeting attendees that he is unsure why people believe the park is unsafe.
“We heard a lot of rumors before we bought (Oak Park), and we still hear rumors about it,” he said. “I think many times the rumors have no basis in fact. It’s just people think it’s a drug-infested place.”
Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman told the board that, to date, the department has responded to 48 calls for service at Oak Park.
“Anything from child custody issues to dog bites to domestics to harassment to welfare checks,” he said. Whether that is considered a high volume for mobile home parks is relative, Dreckman said. While Woodland Terrace has seen only eight calls to date, another park in the county has seen similar call volumes as Oak Park.
Dreckman proposed that his department work with Berg to mitigate criminal incidents by expediting the eviction process when a tenant has repeated incidents with law enforcement. Berg also agreed to look into installing security cameras.
Linda Hohmann, 70, who lives in Oak Park with her husband, Mark, said conditions at the park have improved considerably since she moved there about three years ago.
“I’m not afraid to be there,” she said. “We’re all trying to work together. … Don and Ginny try to help everybody. Yes, it does get them into trouble sometimes, but if you don’t give somebody a second chance to prove themselves, where are these people going to go?”
Berg told the board that he works with two employees and three contract workers, who are building and repairing structures on site daily.
He noted they have installed a new wastewater treatment facility, water pump tanks, asphalt roads, playground equipment, handicapped- access ramps, storage sheds, a picnic shelter and additional street lighting.
He also agreed to look into remedying structurally non-conforming trailers in the park, the status of which town officials questioned at the meeting.