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Whispering Pines mobile home residents relocate; city moves forward to buy propertySubmitted: 09/18/2017

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MERRILL - Clearing the way for growing business required many people in Merrill to move. The city wants to buy more than 6 acres of property in the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park. 

As of Monday, there's only one trailer left, but it's not sitting well with some who already moved.


"Lots of soil I had to buy [and] flowers. It's all gone," said resident Fran Jeske as she looked at her yard. 

After spending about 22 years in the same place, Jeske moved from one side of the mobile home park along Highway 64 to another. A few months ago, some people living there got a letter saying the city was planning to buy the land.

"You put a lot of work into it to make it look nice, and all of the sudden…the work, you've done is for what," said Jeske. 
 
But the city sees the portion of the trailer park where she and others moved from as an opportunity for growth.

"This particular property is the largest developable property on Highway 64," said City Administrator Dave Johnson. "[It would] allow three new businesses here and expand our tax base as well as provide services for our citizens." 

Johnson said the 15 trailers or so were not a good use of property. 
 
"They thought that the city was throwing them off of their property, but they are tenants," Johnson said. "They were renting the property, and the people who own the property decided that they would consolidate their community. It made more economic sense for them." 

Now, three separate businesses have shown interest in moving onto that space. 
 
"There weren't a lot of trailers to begin with over there, so I think it will be good to get more businesses, I guess here," said Emily Nylund, whose parents live at the mobile home park. 

It's a move that may have physically moved Jeske from her home. But it's one she says won't keep her down. 

"I feel frustrated and disgusted and you name every adjective you can think of, that's how I feel, but It will all come to an end," said Jeske. 

Johnson says once the last trailer is gone, the city will close on its purchase of the property. He says that could happen as soon as this week. The city would purchase the land for about $600,000. 
 
One of the businesses looking to expand onto the property is Nelson's Powerhouse in Merrill.


Story By: Allie Herrera

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