COLUMBIA - After facing complaints from both residents and the city, the Regency Mobile Home Park took part in a neighborhood clean-up. The Office of Neighborhood Services worked with Regency's local management to organize Saturday's clean-up from 9 a.m. to noon. The city paid to bring in two large dumpsters for residents to drop-off trash. It has around $3,000 to use toward these neighborhood projects.
Resident Doug Harris has lived at the mobile home park since 1986. He said this is a step in the right direction.
"I think what they're doing is really, really good," Harris said. "This was the premiere trailer park in Columbia. There was no other trailer park that could match it. Over the years you could definitely see a steady decline in the condition."
The city has given the park more than 200 violations ranging from trash and abandoned vehicles to mobile homes that are falling apart. Property manager for the park, Roni Martin Booth, said management will be tearing down and replacing deteoriating trailers. She said the park is also working with the city.
"We're just all pulling together to clean up the park and move forward from there," Booth said.
Bill Cantin, with the office of neighborhood services said it wants to put its money where its mouth is.
"That's why I'm here, because the office and the city believes in making this a better place to be," Cantin said.
But some residents remain skeptical and wonder where the progress will go from here.
"They've got a long ways to go," Harris said. "It takes time and it takes money. Nothing happens over night."
Both the city and local management recognize there is still more work ahead.
"By no means are we going to cure it today," Cantin said. "There's still code violation issues that need to be addressed.
Booth said the problems at Regency have built up overtime.
"It didn't happen over night," Booth said. "It's amount of years and bad local management that's got it to this point and I think moving forward enforcing rules and regulations, I think we can actually get the park back to where it used to be."
Booth said she plans to continue to motivate residents to keep the park clean and is adding some incentives. She said there will could be gift baskets and a yard of the month competition where winners earn free lot rent.