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Bob's Trailer Court tenant agreements point to final closing date

Olmsted County court agreements after lost water service set deadline for moving, while trailer park owner agrees to help with rent for at least two of four remaining occupants.

Bob's Trailer Park
A fence surrounds Bob's Trailer Park on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Bob’s Trailer Court is expected to be completely closed by June.

Less than five months after owners of the trailer park at 1915 Marion Road SE announced plans to develop the site into a senior housing complex, most occupants have either been evicted or removed as trespassers .

Four park residents, who sued Pennsylvania-based TSJ Parks LLC after their water service was unexpectedly turned off in November, appear to have agreed to move out of the park by May 31.

“I think this is all that’s left,” said Scott Kramer, a partner with TSJ Parks.

Calls to the tenants went unanswered, and the park is currently surrounded by a fence with posted “no trespassing” signs.

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Brian Lipford, an attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services who represented the tenants in court, said the trailer park residents are working to move out before their May 31 deadline, if possible.

Two of three agreements have been filed with Olmsted County District Court, and Kramer said his attorney, Travis Ohly, is working on the third, which covers two of the four remaining park residents .

The filed agreements call for TSJ Parks to continue supplying bottled water to the tenants, since water service has not been restored.

The agreements also waive rent charges through May, and rent payments held by the district court are expected to be returned to the tenants.

One tenant, who owns his trailer, is slated to receive $7,500 to cover moving and relocation expenses, along with having $400 rent paid by TSJ Parks for the first 12 months of a lease after he leaves the trailer court.

Bob's Trailer Park
A fence surrounds Bob's Trailer Park on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

The other tenant with a signed agreement is expected to receive $500 in moving expenses. TSJ Parks has also agreed to pay application and pet fees, along with a security deposit, connected to finding new housing.

Once housing is secured, the tenant is expected to pay $645 a month, with TSJ Parks paying any remaining rent for a 12-month period.

Kramer said the differences in the two agreements is based on the fact that one tenant owned his trailer and the other rented a trailer from the park. State requirements generally require 12-month notice to remove an owner-occupied trailer from a closing park.

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Property management staff, with Rochester Police Department support, have reportedly removed several people from the park who did not have legal access to the trailers.

Amid the periods of removing unauthorized occupants, a Feb. 3 fire destroyed one of the unoccupied trailers .

Assistant Fire Marshal Ryan Sathre said the cause for the fire remains under investigation.

Bob's Trailer Park
A fence surrounds Bob's Trailer Park on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

With electrical service discontinued to vacant trailers, Kramer said he expects the unoccupied units to be removed from the park when possible, but the number on site appears unchanged from the view outside the new fence.

“We are in the process of doing that,” he said.

Kramer said his company is also in the process of developing plans for the site, which was bought in 2021 for $1.3 million.

“They are coming along,” he said of plans to build a 30-unit low-income, senior housing complex.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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