Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

June 26, 2013

Mildred council to discuss mobile home dispute

Corsicana — The City of Mildred is looking to step up its code enforcement, and that’s not welcomed by some residents.

Elvin Sikes, 30, admitted he didn’t check into the rules of putting a trailer on his grandmother’s land before he did it a month ago, but he certainly didn’t expect the city to send him a letter warning him to remove it again.

“We had some land in Mildred, in the city. I grew up on this land, and went to high school in Mildred on this land,” Sikes explained. “We had a trailer on it. It burned down, and we moved it off. Several years later, we moved another trailer on here.”

As it turns out, the only mobile homes that are allowed in Mildred have to be HUD approved, less than 21 years old, or in trailer parks, and the city’s zoning doesn’t allow any trailer parks, explained Mayor Kyle Carrigan.

This new effort to enforce the city’s zoning and codes is about six to eight months old, but it’s because the city is getting pressure from the state to abide by the rules, Carrigan said.

“The state said if we didn’t start conducting code and ordinances the state could come in and pull the permit as far as the city being a city,” Carrigan said. “I’m new at this. I had to call an outside agency that does code and ordinances.”

For Mildred, this means that any possible violations of codes are turned over to the consultant, who then goes out to meet with the residents and tries to get compliance. If that doesn’t work then it’s turned over to the city’s lawyers, who send a letter, similar to the one that Elvin Sikes got. It’s not personal, it’s just the new reality, the mayor said.

“A lot of this has blown up overnight because for years nobody’s been focused on code and ordinances in recent years,” Carrigan said. “We’re not pinpointing different people or trailer houses.”

Sikes said he knows of other trailer homes in the area, although he admits his may be a more rough example of a manufactured home.

“It was real convenient. It’s a good way to get back on our feet,” Sikes said. “It’s not a great place. It’s not a brand-new trailer. I think it’s just a big eyesore for the whole community and I’m catching a lot of flack on it.”

Sikes is unemployed and the father of four children who claims he’s here looking for a fresh start.

“Even if I am wrong, this is America. You can’t fault me for wanting to better my family,” Sikes added. “It’s just stressful. It’s overwhelming.”

Nor is Sikes alone. Mildred has plenty of trailer homes, but because the code enforcement is so relatively recent, only those that are newest to the city are being targeted.

That includes Amanda Rogers, 25, and Dustin Allred, 28, who are raising five kids, three of them their own. When the young couple took in her niece and nephew, they were given another trailer home to add to the single-wide where they were already living. City officials warned them about the ordinances back in March when they put the new trailer in place, and after working with the city on and off for a bit trying to get a Specific Use Permit, or an exemption, they ended up getting one of the “move it” letters last week. They were given 10 days to get rid of the second trailer.

“We’ve done everything they’ve asked us to,” Amanda said. “I understand there’s a process, but we were told one thing then they changed it, then all of a sudden I’m getting a letter saying you’ve got to move your home within 10 days?”

And that may not be the final word. The next city council meeting will take place on July 1, and on the agenda is the item “Amanda Rogers/Dustin Allred mobile home — does it need to be moved.”

That same agenda also includes making Buddy Markham the city’s code enforcement officer, setting a workshop date to update the code of ordinances, talking to a consultant about annexation and mapping needs for the city, and considering code updates recommended by the North Central Texas Council of Governments for buildings, fire, plumbing, mechanical, energy conservation, electricity and more.

Richard Arnett, owner of the Trading Post, has taken up the Allred’s cause. He’s been to various city council meetings, and he’s hired a lawyer to gather the information needed to challenge the city’s stance on the Allred’s case. He believes the council never voted to authorize the letters.

“They never discussed or voted on sending this to an attorney in April, May or June,” he argued.

It was Arnett who began outlining the Allred’s problems online.

“Facebook is not the place to fix an issue, but it’s awareness,” Arnett said.

Sikes also took his story to Facebook.

“I shared my story on Facebook hoping to get sympathy, like maybe (the city) would get off my back a little bit about it,” he said.

The mayor didn’t appreciate the online appeal.

“The past mayors and city council people haven’t acted on this and I’m getting the brunt force of all this,” Carrigan said. “If they want to get somebody else (to be mayor) that’s fine, but (the next mayor) is going to have to do the same thing.”

Carrigan said he believes the developments along U.S. 287 are opening doors for expansion into Mildred, and the city needs to be in a position to capitalize on that when it happens. He also said he’s concerned about if Mildred loses its home-rule status that Corsicana might decide to annex the area.

“A lot of things are going to start happening here, and if somebody doesn’t start enforcing the laws and ordinances in these small towns the cities aren’t going to survive,” he said. “I’m just trying to help them out.”

     —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7-19-14 plane leaving.jpg F-4 jet leaving Navarro College for new Florida home

    It stood for years in front of the Cook Center at Navarro College. Now, like so many “retirees,” it’s Florida bound.
    It took several days to partially dismantle the F-4 Phantom fighter jet enough to travel, but it was done this week.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mildred to consider Tidwell as principal

    The Mildred Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider appointing current baseball coach Aaron Tidwell as the new Mildred High School principal when the group meets in regular session Monday.

    July 20, 2014

AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Twitter Updates