State officials announce plan for rapid, affordable disposal of flooded mobile homes
September 22, 2011 — A group of top state officials announced today that they have a plan to remove and dispose of mobile homes that were ruined by flooding in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott and Lawrence Miller, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, have been talking with private-sector partners for the last several days to nail down the framework for the plan, which they say offers a quick, responsible and affordable solution to a problem facing nearly 150 mobile home owners in more than a dozen parks around the state.
Under this plan, the total disposal cost for each individual mobile home owner will be $1,500. Typical disposal costs can run upwards of $3,500, particularly for older units. The group secured this reduced cost by requesting bulk pricing proposals from Vermont contracting firms on demolition, sorting, recycling and hauling of the mobile homes, and working with the solid waste districts to reduce or waive tipping fees.
Since 70 of the state’s damaged mobile homes sit in Weston’s Mobile Home Park in Berlin, that facility will be the first site for the project. The group will then repeat the process at other parks around the state. The team is currently working on contacting mobile home owners at Weston’s and doing the pre-construction legwork that could allow demolition to move forward as early as the week of October 3.
Secretary Miller said that although this solution ended up being much more affordable than what individual homeowners might be able to work out on their own, the most important part of the plan is that it offers a rapid response. “By mobilizing teams to go into each park as a whole, we’ve created an economy of scale. Yes, we’re saving people money, but we’re also addressing another need that’s almost more significant: helping Vermonters get back into their homes and move on to the next step of their lives.”
“Right now, residents of Weston’s and other mobile home parks are seeking answers,” said Lt. Gov. Scott. “We are working with the Shumlin Administration, with our Congressional delegation, and with FEMA to continue to come up with creative ways, such as this one, to assist Vermonters affected by Tropical Storm Irene. With winter coming in just a few short weeks, we hope to leave no stone unturned, and to do everything we can to speed up the process.”
Mobile home owners who are interested in learning more about this project should contact the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity at (802) 660-3455.