But rent is still a point of argument
Officers of the Friends of Marion County Lake Association, representing families that rent space for manufactured homes, and Marion County Commission reached a consensus on revising rules for the trailer court Monday.
Association President Jim Bratt, Vice President Mike Crane, and Secretary Karen Spinden presented a proposal that had been reviewed and approved by the association’s members, which includes 47 of the 56 trailer tenants.
Their discussion included schedules of rent payment. The county proposed a single payment schedule for all tenants, possibly paid quarterly. Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said a regular schedule would make it easier to track payments. Crane recommended quarterly payments due at the end of January, April, July, and October.
The biggest change proposed by the association was a provision for annual inspection of trailers to check for prohibited appliances, such as electric ranges, washing machines, and dryers. Hudson suggested not putting the inspections on a schedule; instead asking simply that an inspection is permitted if he has reason to believe improper appliances are in use, such as if another tenant makes a report. A tenant would have 30 days to schedule an inspection if requested.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub recommended requiring a safety inspection whenever one of the manufactured homes changes hands. He said he isn’t interested in a full building code inspection, just a basic safety inspection.
Covering all of the rules, there was discussion but not much argument. When the discussion turned to annual rent, though, disagreement surfaced.
The association officers said they felt the $1,050 annual rent was fair, because it more than covers the cost of utilities. They also said their contributions to sales tax, personal property tax on boats, etc., and stimulation of the local economy should be taken into consideration.
Holub said that after accounting for utilities included in that price, the county’s net revenue is only $383 per trailer per year.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said current rent doesn’t leave much room to make improvements to the trailer court or to the park in general. Sewer, water, and especially electrical service to the trailer court aren’t at a standard he is happy with.
Commissioner Roger Fleming suggested that such improvements could be paid with special rent assessments that would be canceled after the improvements are paid for.
No agreement was reached on what an equitable rent amount might be. The association officers said tenants would be much more understanding if such projects were lined out in detail before raising rent. They also agreed with a suggestion by Fleming that gradually increasing rent over several years could ease sore feelings over an increase.