Q. Can you tell me the status of the program that was going to “recycle” old mobile homes in Pender County that were decaying for years and years?
A. Currently, there is no such county program to remove old abandoned mobiles in Pender.
In 2009, Pender County was looking into ways to get rid of abandoned mobile homes, with some expecting that the effort would make the county look better, lead to an increase in property values and provide work for contractors.
Patrick Davenport, who was the director of Pender’s planning and community development in 2009, presented county commissioners a report in May 2009 with a plan for the program, which indicated that the state would help fund much of the costs of the program through its Solid Waste Management Trust Fund.
However last week, Pender’s current Planning and Community Development Kyle Breuer indicates that the costs to run the program are currently preventing the county from moving forward with it.
Breuer said based on information from Pender’s Solid Waste director, “even with the state grants available through the Solid Waste Trust Fund, we could not, at this time, embark on this project due to other financial constraints as the hauling costs to the Sampson County landfill would outweigh any offsets through grant funds.”
County Commissioner David Williams said the program “sounded good at the time, but the state funds were not enough for us to justify the rest.”
“With the funding challenges before us these past few years, you could say it falls under a ‘nice to have’ but just did not rank high enough on the priority list,” Williams said.
Michael Mack, Pender’s director of Public Utilities and Solid Waste, said by not implementing the program, the county avoided having to charge some residents money that would have been necessary to help fund operation of the program.
“The state program allowed for up to $1,000 per abandoned home to be reimbursable to the county for proper disposal with a maximum of up to 40 homes per year,” Mack said. “However, due to the estimated cost of over $2,700 per home to have a contractor properly demolish and dispose of the abandoned home, the remaining funding would have to be provided by the property owner or by charging an ‘Impact Fee’ on all new mobile home permits to build a fund balance that could be used to provide the shortfall in funding. Neither staff nor the board believed the ‘Pros’ outweighed the ‘Cons’ and therefore, the program was never implemented.”
Date posted: October 29, 2013
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