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With master plan, town hopes to ensure safety of mobile-home park residents

Randolph firm to analyze options, strategies to move Tri-Park residents living on plots within floodways

To learn more about the Tri-Park Cooperative Housing Master Plan, contact the Brattleboro Planning Department at 802-251-8154 or planning@brattleboro.org.

BRATTLEBORO—Like many mobile home parks in Vermont, the three developments that make up the Tri-Park Cooperative Housing Corporation — Mountain Home Park, Glen Park, and Black Mountain Park — have quite a few homes sited in floodways.

In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene destroyed more than 20 homes in Mountain Home Park and Glen Park — some from flooding and others from the contamination from the floodwaters. And other homes, and their residents, are still at risk from future floods.

To help protect the people living in the mobile-home parks, the town’s Planning Department recently took steps to develop a master plan for the three sites.

The plan will likely result in the relocation of residents living in the flood-hazard zone and floodway, and the department’s hope is that they can stay in Tri-Park.

Planning Department Director Sue Fillion appeared at the Oct. 2 regular Selectboard meeting to introduce the process, and get the Board’s approval to sign a contract with Dubois & King to create the plan.

The Selectboard unanimously approved the $71,214 contract to the planning, engineering, and construction firm based in Randolph.

According to Fillion, Dubois & King’s work will include a site analysis, examination of the park’s infrastructure, a financial analysis, and “a lot of community outreach,” she said.

They will also assess whether there’s room for more mobile home lots in Mountain Home Park.

The town will add some resources to a $30,000 Vermont Community Development Program planning grant for the project.

Because this VCDP funding comes via a Community Development Block Grant — federal money distributed to communities through the state — Dubois & King will also have to complete a low/moderate income survey as part of the project.

“Although accurate data is not available on the socio-economic status of Tri-Park households, it is commonly accepted that Tri-Park represents a significant portion of Brattleboro’s affordable housing stock (as defined by state and federal agencies),” according to the Planning Department’s Request for Qualifications.

It also notes that the resident population of Mountain Home Park alone represents about 5 percent of the town’s population.

Once all of the analyses and surveys are complete, Dubois & King will come up with a long-term management plan for Tri-Park no later than June 30, 2019.

Fillion described the timeline for the entire study and writing the master plan as “pretty intense."

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Originally published in The Commons issue #480 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018). This story appeared on page A1.

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