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Government Local

Evergreen Village residents to learn more about relocation

SYCAMORE – Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park resident Nicasio Cambel is eager to learn more at a community meeting Oct. 15 about DeKalb County’s plans to relocate him and his neighbors.

Cambel, 26, bought his home for about $5,000 and hopes he will get the same price for it from county officials as part of a plan to close the 130-unit trailer park and restore it to open space in the next year. The mobile home park, which is located in a flood plain off Route 64 near Sycamore, long has been plagued by floodwaters.

“Hopefully they get more in detail about it,” Cambel said. “It’s kind of stressing for me. ... We’re just trying to wait for the payout so we can move.” 

The public meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Sycamore High School auditorium. Attendees will learn about the general relocation process, available rent subsidies and moving expenses, said Paul Miller, DeKalb County planning, zoning and building director. 

“We’re making progress,” he said. “It’s a slow process because it’s a complicated process and there are federal and state rules that have to be followed.”

Although the project involves working with each tenant individually and tailoring relocation grants to their situation, the public meeting will not address specific cases for each resident. 

“This public meeting is not to tell ‘Resident A’ what they qualify for,” Miller said. 

Residents are not obligated to accept the places the county finds for them and can receive a rent subsidy if they choose to live elsewhere. 

Miller said he hopes residents can be moved before the end of this year, but that may not happen.

He expects the bulk of the relocation efforts to begin next year and does not expect families with school-age children to move until the current school year ends. 

About 40 of the households in the mobile home park include school-age children, Miller said. Although the county is obligated to find residents new homes that are decent, safe and sanitary, it is not required to find them a place in the same school district. 

Officials from Land Acquisitions Inc., the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the county will be at the meeting. If residents want to ask questions after the meeting, there will be an opportunity to do so, he said. There will be Spanish language interpreters in attendance.

In May, the DeKalb County Board approved a $5.6 million plan to close the mobile home park and restore it to open space. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed grants to pay for the relocation project. The county received about $4.2 million from FEMA last year.

Consultants Land Acquisitions Inc. is assisting the county in its relocation efforts and put together the relocation plan. The plan assesses the cost of moving the residents out of the mobile home park and the availability of comparable housing within 20 or so miles.

The cost to purchase the trailer homes from residents, relocate them and subsidize any rent payments will cost an estimated $3.6 million, which is within budget. The price for each mobile home will be determined by its market value, which is based on the age and condition of the property, Miller said. A mobile home depreciates in value over time, he said.

If you go
What: Community meeting on Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park relocation
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 15
Where: Auditorium of Sycamore High School, 555 Spartan Trail, Sycamore

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