Kings Park

Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck outlines the city’s case for purchasing King Mobile Home Park in this KNH file photo. City Halloperated the site for 18 months, aiming to clear the 10.6 acre property after tenants moved to new homes. The city assisted in that transition by offering tenants several months of rental refunds. Director of Special Services B.J. Owen announced this week the last family had moved out of the park and the city is moving forward with plans to clear the property.

The last residents of King’s Trailer Park have now left the premises after an 18-month process for emptying the park has concluded.

Director of Special Services B.J. Owen delivered an update on progress at King’s Trailer Park to the city council at their Tuesday meeting.

“Back in November of 2018, we approved the action to shut down the mobile home park over a phased period of time. 18 months later, the fifty-eighth family, he got the last of his stuff on the eighteenth month to the day,” Owen said.

Fifty-eight families once occupied 61 trailers at the park and most have relocated to apartments in Kilgore or trailers outside the city limits.

“Everybody was understanding. They appreciated the time we gave them.”

Owen reminded council members the park was never in a state of compliance with city codes or approval procedures.

“It’s never been approved. It’s never been finished, in fact,” he said.

Work will begin in the next few months to clear out the park and demolish some trailers which are in a state of disrepair preventing their removal.

“Of the 61 trailers, we’ve got 11 left that may be razed in place,” Owen said.

“It’s a 10-acre lot that we’re going to tear down in the next few months.”

Council members first backed the proposal to remove the trailer park in Nov. 2018.

After their unanimous vote Nov. 13, accounting for $730,000 in net expense from reserves, City Hall completed its agreement with the park’s owners and moved forward with a plan to shutter the delinquent development over the course of the next 18 months.

It took almost 50 years for City of Kilgore officials to take action on the site at 412 Fritz-Swanson Road.

“We do not believe that the park ever fully-complied with the zoning process,” Selleck reminded council members in Nov. 2018.

Park residents were given refunds on several months’ worth of rent to give them more ability to relocate and remove their trailers. Things got more complicated earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, shuttering city and county offices, Owen said.

Council member Merlyn Holmes congratulated Owen and his staff on their hard work and thanked them for remaining diligent throughout the length process.

“The whole city’s going to benefit from this,” Owen said.

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