Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fountain mobile home residents to be relocated

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 12:03 PM

Bud Calhoun points to the creek's eroding banks. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Bud Calhoun points to the creek's eroding banks.

Back in January, I wrote about the Riverside Mobile Home Park in Fountain

Owned by Bud Calhoun, the aging park sits on a 30-foot cliff overlooking Fountain Creek. Most of the residents are in their golden years, and the homes provide affordable living in a spectacular setting. Calhoun, who is in his 80s, loves walking his dog through the golden fields here and looking out across the water and the open plains. 

The problem with Riverside is that it sits on unstable ground. The creek is eating away at the ground underneath it, causing chunks of land to collapse over time. And a large flood could endanger the residents here. 

"Erosion along Fountain Creek has been undercutting the bank leading up to the mobile home park for a number of years," the county reports. "The September 2013 flood brought the streambank unacceptably close to the mobile homes above. El Paso County initiated the grant application process and began meeting with residents in 2015 to discuss safety concerns and possible options to assist them."

El Paso County wanted to help the residents here to move to safer ground and sought grants through the state to do so. Now it appears they have been successful.

Earlier this month, the director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Irv Halter, accepted the recommendation from the State Housing Board into approve the county's grant application. That first batch of money will be used to relocated the residents of Riverside to new affordable housing. The moves should be complete in about three months.

The county is also asking for money to buy property in the area and to do mitigation work on the creek.

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