Town official urges North Amityville mobile home park residents to accept relocation offer
Babylon Town's deputy supervisor has sent a letter to residents of a North Amityville mobile home park urging them to accept a developer's relocation offer before they are evicted.
The letter from Tony Martinez was sent to residents in Frontier Mobile Home Park who have not yet accepted a relocation package offered by R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview. After receiving approvals from multiple town boards, the developer is moving forward with building 500 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail on the 20-acre site. A town spokesman said the developer is in the midst of applying for a demolition permit.
About 500 mobile homes are in the park, most of which are too old to relocate, said residents, who pay about $600 rent per month. R Squared has offered residents $20,000 paid in installments once they vacate the property, setting a deadline of April 30. According to the Long Island Housing Partnership Inc., which is administering the relocation plan, 50 of the 97 homes in phase one of the redevelopment have accepted the offer.
Martinez' letter came just days after a state Supreme Court justice ruled against the park's civic association, who had filed multiple lawsuits to stop the redevelopment. They are appealing the decisions.
In his letter, Martinez tells those who have not signed up, "As one of your councilmen, I strongly urge you to submit the relocation package as soon as possible," noting the April 30 deadline to vacate. Martinez also notes that the developer's original offer to vacate, made in 2011, was $3,000 and that Babylon Town "was successful in increasing that offer to $20,000." The deputy supervisor closes the letter, which accompanied another copy of the relocation plan, by telling residents that it was a pleasure to be a part of the town board that "advocated on behalf of the residents and assisted in a resolution of this matter."
For resident Laura Zilinski, 60, however, Martinez' letter fell flat. Zilinski, who paid $30,000 for her mobile home 25 years ago, said she still has not figured out where she will live and didn't appreciate the pressure from the town.
"I just feel he had no business writing anything," she said. "It feels like another scare tactic they're trying to use to get us out."