LOYALTON, Ca. (KOLO) "Don't pretend that this isn't happening, folks," said receiver Mark Adams, addressing a gathering of the remaining residents of the Loyalton Mobile Estates..
"I'm sympathetic. I understand this is where you've been living, but it is what it is and it is happening."
"It" is the closing of the park, the eviction of its residents, many of whom have lived here for a number of years.
In the crowd you saw the sort of emotions you might expect from a group of people under a court order to leave their homes. Determined resentment, but also resignation.
Years of neglect and abandonment by the park's owner and code violations leading to revocation of its license led to this moment.
Most had seen it coming, but it arrived with a sudden, short 10-day deadline. That, of course, proved a hardship for many who are retired and disabled. They went to court seeking more time and got just 10 days more, along with the promise of a $3,000 relocation benefit.
When the clock ran out November 13, 2017, some were still packing, and most hadn't found permanent homes, but as it turned out after pressing a hard, quick deadline, the man overseeing the process wasn't ready either. Paperwork on the lien funding the relocation checks was still incomplete.
"It's not a long-term problem," Adams assured them. "It's a short-term problem, but I'm not here to write checks today."
Most say they can't complete their move without that check. So Tuesday, Adams will bus those who don't have places to go to a motel in Reno, while the financial end of this process catches up.
When that's done, checks given, their homes--at least any without title--will be torn down, as some were already. Any belongings left behind will be hauled off with the rest of the debris.
"So one more night in this park for these people, then a bus ride to and at some point a check to get on with the rest of their lives."
Some in this community have reached out to these people. Local churches delivered hot lunches to them the other day. High school students volunteered to help relocate pets--a last-minute worry for many.
But others--it must be said--will be glad to see them and their park go. They too have their reasons. The county is owed $300,000 in property taxes and the city is owed $100,000 in unpaid utility bills.
At the end of this process, if the property can be returned to a good use, they may see some return. The receiver, however, will be first in line. At the moment, however, t's hard to find winners at the end of this story.
"I understand that this is where people have been living," says Adams.. "This came down like a ton of rocks a couple of weeks ago."