Red Lamp cleanup going slowly but surely

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: There are numerous trailers left to dispose of at the Red Lamp Mobile Park. A new contractor has been hired by the town of Thatcher to recycle them and dispose of the trash.

By Jon Johnson

THATCHER – The town of Thatcher has owned the Red Lamp Mobile Park since the sale on the 4.5-acre property closed July 2, but cleaning up the site and removing all of the dilapidated, not-so-aptly-named mobile homes has proved challenging.

At the Thatcher Town Council’s Monday night meeting, Town Manager Heath Brown said there were issues with the first contractor hired to remove the mobile homes and that a new contractor has been hired to finish the project. The new contractor was scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 22. In the meantime, town employees have tended to the weeds in the park to try to keep it as clean as possible.   

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: This is one of three trailers that burned May 31. It is still at the site.

The town purchased the property for $1.2 million and by July 16 all of those who were renting had moved out and power to the rental units had been turned off. However, there were five trailers owned by the occupants that were still being used. Those owners have until November 15 to remove their trailers from the property.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Large piles of trash where the trailers burned still litter the site.

Thatcher Mayor Bob Rivera previously told the Gila Herald that the town hopes to entice a drug store to set up shop on the corner of Third Avenue and U.S. Highway 70, where there is already a traffic light. He said town officials would also like to bring in a new outdoor mini-mall for the highway frontage part of the property while allowing the southern end along Fourth Street to have single-family residences. Currently, the zoning the area has would allow for multi-family homes, including an apartment complex to be built in that same area. Recently, there was some hubbub about not allowing apartments to be built a couple blocks away at Church Street and Second Avenue after a rezoning request was initiated to allow for the construction of a duplex. (See Gila Herald Thatcher rezoning issue to get a redux Oct. 16, 2018.)

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A new contractor has been hired to continue cleanup efforts at the Red Lamp Mobile Park.

On May 31, three trailers burned down at the park. Two of the trailers have been removed, but there is still a pile of refuse stacked where one of the trailers was located. The third burned trailer has yet to be removed.

There are also entire rows of trailers waiting for removal. Once all the trailers are gone, the town will continue to clean up and renovate the property with the hopes of enticing developers to build on the prime spot of real estate in the town for both commercial and residential purposes.