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Mobile home park cleanup warranted

An order this week by an Albany Municipal Court judge to clean up dilapidated mobile homes in a Clark Avenue mobile home park is long overdue.

The area was improved greatly when another poorly maintained mobile park further east on Clark was taken out to make room for the Walmart SuperCenter. But in the time since, the area commonly known as Mimosa Trailer Park has spiraled down, with a number of structures on the property that are hazardous to the public. Trailers damaged by fire, neglect and storms have been eyesores for years on one of Albany most-used traffic arteries.

While the owners of the property have started clearing out some of the most dangerous and dilapidated of the mobile homes, there are more. In his ruling Wednesday, City Judge Ralph Scoccimaro gave the owners two weeks to clear out five more of the trailers and a month and a half to tear down or remove a sixth one.

This battle with blight in this mobile home park has gone on long enough. There has been ample time afforded those who own the facility to clean it up. In addition to the health hazard it’s causing, there is also suspicion that illegal activities such as prostitution are thriving in the area, and these uninhabitable structures tend to be havens for that sort of illicit activity.

Already Clark Avenue has become a major thoroughfare for those from east of Albany who want to connect with the Liberty Expressway to reach destinations such as the mall. That means that the first impressions they get of our community are these dilapidated and damaged mobile homes, sights that do nothing except give a negative impression of Albany that all the fancy signs in the world can’t counter.

And if the Clark Avenue extension bridge connecting East and West Albany that officials envision comes to pass, traffic on Clark Avenue will increase even more, bringing more motorists by the site at Mock Road and Clark.

While legal maneuvering has kept this issue up in the air, we hope that the city has finally been able to get in a toehold to improve the area through this ruling. We also wonder why any developer or business would fight to keep such unsightly, dangerous structures on their premises. It’s not good for the community or for business.

“It’s a good start,” City Commissioner Jon Howard said of the ruling. “We just need to finish it off.”

Indeed. It is past time for some addition by subtraction.