Tuesday, March 03, 2009

FEMA trailer park goes in at recreation field

This trailer park is right across the street from one of Jackson's baseball team practice fields. I'll attach some photos to this article this evening when we return from practice. The site used to be the practice field for the island's youth football team. They've even poured asphalt roads and everything!

By Leigh Jones
The Daily News
Published February 22, 2009

GALVESTON — Crews working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency have about three weeks to finish installing 55 mobile homes at the island’s first temporary trailer park.

Despite delays caused by recent rains and the ensuing mud, the park should open on time, agency spokesman Dan Martinez said.

The park, at 83rd Street and Stewart Road, will be home to about 200 people, depending on how many are in each family that moves into a mobile home, he said.

But hundreds more are still looking for somewhere to live.

The agency’s mobile home waiting list includes 180 families, and while officials think that number is likely to go down, some people will still not have a place to stay when the park at Schreiber Field is full, Martinez said.

The rest may be able to move to several smaller, scattered sites. The agency has not picked those sites.

Unless the agency extends the hotel voucher program again, about 1,200 families staying in hotels will have to find somewhere else to stay March 13.

The agency originally planned to install about 150 mobile homes on two island sites, but officials decided last month that only Schreiber Field would be necessary.

The former soccer field belongs to the school district, although it was used mostly as a community league practice site.

The federal government is not paying the district for the land, compensating it instead with the improvements made to the site.

To raise the field to meet federal regulations for mobile home sites, crews trucked in fill and have been working to pack it down to avoid drainage problems. Crews are running compaction tests to measure the stability of the soil, agency Spokesman Bill Lehman said.

Before each trailer can be set in place, the pad site must pass three of the tests, he said. About 20 trailers have been installed, with construction crews now working to build stairs and decking outside the doors.

The 9-acre site also will be surrounded with a privacy fence before families are allowed to move in.

Unless the city extends the deadline, the agency must remove the trailers by April 2010.