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City of Bogata

BOGATA — After much discussion with audience input, Bogata City Council on Monday rejected in a 3-2 vote a city ordinance that would have allowed mobile homes only in designated mobile home parks.

David Rozell, a businessman in Bogata who rents mobile homes, told the council the housing he offers is just about all that some people in town can afford.

“It’s about the only viable housing we have here,” he said.

He also questioned why the ordinance was specifically aimed at mobile homes. He said there was more in town the council could think about cleaning up, rather than “worrying about some double wide sitting on Fifth Street.”

Councilwoman Glenda Martin told him the ordinance was not aimed at him, but there were some mobile homes in town in bad shape and that was the intent of the ordinance.

“The cleanup has been stalled 10 or 12 years. We are trying to get on with that,” she said. “The mobile home ordinance is a start. If we don’t get a start now, we are going to be in the same place 10 years from now. And none of us want to be in the same place 10 years from now.”

Councilman James Shoemaker agreed with Martin that the ordinance is a step in the right direction.

“We have to start somewhere,” he said. “We all had a hand in how this town looks. The days of the City of Bogata not doing anything are gone. As long as it is legal, the city will do it.”

Mayor Larry Hinsley told the audience it was time officials took charge of making the city look better.

“We have got to say, ‘OK guys, you want this city operated better, to look better? It’s gonna hurt a bit, but it will be a better Bogata,’” he said.

But the majority of the council felt it was not time to consign mobile homes to an area of town specifically for mobile home parks.

Christy Rolf, who was recently appointed to the council after the resignation of Kim Lindsey and was sworn into office during Monday’s meeting, said she could not support the ordinance.

“I just think that we need to have restrictions and guidelines on the mobile homes coming in so that other people can afford to move into our town,” she said.

She also didn’t like restricting the mobile homes to designated areas.

Councilman Bill Mellon also said the ordinance would hinder some people in being able to purchase a home in Bogata.

“Very few people can afford to pay for a house in this town” he said, “Wages in this area are not designed to build a home, but people can afford a mobile home.”

Councilman Cecil “Tex” Loftin, who attended the meeting virtually, also cast a no vote on passage of the ordinance.

David Money is the assistant managing editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6964 or david.money@theparisnews.com.

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