Riverside County supervisors approve additional spending for clean-up in Duroville

Duroville mobile home park will officially close on June 30th

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Riverside County supervisors have authorized spending an additional $105,000 to dispose the remaining trailers at the Duroville mobile home park in Thermal.

The allocation will bring the total budget for the county's cleanup at what is formally known as the Desert Mobile Home Park to $905,000.

According to the county Housing Authority, more single-wide travel coaches than anticipated have required asbestos removal before they could be demolished.

Of the 69 trailers removed from the park condemned by the federal government, 48 have undergone asbestos treatment under state law, according to county officials.

Another 91 trailers have yet to be turned to scrap, and the Housing Authority expects a large number of those will also require asbestos removal.

There is roughly $120,000 remaining in the Duroville budget for San Pedro-based National Demolition Contractors to conduct asbestos abatement, but county officials said that wasn't enough, and the additional $105,000 should take care of it.

The 40-acre mobile home park, established by Harvey Duro and his family on the Torres-Martinez Cahuilla Indian Reservation in the late 1990s, will be officially closed on June 30, and any remaining occupants have been ordered to leave by that date.

Duroville is one of several non-permitted parks where migrants and their families reside in the eastern county region.

According to the county, most of the residents have cleared out, relocating with county assistance to the Mountain View Estates, a sprawling trailer park at Avenue 70 and Harrison Street in Oasis offering modern conveniences developed with public and private financing.

There are 181 spaces available at Mountain View. Duroville residents are being given the option of purchasing new mobile homes at the site via the county's Mobile Home Tenant Loan Program.

In 2009, a U.S. District Court judge declared Duroville to be a public health and safety hazard because of its dilapidated condition, including a faulty electrical system and contaminated drinking water. He placed the facility in federal receivership, appointed new managers, and barred any new tenants on the grounds.

The process of relocating hundreds of existing residents to alternate living quarters has been under way since that time.

Board of Supervisors Chairman John Benoit, whose district encompasses the area around Duroville, has asked the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to reimburse the county for all or a portion of the costs tied to demolishing the Duroville structures.

However, the bureau has refused, suggesting that because the county took the lead in relocating residents, it is also responsible for the clean-up operations.

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