A handwritten sign affixed to one end of an abandoned mobile home says it all: “If you can haul me, you can have me,” but so far, there have been no takers, and a fundraising effort is now underway to pay for expenses related to demolition/moving.
“I’m not sure who put the sign up, but I know lots of folks in the community would like to see it gone,” said Sondra Miller, owner of the property where the disabled trailer has been parked for months.
The home was wrecked while it was being towed from Virginia 8 onto Virginia 103, according to Miller.
Initially, the home was parked near the Virginia 8/103 intersection sometime in early June. Some say it predated the Beach Music Festival, which got underway on June 8.
“The owner, upon the request of the state trooper to move it off the road, had it towed to the place it is now,” Miller said of the trailer’s current location, listed online as 6115 Dry Pond Highway, Stuart.
Miller, who owns the right of way where the trailer now sits, explained that the owner of the mobile home “began working on fixing the hitch, I am guessing so that he could finish moving it to its intended destination. Before he could accomplish this task, however, he died.”
Miller said she contacted the sheriff’s office, state troopers, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Commonwealth Attorney, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
“I also contacted some neighbors and contractors, trying to figure out options,” she said.
The state discontinued maintenance of the area now occupied by the trailer and no longer has control of it, said Lisa Price-Hughes, resident engineer with VDOT.
Hughes said VDOT officials are working with the Virginia State Police (VSP) to have it towed.
“We don’t have any way to tow it,” she said. Generally, in cases that involve abandoned vehicles in snowstorms, etc., “we work with the Virginia State Police to get them towed.”
Miller said she also has no way to move the property.
“I think the hitch might be broken so I am not sure how easy it would be to move it. It is a standard-size single-wide trailer with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It’s in poor condition overall,” she said.
She has the necessary paperwork, including a Vehicle Removal Certificate, and an Abandoned Vehicle Record Request Receipt issued by the DMV “that I would present to the licensed demo contractor.”
“I can now have the trailer demolished, but that is very expensive,” Miller said, adding that her primary interest is getting the home off of her property.
“It just really comes down to funding at this point,” Miller said, adding that she has received one quote from a demolition contractor to demolish the trailer.
“It was $4,000,” Miller said. “No one I know has that kind of money for something random like that.”
She is pursuing legal options and said her sister suggested starting a GoFundMe page for the abandoned trailer demo and/or legal fees.
“My time frame to raise funds for this trailer’s demolition is 1 year,” Miller wrote on the fundraising site. “If I don’t have the funds needed by that point, I will be forced to return donations, less the money spent on legal fees and the trailer will remain indefinitely.”
To donate, or for more information, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/abandoned-trailer-demolition.
(Editor’s note: The Enterprise was notified after our deadline that the GoFundMe page to collect funds to move the trailer had been deleted. Sondra Miller said she planned to pursue other options.)