KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- Two mobile home parks are being put up for sale by their owner, who is required by state law to observe a notice of sale period giving tenants the option to buy the park they live in.
The notice of sale for White Birches Mobile Home Park in Bennington and the Alta Gardens Mobile Home Park in Pownal was received by the Department of Economic, House and Community Development on Jan. 4. The notice had to be sent to those living in the parks, who have 45 days from the day they get notice to make an offer on the park they live in.
Eugene Bisson is the listed owner of both parks. According to the notices, the asking price for White Birches, located on Barney Road, is $1,150,000. The 16.9 acre property has 52 lots, each with a mobile home on it. Of them, five are listed as being owned by Bisson with the rest either being owned by leaseholders or the residents. The park is on the town water system, but not its septic. Lot rent is $320 per month with the last increase having been in June.
According to the Alta Gardens filing, the asking price for that park is $775,000. It is a 12.9 acre property with 56 lots. Fifty-three mobile homes are there, with Bisson owning 21 of them and the rest being owned by leaseholders or tenants. The lot rent per month is $310 with the last increase being Jan. 1.
Bisson, whose mailing address is listed as being in Barre, did not return calls seeking comment.
According to the notice sent to tenants, if a majority of them wish to buy the park they have 45 days to notify the park owner and state. The tenants also have the option of working with a non-profit organization to buy the park on their behalf. If they indicated they wish to buy within the time limit, they have 120 days to negotiate a price in good faith.
If no notice is given within the 45 days of the tenants' intent to buy, the parks can not be sold for more than five percent bellow the listed asking price to another buyer, or no less than five percent above the final written offer made by tenants or a non-profit group representing them, according to the notice.
Both applications indicate there is a private sale pending but no information on them is attached to the document. An addendum to the application, signed by Bisson, says if the parks are bought as a package he would accept $500,000 up front with the balance paid over 20 years, the first five years being at five percent interest and the rest at two percent. This is only if they parks are bought together and Bisson would hold the First Mortgage on both properties.