Marshall residents call for improvements at Broadmoor Valley

Photo by Deb Gau Jason Anderson discussed concerns from tenants of the Broadmoor Valley Mobile Community during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

MARSHALL — A group of Marshall residents are speaking out against living conditions at the Broadmoor Valley Mobile Community, and they’re calling on the city for help.

There are a variety of rental properties in Marshall, Misty Butler told Marshall City Council members. Some are in good shape, she said, while some are not so great, or even hazardous.

“I’m here to ask the city to do more,” for people whose health and safety are endangered, Butler said.

Butler spoke on behalf of the Broadmoor Valley Resident Association and Asamblea de Derechos Civíles at Tuesday’s council meeting. The groups are asking Marshall to adopt health and safety regulations for rental properties, she said. The Resident Association is also holding a walkthrough of the manufactured home community on Thursday.

Fliers and a news release from the Resident Association said safety and maintenance issues at Broadmoor Valley include black mold, an inadequate storm shelter and badly eroded roads.

Butler said school buses can’t even go into the mobile home park, which forces children, including those with special needs, to walk to the park entrance each morning.

The Resident Association fliers also said residents have not been able to meet with or get a response from the park’s owner.

While council members agreed that some parts of park were in very poor condition, they warned that it may take a while for city government to take action.

“Those roads (at Broadmoor Valley) have been terrible for 15 years,” said council member James Lozinski. But at the same time, he said, there were other possible ways to try and address residents’ concerns. For example, he said, there are state building and health and safety codes.

“We have followed up with some residents and tenants (at Broadmoor Valley) with concerns,” said Marshall Planning and Zoning Administrator Jason Anderson. In cases like this, he said, the city tries to work with the property owner and check back to see if the concerns have been addressed.

Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson said the city would be meeting with the Broadmoor Valley property owner this week.

Simpson and Anderson said the city can also work with the Minnesota Department of Health to address health and safety concerns. Anderson said Southwest Health and Human Services will be conducting an inspection of Broadmoor Valley in the future.

Council members said addressing rental tenants’ concerns was a serious issue, but the question of whether to develop city regulations would also have to be part of a bigger process. Council member Glenn Bayerkohler said he thought the issue needed to be referred to the city Legislative and Ordinance Committee, and get feedback from both tenants and rental property owners.

“We need to make sure all rental properties have adequate protections for tenants,” Bayerkohler said. But at the same time, he said, “We do need to make sure the rights of tenants and landlords are protected.”

“We need to have housing that’s affordable, but it needs to be livable, too,” said Council member Craig Schafer. In the meantime, Schafer suggested that Broadmoor Valley residents continue to use all the resources available to them, like Health and Human Services.

The Broadmoor Valley Resident Association is holding a walkthrough of the mobile home park, starting at 3 p.m. Thursday. The walkthrough will be followed by a community discussion.

Council members said they were interested in attending the walkthrough, although only three council members at most will be able to attend. If a quorum of the council attended the walkthrough, it would violate state open meeting laws, Simpson said.