Residents leave White Pigeon trailer park

The few remaining residents at a White Pigeon Township trailer park worked late into the night Thursday to comply with a judge’s order to evacuate the property by midnight.

While some people indicated they would return over the weekend to River Forest Mobile Home Park and gather whatever they didn’t take Thursday, others have come to terms with the situation and were looking forward to spending the night somewhere new.

The fate of River Forest Mobile Home Park was sealed earlier this year when St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton concluded the community is not fit for human habitation.

Though White Pigeon Township for years tried to work with landlord Joel Reinoehl on fixing a number of code violations, the tipping point came following an August compliance check during which the township’s code-enforcement officer Doug Kuhlman and building inspector Randy Schmeling issued 46 citations and 10 condemnations.

Water and electric service to the community was disconnected Friday.

Former and soon-to-be former residents said they hope the remaining units are demolished as quickly as possible to deter potential squatters.

A separate issue, feral cats, is being addressed by a team of volunteers to provide food for the feline population.

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