In the community

Crews finally remove wrecked mobile home half from local man’s property

Johnny Pitts, seen here late last year, said his frustration regarding half of a mobile home left on his property after a wind storm pushed it off a truck in September is growing. He has spent weeks trying to get someone to take responsibility for the wreckage. The hulk was finally removed from his property last month. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

VALE – State Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, didn’t like what he saw on the front page of the Malheur Enterprise in early December.

There was a photo of homeowner Johnny Pitts, standing before a tattered, broken mobile home. Around Pitts was a 30-yard wide debris field of pieces of pink insulation and other parts.

The mobile home was being hauled to Idaho when a wind gust knocked it over and onto Pitts’ property, east of Vale on U.S. Highway 20-26.

Findley was moved by the photo and story and he decided to call the state Transportation Department. He first contacted the local office and then the agency director’s office in Salem. He messages to both entities was the same.

“I said this is an embarrassment. Look at the front page of the Malheur Enterprise. Why isn’t ODOT (The Oregon Transportation Department) doing something about it?” said Findley.

Findley said he wanted to make sure state officials “understood this was a blight within a foot of a right of way and they needed to remove it.”

“So they talked among themselves and understood they had some culpability,” said Findley.

The Transportation Department hired a contractor to remove the wreckage.

“They are planning on going after the carrier for the cost,” said Findley.

The hulk was an eyesore, said Travis Johnson, Malheur County undersheriff.

“Bottom line, it is gone and it is nice to have it gone,” said Johnson.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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