Just a few changes planned at Paradise
If Jack Willis and Rick Kooser have their say, Paradise will continue.
The men have a contract to buy about 40 acres, half of which includes Paradise Trailer Park south of Tonganoxie at Kansas Avenue and U.S. Highway 24-40.
"We haven't bought it yet," Jack Willis said Tuesday. "We have a contract on it, we're trying to get things settled with the county on what needs to be done to make the county happy -- to bring it into compliance."
Willis said he hoped to buy the property in the next couple of weeks.
The park has pads for 70 trailers, about 40 of which have trailers on them.
"We'd like to continue with the 70 spaces," Willis said.
And, Willis and Kooser plan to rebuild the trailer park's two-story house, which burned several years ago.
"We're going to fix it up for a rental," Willis said. "I like doing old houses, it's fun. Anybody can build a new one."
Willis said he and Kooser plan to improve the park's appearance.
"We definitely want to clean it up and we definitely want to work with the county," Willis said.
While county regulations must be met, Willis said he's also talked with the city of Tonganoxie to see how to bring water -- for residential use as well as for fire protection -- to the mobile home park.
Where water's concerned, Willis said, the land is "no-man's land."
Currently, the park obtains water from a well in the basement of the burned house.
Willis said he has a choice. The city can provide water, but a water line would have to be constructed to his property. Or, he and Kooser can sign on with Suburban Water, which has a new water line adjacent to the trailer park, as well as a new water tower on the hill to the west.
While Willis is interested in the property's developmental value, he said it might be years before that could pan out.
This year, Kansas Turnpike Authority gave tentative approval to construct a turnpike interchange on County Road 1. The interchange is about three miles south of the mobile home park.
However, the interchange project hinges on the county's ability to fund required improvements to County Road 1, estimated at more than $14 million.
"As far as the County Road 1 project, if it went through, honestly, we're probably 10 or 15 years off for that property to have any commercial value," Willis said.
So, in the meantime, Paradise Trailer Park will remain, including the name.
"We're going to leave it at Paradise," Willis said. "It's been Paradise forever."