Ask an Official: City admin discusses Whispering Pines property
This week’s featured question was submitted for Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson
The question reads:
“What’s the story behind the area that used to be Whispering Pines trailer park? I hear and see so many rumors! I hear from some the city forced the owners of the park and residents to move so the city could clear it for someone to build on it. And I hear from others it was park owner’s decision to move. Is any of this true? Or what is the true story? If it was done so someone could build on it, why is it still vacant after all this time? Thanks!
Answer as given by Johnson:
“Whispering Pines trailer park is still with us, it is just smaller now. The city had been in discussion with the owners of Whispering Pines for several years concerning the sale of their property fronting on Main Street that had slowly been losing residents. This is more than six acres of prime commercial property that was finally occupied by just 11 trailers prior to our purchasing the property. The owners made the decision to sell the city this parcel and move the remaining trailers onto empty lots in the remainder of the park. This consolidated the remaining trailers in a smaller area and resulted in less property maintenance costs for the park owners. Our purchase agreement was contingent upon it being a “clear” parcel, meaning the trailers had to be moved prior to the city taking ownership.
“The city divided the property into three parcels for commercial development. The parcel next to O’Reilly’s will house Nelson’s Power House. The next lot to the east already houses One-Way Collision on the front of the property and will soon house a building for Brickner’s Park City Motors at the rear of the parcel. The third lot to the east is still available for development. New commercial development along the city’s entry corridor from the east is much preferable to a mostly empty trailer park, it both looks more welcoming and provides a much higher tax base for the city.”
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Merrill Fire department, Tomahawk Police Department, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson, Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell, Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe, Lincoln County Forestry Land and Parks Director Kevin Kleinschmidt, Lincoln County Administrative Coordinator Jason Hake, Local DNR Conservation Warden Curt Butler and Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Superintendent Dr. John Sample. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.