Masthead Strip



What’s wrong with this picture? It’s not a pretty picture in terms of creative or artistic presentation, but It’s not meant to be, because it’s real. The trailers shown here represent 1.5% of the number of trailers parked in a cow pasture in Hope Arkansas. There are approximately 300 trailers shown here and if you do the math, it equates to 20,000 units. Why are they here and why is this story so important? In a word! Mismanagement.

FEMA’s incompetence was evident in the Katrina catastrophy in New Orleans, where people as of the summer of 2006 (nearly a year after the hurricane), still had no homes to live in, and most recently the Alabama tornado destruction. The idea or thought behind FEMA’s plan was good, but the beauracy behind it has failed. Should we be concern? Yes, because it’s costing us hard earned tax dollars.

FEMA spent $2.7 billion to buy 145,000 mobile homes and trailers after Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in August and September 2005, paying about an average of $19,000 per trailer. It is believed that FEMA now has about 60,000 trailers in storage across the country with several thousand of them never been used.Hope has the largest stockpile of FEMA trailers, while others are stored at Selma, Ala,Madison, Ind,Cumberland and Frostburg, Md,Carnes and Purvis, Miss.; Edison, N.J Jasper and Texarkana, Texas and Fort Pickett, Va.

FEMA wants Hope to be a staging ground during disasters because it's close enough to the Gulf Coast to store trailers but far enough inland to be out of harm's way. The city is making the most of it, entering a $25,000-a-month contract with FEMA.

Thats $300,000 a year in leasing fees to Hope Arkansas alone When you add up the unknown monthly storage fees the other states are charging, it could well be close to a million dollars year over year. A small price to pay if the trailers serve their purposes as intended. But they are not.

By the way, what’s wrong with storing these trailers on land that the goverment already owns, like all the army bases nation wide that were closed down a couple of years ago, or any other unused government lands or facilities When the time comes for tax increases, think about the waste of tax dollars here.

If an object should be utilized and is not utilized frequently, it is believe it goes downhill rapidly. How long can these trailers sit without being utilized before they are not worth living in at all? Could this be another $2.7 billion of wasted tax payers dollars? A lot of these trailers have been auctioned to people who don't even need them for as little as 10% of what we paid for them. An all they do is sell them to the people who need them, for a very nice profit. Go Figure. Captialism at the extreme. Hey! Think about this; You may need one of these trailers in the near future. So be concern.

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