Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 24, 2013

As Sabre Park crumbles around them, the few remaining residents deal with frustration of situation

As Sabre Park crumbles around them, the few remaining residents deal with frustration


Niagara Gazette —

A total of 43 houses are still standing in the park. Of those, only 11 appeared to have occupants, with many of the other 32 vacant houses in varying states of disrepair. Some are partially demolished. Some have broken windows and garbage, old mattresses and broken televisions cast about the exteriors. When the park was at full capacity there were about 280 occupied homes.

Leaving the home she bought five years ago will be especially hard for Judi and her son. Michael suffers from cerebral palsy and is bound to a wheelchair.

Judi and her ex-husband, Jeff Dinsmore, have put a great deal of time, money and energy into the house to make it accessible for their son. They have widened doors and built a large wooden ramp on the front of the house so that Michael can come and go when he wants and move about the house freely.

Jeff owns a contracting company and did much of the work himself.

And that’s on top of standard home improvements — new windows and floors, a new roof — that were required to make the house comfortable.

“All my money has been tied up in this house for the last five years,” Judi said. “I have close to $40,000 put into this thing, not counting the mortgage when I bought it.”

She has explored the option of moving the trailer to another park, but has been told that her home is too old and too large for that to be possible — a common issue. The only park she could find in Western New York that could accept her trailer is in Alden. That’s too far away for Michael, who has constant doctor’s appointments related to his health issues, Judi said.

In addition to suffering from cerebral palsy, Michael has had a kidney transplant and battled post-transplant lymphoma. His cancer is now in remission.

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