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More evictions in court
Cozy Acres
Cozy Acres
Ageing trailers with little room to spare make Cozy Acres feel crowded and cluttered. A public play structure shows signs of age and misuse.

BOSCOBEL - The Grant County Court heard two more eviction hearings against residents at Cozy Acres Mobile Home Park on Monday, Oct. 17.

Janna Smith and Travis Atkinson are two of five householders who’ve received eviction notices since early September.

Smith’s case was dismissed, as she’d come to a payment agreement with manager Bruce Zinkle to bring her lot rent up to date. Atkinson’s eviction was ordered by the presiding judge, Craig Day.

Zinkle asked the court for the option to execute the eviction at his own discretion, as Atkinson expressed a desire to stay in the trailer park. Day agreed.

Zinkle initiated the eviction proceedings two weeks after the Dial published a two-month-long investigation into substandard living conditions at Cozy Acres.

Trailers at the park are as old as 60 years, and many are in a state of disrepair, with broken windows and rotten floors and walls commonplace. Some have been condemned, then sold and rehabbed. Multiple residents complain that cockroaches infest their trailers and that the poorly maintained private access road in the park causes costly damage to their vehicles.

In 2016, Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), which oversees some of the laws pertaining to trailer parks, issued a warning against Zinkle.

According to the complaint, the manager illegally withheld a lease from a tenant who refused to pay the past-due rent of a previous owner of his trailer. At a hearing two weeks ago, Matthew Turner told the court that the same thing had happened to him.

The park is one of six owned by Michelle Gillette, an absentee landlord who lives in Baraboo on a 100-acre horse ranch and event center valued at $1.6 million. All six of the parks are managed by Zinkle. @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073711037 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:Times; panose-1:2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;}@font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝";}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝";}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}