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House move hits some snags

Some projects get left in limbo, lost without a trace. Others get left on Fargo's Seventh Street South -- right between Third and Fifth avenues. That's where house mover Michael Trevino's lastest project ended up Monday night. A series of delays ...

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Some projects get left in limbo, lost without a trace.

Others get left on Fargo's Seventh Street South -- right between Third and Fifth avenues.

That's where house mover Michael Trevino's lastest project ended up Monday night. A series of delays caused by curbs, power lines and a misplaced permit, left him parking a two-story home in the middle of the street next to Island Park.

"I don't quit. It only makes me want to go stronger," said Trevino, who is dogged by debts from a failed house- moving business, and only recently obtained a state contractor's license.

Fargo Police Sgt. Dean Mueller shut Trevino down at 8:15 p.m. because of darkness. State law does not allow homes to be moved after dark, he said.

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"It's certainly not as safe with trees, power lines and trying to determine distances in the dark," Mueller said.

At 5:30 p.m. Trevino was scrambling to move the aging two-story home from 818 4th Ave. S., as his permit to move the home was set to expire at midnight.

"Now I've got to fly. Time is of the essence," Trevino said, "Now it's my neck on the chopping block again."

Trevino said the house was supposed to have been moved earlier, but that the movers he hired, Statewide House Movers of Bismarck, had not shown up to do the job.

Attempts to contact Statewide were unsuccessful Monday.

Trevino said he sent two employees to Forest City, Iowa, on Sunday to obtain signs and other needed items to move the home.

He said he also planned to move a house at 1337 Broadway today, because that house's permit is set to expire.

"I've had an uphill battle with these for quite some time now," Trevino said. "Now, it's crunch time, so to speak."

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At times, as the house was moving down Third Avenue to Seventh Street, it looked like it would be crunch time -- literally -- as axles slewed and tires dragged against the underside of the home.

The house ground up onto curbs twice, twisting the wheels and support timbers and threatening to topple as daylight slid into night.

"I know Murphy's Law. One thing goes wrong, it all goes wrong," Trevino said.

Trevino announced at the start of the year that he had purchased the two Fargo homes and would move and resell them.

Then word came that he owed tens of thousands of dollars from failed house moving businesses.

He also served a prison term for taking money and not moving homes in Devils Lake, N.D., and other areas. His most recent prison time was for failing to pay hotel bills and not returning a skid-steer loader.

The Secretary of State's Office also said he needed a permit. The Cass County state's attorney has since cleared Trevino of acting improperly in preparing to move the homes.

Trevino obtained a state license March 19.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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