Nothing stands in the way of progress, the saying goes, but that doesn't mean everyone likes it.
Progress, in this case, will be a new Macey's grocery store and a small mall area at about 900 N. State Street in Orem.The people who don't like it are the families who used to live in the Cascade Mobile Home Park, which, until September, stood on the site.
John Gaskill, president of Amsource, a company that is co-developing the property with Woodbury Corporation from Salt Lake, said he understands that new housing is not readily available.
"It was tough for these people to find places to live," he said. "But they had six to nine months and they were even given some money to help in the move."
But Ana R. Hinojos, who works for the Institute for Human Resource Development and specializes in seasonal and migrant workers, said some of the families had only a 45-day notice.
This would not have been a problem, except that there were no other places in the area at a comparable price for them to move to, she said.
"Some are living as three or four families together in one apartment until they can find housing," Hinojos said. Others owned their trailers, which they wanted to move, but there were no vacant places in other trailer courts.
Hinojos is not opposed to the project. She said she is only concerned about the way the housing relocation was handled.
The Utah Housing Authority tried to help, but Gene Carly, the authority's executive director, said his organization is not equipped to handle emergency situations.
The families were immediately put on a list for subsidized housing, Carly said. But the wait could be six months or more.
However, none of the families are out in the cold. All have found places to stay, though many have made sacrifices.
Daryl Berlin, Orem city manager, said the "only downside of the project is that the people who lived there were lower-income and it was difficult to find places for them to go."
That section of town was run-down and the development will enhance the area, he said.
Gaskill said when he visited the area, he saw children running through what looked like raw sewage. "I think it was in the city's best interest to develop the area," he said.
Gerald Nielsen, of the Orem Police Department, said the area had a high crime rate compared to the rest of the city.
Hinojos agreed that the area was not in good shape, but she said that could have been changed instead of forcing lower-income families to find other housing.
"The housing shortage in Utah County is terrible," she said. One family had to move to Santaquin, in the southernmost part of the county.
Carly said the incident brought the housing shortage problem into focus and the Utah Housing Authority began to look at the issue on a broader scale.
"I have been told that Utah County is the second most productive county in the state agriculturally and the needs of these workers need to take a priority," Carly said.
Gaskill said construction is under way on the 6.5-acre lot, and they are negotiating with companies for some of the leases, which includes a 2,600-square-foot plot for a fast-food restaurant.
The area should be open for business by May 1, 1991, he said.