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Good-bye and good riddance

Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg, Montana

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"All hands on deck!" read an e-mail sent to Philipsburg Chamber members on Monday.

The call, sent out by the Chamber's secretary was done so at the behest of local business owner Lynn Unger who had a surprise visitor that day.

According to Unger, Jesse Klein, of In-Klein Construction walked into her store with a request for help in the removal of a derelict house trailer that has darkened the entrance to town since last spring.

Pinky Eik told the Philipsburg Mail earlier this year that he towed the behemoth from his trailer court, also located on Broadway, to his land on the highway when he learned that the county would not allow him to leave it at the landfill.

Soon after that he charged the county with ownership, stating that his former renter (the title-holder of the mobile home) had abandoned the trailer and that the county needed to assume that title due to his renter's unpaid taxes. County Attorney Chris Miller disputes that assertion and a petition to force the county to have Eik remove the trailer is currently being circulated.

"He said he was told by Pinky to come and talk to me because I was in charge of the Rotary," Unger told the Mail, "well, I'm not but when I told him that I was in the Rotary and in the Chamber he said 'ah!' So I think he wanted to talk to the Chamber."

Unger then called both Chamber President Peggy Pahrman and Rotary President Jim Christensen and asked them to get word to their members.

"I asked Jesse if he had Pinky and Sue's permission and he said, 'don't worry, we're good friends and this has already been discussed with Pinky and at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday it's going.'"

Unger added that she was told by Klein that he was not soliciting funds for the removal of the trailer but that any money he received to help pay for diesel, to transport the trailer away from town, would be appreciated. She said it appeared to her that Klein was removing the trailer as a favor to his friends, the Eiks. In a brief interview with the paper during initial demolition of the trailer Klein admitted that he wasn't being compensated.

"I'm tired of seeing it in the paper and of hearing people complain," he said, adding that he's had offers of help from several people and after demolition he'll be taking the remains to Ray Waldbillig's property who has allowed the use of his burn pile.

"Tomorrow it will be gone and won't that be nice?" Klein said with a smile.

Sue Eik, when reached by the newspaper for comment, said she was unaware of the project. The paper was unable to reach her husband, Pinky, prior to deadline.

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Original Publication Date: January 20, 2011

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