Tenants in Les’s Trailer Park may not have to fight eviction notices sent out in September.
Residents in the 72-trailer park were told recently in a letter that options would be explored to keep the park open if tenants paid their rent on time.
In September, Robert Bresciani, the Calgary-based owner, told tenants they had a year from the date of the notice to clear out because the park would be shutting down.
Bresciani said he was tired of fighting with the provincial government over costly regulatory upgrades to the sewer and water systems.
Some long-time tenants like Shelly Nelson and Anne Philion said they would fight the notices every step of the way.
Nelson and her neighbours went to a lawyer who indicated there may be grounds to fight the eviction notices because of a small error on the notices. Nelson said it looks like they won’t have to go that route because of the latest notice.
“We were told we had eviction notices,” said Nelson. “Now we’re told as long as everyone pays their rent they will keep it running. How are we to know if everybody has paid their rent?”
Nelson said most neighbours are planning to stay put while others continue to put up For Sale signs.
“We are going to wait and see what happens,” said Nelson. “We’re not willing to walk away from our house. We’d like to sell it but we don’t want to sell it to somebody if it’s not going to be there in a year.”
Philion, 71, who has lived in the park for about 10 years said she would like to start a committee to ensure everyone is paying their rent on time.
About five years ago, the tenants in the park were in a similar situation, said Philion. She said the tenants were given eviction notices because the park was put on the market but nothing happened until September with the latest notices.
“It makes it bad for the rest of us who are paying our rent,” said Philion. “You just can’t pick up your trailer and put in your pocket and hope you find a place to sit it down. It just doesn’t work that way. The people who are responsible and look after their yard and trailers and do pay their rent shouldn’t have to suffer because of a bunch of bad apples.”
Philion said the park manager has quit so she is considering taking the job. Just days before the eviction notices, Alberta Health Services issued a order indicating water in the park may be unfit for human consumption because the surface water may be seeping into groundwater used to supply the park. As well, the mandatory water samples were not being monitored for bacteria. AHS issued a boil water advisory as a precautionary measure because the samples were not being submitted.
David Brown, of Alberta Health Services, said there were concerns because proper monitoring of the water supply was not being conducted even though the services were available at no cost. Brown said without testing they were unable to ascertain whether the provincial standards were being met.
“The owner/operator has come full circle in terms of actually not only supplying the samples we need of the treated water supplied to residents but the raw,” Brown said Wednesday. “That gives us added protection that the water remains safe to consume.”
Brown said residents can be assured the drinking water is safe to consume.
Both Alberta Health Services and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development are working together to help Bresciani bring the systems up to provincial standards.
The 71-year-old has owned the park since 1978 and has faced his share of complaints over maintenance, safety and sewer issues. For about 10 years, park sewage was pumped into the Red Deer River until the 1980s when Bresciani was ordered to stop dumping.
Bresciani did not wish to comment on Wednesday.