Residents in Les’ Trailer Park are not leaving without a fight. At least 20 tenants in the park, just west of Red Deer on Burnt Lake Trail, have decided to pool their resources and hire a lawyer.
Shelly Nelson said they aren’t sure what grounds they have but they want to fight the eviction notices that were posted to their trailer doors.
“We’re not all willing to walk away,” said Nelson, a 14-year resident. “A lot of us own our trailers and we can’t afford to. We live paycheque to paycheque. We can’t sell our trailer. We can’t move our trailer. What are we supposed to do?”
Nelson said over the years there has been eviction notices and within a few days the owner would rescind them. She said most people are not taking the latest notices seriously but they are willing to fight.
“There’s a lot of young families in here that scraped together to get a down payment or borrowed money to pay off their trailer,” said Anne Philion. 71, “And this happens. I am not going to leave. If he wants me out of here, he has to buy me out.”
The residents were given one year on Sept. 13 to leave the premises because the owner, Robert Bresciani, said he cannot afford the costly upgrades to the sewer and water systems. Days before, the tenants were notified that the water they were drinking was potentially a risk to their health. A boil water advisory was posted near the mailboxes at the entrance of the trailer court.
Dustin Reid, 23, took possession of his $8,500 trailer just three days before the eviction notices and boil water advisory were issued.
Reid’s mother, Kathy Shingleton, says someone knew these problems existed in the trailer court. Shingleton said she would have encouraged her son to look elsewhere if she had known about the pending eviction notices and problems with the water.
“I am enraged,” said Reid. “I don’t know what to do now.”
Alberta Health Services and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development have been working with Bresciani for about 15 months to bring the systems up to code. On Wednesday, Bresciani said he is getting out of the business because he is tired of fighting with the government.