Friday, January 25, 2008

Trailer park tales of Port Edward

Drama of the double wides and problems at the pads, tis the kind of excitement that Ricky, Julian and Bubbles would most likely find themselves involved in the middle of, as Port Edward District Council weighed in on an issue regarding seven trailers in a local trailer park.

In what seems to be an ongoing dispute between the park owners and the District, there is an ongoing question as to who is responsible for the demolition or removal of the numerous trailers in question.

The park owners suggest that they have no right to destroy what they call individual taxable pieces of property and promptly bounced the issue back to the district for resolution.

The controversy received its fair share of attention in Thursday’s Daily News.

Though at no time during the process did anyone ask the all important question, what would Bubbles do?

Owner of trailer park calls upon Port Ed to step up
By Patrick Witwicki
The Daily News
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Pages one and two

There was a moment of discomfort during Port Edward Council Tuesday night, as council dealt with a correspondence from Chris and Olga Kurpil, owners of the trailer park.

Kurpil was responding to an order from the city to clear away seven "hazardous" trailers in his park, saying it was not his responsibility.

"We are not the owners or the caretakers of these individual taxable pieces of property, and therefore, have no legal authority to destroy and dispose of them," said Kurpil in his correspondence.

"The provision to take action on non-payers of taxes and interest on manufactured homes is given to the District of Port Edward under the Municipal Act."

Chief Administrative Officer Ron Bedard carefully addressed Kurpil, who also attended the meeting in person.

"We're all a little unsure if we're reading this right," said Bedard, specifically referring to Kurpil's last paragraph in the letter in which he talks about disconnecting the electrical, gas, water, and sewer lines to the trailers in question.

"You're not going to remove the trailers, that is correct?"

Kurpil agreed, but added: "Electric, gas, sewer and whatever else is our responsibility, we'll (take care of it)."

The issue regarding the seven trailers has been ongoing for well over the past year, and Port Edward proceeded in what they believed was the proper legal matter.

But according to Kurpil, the district could have taken care of the problem years ago, since he believes it is the district's responsibility to remove so-called hazardous structures.

"The district of Port Edward has unduly delayed and prolonged this process, and in doing so, has perpetuated a delay of other bylaws and charters to appear giving the impression of neglect on behalf of the park owners," he said in the correspondence.

"We will not be bullied or intimidated into doing what the district of Port Edward clearly had a duty to do years ago."

That said, Port Edward has been discussing moving in and addressing the situation anyway, and council voted in favour of proceeding with their previous plans.

"Let's move with the process," said Coun. Christine MacKenzie.

It is now truly official - Sun Wave will no longer be eligible for its tax exemption from Port Edward. The previous tax exemption bylaw has now been rescinded.

Bedard's report, which received its first three readings earlier this month, was accepted in its final reading with one minor wording change to the last paragraph.

"The District of Port Edward, due to Sun Wave's failure to meet its obligation under the Partnering Agreement, Sun Wave is not entitled to retain the benefit of the Tax Exemption for the years 2006 and 2007," he said.

But it wasn't all bad news Tuesday night, as Port Edward council welcomed the fact that they had received funding for the North Pacific Cannery Road, as reported last week in the Daily News. Council received correspondence from B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon in time for Tuesday's meeting.

"I think that's awesome," said MacKenzie.

Coun. Ed Wampler added: "(Falcon) said he'd so something, and he came through. It's going to go a long way."

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