Kitimat trailer park to get investigation following property complaint made to town council

After a presentation to council about concerns about the property at Vista Village the town staff will look into the complaints.

The District of Kitimat is treating the presentation at a recent council meeting regarding the condition of the property at Vista Village Trailer Park as an official complaint and will move forward on standard complaint investigation policies.

Although the concerns were brought up in a public council meeting by a trailer park resident and a member of the Kitimat Housing Resource Project, Chief Administrative Officer Warren Waycheshen took an opportunity to tell councillors that in usual cases the town will not voluntarily disclose who made complaints against persons or homeowners as a matter of policy.

As of the September 14 Committee of the Whole meeting staff had not yet conducted any investigation, as they were awaiting council’s review of the plan before moving ahead. That delay as well was due to the public nature of the complaint and otherwise complaints would not usually be shared at a public meeting for council’s review.

The options of the District to investigate complaints can be to either refer to another agency (as an example the Ministry of Environment could be one), to issue a ticket under the Municipal Tickets program, court-ordered enforcement, or remedial action as outlined under the Community Charter.

A report to council emphasizes that the fact that the town will investigate a complaint at Vista Village does not suggest that any violations have actually occurred, just that they will look in to it.

The outline of the complaint is that the owner of Vista Village has been storing old oil tanks on Vista Village property which may be degrading the ground and could potentially impact drinking water.

Such assessment was made following a letter sent to residents from an environmental firm hired by the park, warning against oil leaking from vehicles.

The representative for Vista Village Michael Gemmiti responded to the concerns put forward at the council meeting, saying the letters from the firm on oil leakages “were given to protect the park’s infrastructure, not as a precursor to evictions,” as was suggested by Paul Lagace at the September 8 meeting.

“The assertion that the letters indicate an avenue for future eviction notices is actually just an avenue for Lagace to put himself in front of council, yet again,” said Gemmiti. “Could the letter result in eviction notices? Only in an extremely lengthy and unlikely process.”

That process, he says, would be for a tenant hving to ignore the warning letter, forcing Vista Village to apply to the Residential Tenancy Board for an order to force the tenant to fix the issue, then the tenant would have to ignore that order to fix the problem. At that point the park could issue a one-month eviction notice, he said.

As for the oil tanks in question on the property owned by the park owner, he said “Vista Village informs me that there are old tanks but they have been empty for years with no oil. Vista Village has been trying to get the salvage people from Terrace to remove them but they have been too busy and that Vista Village’s tanks were too small of a load for them to take. It will continue to look into properly disposing the empty tanks.”

As for if the park would welcome any review by the Ministry of Environment, which was an avenue suggested by Lagace at the council meeting, Gemmiti said they wouldn’t.

“It is odd that Kitimat Council is taking steps to investigate this issue on the basis of some pictures and pure speculation without first contacting Vista Village,” he said.

Finally, as to the suggestion that Vista Village may be intending to shut down, that is also not the case.

“Vista Village has no intention of closing the park and has never made a single comment to the contrary. It appears to Vista Village that the only person making this assertion is Paul Lagace and his intentions for doing so are unknown,” he said. “It is distressing to many long term residents of Vista Village that this false accusation and many others are being told to Kitimat Council and to the press.”

He said that starting last year “a so-called homeowners’ association made up of a few tenants” has taken aggressive stances “to the detriment of other tenants.”

“Some long term tenants now fear walking in what they thought was a safe park all these years because of a couple of tenants that do not want to follow the park rules or their tenancy agreements.

“The long term tenants complain to management that they have been living happily in the park for many years and never had a problem until the association started attacking the management of the park over the past year.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read