With only weeks to spare, the residents of the North Bay Mobile Home Park have gotten a reprieve from a sewage shutdown that would have forced them to move.
The Water Security Agency had set a September 30 deadline for the park’s owner, James Wankel, to come up with a plan for the park’s aging sewage lagoon. They say it’s over capacity and risks contaminating a nearby aquifer.
But in mid-August, North Bay got an extension to June 2019. Patrick Boyle, a spokesman for the agency, said Wankel has submitted what seems like a viable path forward to a new sewage treatment system.
“They’re showing significant effort towards updating,” Boyle said. “They needed additional time to obtain permission from landowners.”
He said the agency tries to be flexible, so long as they’re seeing progress.
“The end goal at the end of the day for us is to have a new sewage treatment system that everyone can benefit from,” he said. “That’s what we’re seeing, so that’s why we’ve granted that extension on their permit.”
Boyle said that the agency will continue to inspect and monitor the park’s current lagoon to make sure it’s not damaging the environment.
“If anything happens in the interim, we’ll have to respond to that accordingly,” he said.
Residents were jubilant upon hearing the news. Shannon Chisholm said she was “excited” when she read about it in a letter last month. She said she couldn’t afford the $2,500 price to move her trailer. Her son was afraid he’d have to leave his friends and school behind.
She hopes Wankel’s plan works out.
“Hopefully he holds up to his word and gets it all done,” she said, “cause nobody wants to move. We’re just a big happy family.”
For more on this story, see the September 2 edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald