Trailer park dispute heats up

Trailers at the North Bay Mobile Home Park. If the sewage situation is not resolved before a September deadline, tenants could be forced to move their homes. Herald File Photo

Accusations continue to fly in the case of an aging sewage lagoon and a trailer park owner’s quest to connect his tenants to Prince Albert’s wastewater system.

James Wankel, who bought the North Bay Mobile Home Park last fall, said he has “put out a feeler to a lawyer” to potentially sue the city.

The park’s tenants receive city water through the Prince Albert Rural Water Utility, but their sewage goes to a nearby lagoon. When he purchased the property, Wankel knew the province was planning to shut down the lagoon for environmental reasons. He set his hopes on getting access to the city sewers.

He claims he was misled into thinking the city was “open” to his plan.

Wankel produced a series of emails from a realtor and city officials, which he said support that claim. But City Manager Jim Toye said he clearly conveyed his opposition to the project before Wankel took ownership.

Many of the key statements in the dispute flowed through one man: BC realtor Walter Timofieyvich.

On October 18, Timofieyvich informed Wankel that he’d spoken with Toye, who allegedly said he didn’t “see a problem recommending the sewer from North Bay Mobile Home Park.”

Toye said he never meant to give that impression.

“I don’t believe that part is correct, that I would have said that we can accommodate,” he told the Daily Herald.

Toye provided an email he sent to Timofieyvich on October 18, the very day of the realtor’s correspondence with Wankel.

“The City of Prince Albert will not supply sanitary sewer services to this development,” the city manager wrote. “If we had a previous conversation about this, I am sure I would not have committed to such service.”

For more on this story, see the May 4 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.