Residents of an eastern Ontario mobile home park say they’re hopeful a private company can fix their septic system and stop their eviction.
Around 80 people living in Fetherston Mobile Home Park near Kemptville could be forced from their homes by a failing septic system that's more than 40 years old.
The park's owner went bankrupt in 2008 then died shortly afterward, before the municipality said it’s too expensive to pay the approximately $750,000 cost to replace them.
Facing a deadline to find a solution, residents have turned to St. Catharines-based ASI Group, which said it will pay to have the five tanks replaced. The residents would then have to pay them back in monthly instalments.
"In our opinion, it's a win-win scenario," said Dan Menard, the group’s general manager. "Our business is operating wastewater plants."
Monthly fees would double
The park association's president Maurice Dumoulin shared what he called his "hopes" with residents on Sunday night.
"We’re going to save our homes – our veterans, our handicapped," he said. "Nobody will lose anything."
In order for that to happen, monthly fees would go from $200 to $400.
"It will double, but at $400 you can't even rent a bedroom," said Dumoulin. "So hey, we're saving our homes, we're happy."
Residents have proposed the creation of a non-profit association to run the park and pay back the maintenance costs, a move that needs the township’s approval.
"We're working very hard with anyone who is offering solutions, but at the same time we … cannot ignore the health and safety issues relating to the conditions of that park," said Brian J. Carré, the municipality's chief administrative officer.
Residents said if informal meetings with the township go well on Monday, the proposal could go to its council Aug. 26.
If approved, the septic tanks could be replaced in about 10 weeks.