Living in their own filth

By Jeff Labine
Published: Jan. 13, 2015

TIMMINS – A group of trailer home park residents in Timmins say they are tired of having to put up with crap.

Roseanne Blanchard, who has lived at True North Estates (formerly Sharidan mobile home park) off Pine Street South for nine years, says sewage broke through the surface directly under her dwelling and around her neighbours’ lots as well.

She said the pump house near her home was going through some repairs when her line became blocked.

In order to unplug it, a sewage service company had to go underneath her trailer to open up the valve.

She said there was some blow back and that sprayed sewage everywhere.

“When my pipes were unplugged, I didn’t go underneath there for over a month so I was unaware of the mess,” she said. “All I know is that they left me with a mess underneath my trailer and I’m not looking forward to that this spring. I’m very upset. We went 37 days of them pumping here next door. I’m five feet away from the pump house. This is not quiet. My whole house was shaking, vibrating. It was unbearable. We were so overwhelmed.”

Ann Villeneuve, who also lives in the park, said she is trying to find someone to help clean up the mess up under Blanchard’s home as well as under her home. She said the caretakers told her that they won’t be able to do anything until the spring.

“If we start getting any mild weather that smell is going to go through the house,” she said. “I have sewage under my house but it is not as bad as hers. I’ve been trying to get someone to clean this since September. I still haven’t had anyone come in to do it.”

She said she had to put her dogs in the front yard because of the sewage in her backyard and mentioned that there are mushrooms growing out of the sewage.

“I’m at my wit’s end,” she said. “I’ve been here for five years. With the old owners, we say something and they would be on it right away. These people here, they want our money but they don’t want to help us. Four times in month the sewers backed up. In one month in September. Where can I turn?”

The former Sheridan mobile home park was purchased by a private owner based in London, Ont. and renamed True North Estates last February. Around 300 residents call the park home.

Property manager Kerri Blais said the idea of them putting off repairs until the spring is simply not true.

She explained that there are no burst sewer pipes and so far all she knows about is a frozen pipe on one street, which is a yearly problem. She said these issues are always taken care of by the sewage service company.

She explained the new owner has taken steps to improve the park including putting in new sewer lines, lift stations and even fire hydrants.

She said a lot of the problems residents are experiencing are leftovers from the previous owners, which they are trying to fix.

“I’m frustrated that it is even said because we have had everything inspected and certified from the Ministry of Labour to the fire department,” she told The Daily Press. “I’m just tired of hearing about it. As soon as they called us (IMS Maintenance Services) is called the same day. There’s never a delay. We would never say it will be fixed in the spring. We want the homeowners to see that there is going to be a difference.”

She said if anyone else has an issue they should call her. She explained there is only one company that does all the work at the park and that is IMS Maintenance Services. She said that company is the only one that is certified to go into confined spaces.

“The lines get flushed and everything gets fixed and if it is in the winter we make sure that it is working and everything is fine,” she added. “When the owner first bought the park in February, they found a duck, a can of long-johns, a hairbrush and a bottle of Javex (in the sewage line). I’m not talking about a rubber duck. I’m talking about a whole duck. There has just been a lot of these interesting things happening.”

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