A local developer says he feels residents living in his mobile home park are being treated like second-class citizens by the Town of Stellarton.
Blair van Veld, owner of Twin Rivers Properties, said he has been asking for years for the street in his 42-unit park to be paved by the town since it looks after maintenance of the roads, water and sewer.
“We have been requesting pavement at this location since we purchased the property 11 years ago, time and time again, we were told by the town engineer we are on the list to be paved,” he wrote in a letter to Stellarton town council on Nov. 26.
“We are growing frustrated with the Town of Stellarton as our community is continually neglected while sidewalks to nowhere are completed in the Albion Business Park (which has yet to actually break even) and roads that were just recently paved are ripped up to place new water and sewer just a few years after being paved. We are aware that federal and provincial funding was achieved for the water and sewer projects and the cost to the town was only 25 per cent of the total project, however, 25 per cent of something is still something.”
Van Veld said he purchased Twin Rivers in 2006 and has been doing maintenance and upgrades in the park to attract new residents to the town. Currently, all of the 42 mobile homes in the park are occupied. Some are owned by the homeowners and others are owned and rented out by van Veld’s company.
He said his properties in Stellarton generate about $35,000 in taxes for the town yet he feels because it is low- to middle-income residential area it doesn’t get the attention other areas of town receive.
“We truly believe that that community is ignored because it is ‘trailer court,’” he said in his letter to council. “We are not asking for curb and gutter services or sidewalks. Just that the community gets fair treatment in infrastructure funds and that is maintained.”
He said the road tends to collect a lot of water and there are sections after a heavy rain that make it nearly impossible for two cars to pass each other.
The Town of Stellarton responded to van Veld in a letter on Dec. 12 saying the town has adopted an asphalt street rating system that ranks asphalt streets based on their current conditions. The system uses a colour-coded system of green, light green, yellow, orange and red – green being the best and red being the worst.
Van Veld was told by the town that Twin Rivers Trailer Court is rated orange and that currently there are 14 streets on the priority list ahead of Twin Rivers. The town said paving plans will be finalized in early 2018.
Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray echoed this statement on Friday saying that council has a system in place that allows the highest-priority roads to be paved first.
He said the rating system is carried out by the town’s engineer and staff and is without any political bias. He estimated that between 10 and 12 roads can be a paved in a year in the town but this depends on the town budget from year to year.