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Owner of Canalside Mobile Home Park responds in letter as scrutiny grows over conditions

It’s not ready for inspection, but ownership claims progress is being made at the Lyons mobile home community, where dozens have been without power for weeks.

A letter from Phil Provenzano, President of EPCP Properties located at 1043 Gravel Road, Webster who owns the Canalside Mobile Home Park in Lyons was published in The Times of Wayne County on Sunday.

Officials in Lyons say that the park is not ready for inspection, despite ownership’s continued claim that progress is being made.

“I was on-site [Thursday, August 8th] and they were making connections on the metering board. As of yesterday there were no site boxes installed on the trailers. Some of the ditches were filled with water and there was conduit wire not put in yet,” Dick Bogan, Town of Lyons Code Enforcement Officer told The Times. Bogan said the water was caused by heavy rains last week.

Read Provenzano’s full-letter below:

Dear Editor,

I am the owner of Canalside Mobile Home Park in Lyons, NY which has been the subject of recent news reports. I would like to share with you, and the public, recent updates, relevant history and immediate plans for the park’s residents who are all owners of their manufactured homes.

As of this writing, we are 90% complete with installation of new underground conduit and wiring that comes from the new NYSEG pole and transformer, the main power source, and ends at a main “shut off” aka disconnect, for each home within the park. We have had delays in receiving parts for the new disconnects but, God-willing and weather permitting, we should be ready for a final inspection by next Friday (August 16). Service to the park will be turned on after an independent electrical inspection approves our contractor’s work from pole to each individual disconnect. Once approved, power will be restored to the park and made available to homeowners at a maximum of 100 amps. Each home will then be inspected by our contractor to determine the level of electrical current that can safely be transmitted to their home. Some of the homes are not upgraded to accept the full amperage and will be serviced according to what their home can handle. We will work with residents, Dept of Health, community programs, legislators, and others to help eligible homeowners prepare for possible upgrade to electrical service in their homes.

Manufactured homeowners and park owners have a unique relationship There are shared responsibilities and there are individual responsibilities. There are also local and state codes and Department of Health regulations that must be met to continue operation of the park. Park owners are responsible for the basic infrastructure that supports utilities and hook-ups on the lots where homeowners place their trailers. Homeowners are responsible for any upgrades and hookups from theirhomes to the park services, not unlike a new town water line installed along a rural road where it is the homeowner’s responsibility and cost to tie into the service.

This same responsibility applies to residents in order to connect to our septic, which was mentioned in a news report, and which we have inspected and repaired where necessary. We are working with those few residents who need help properly connecting.

Unfortunately, the citations and violations received by the local code enforcement office, has been happening not just in the last few years since my ownership, but for over 40 years. Why nothing was done before my purchase, I cannot say. However, contrary to the news reports, the electrical citation for “bare wires” has not escalated in my tenure. When I purchased the property, I was unaware and never informed that the park had been cited, nor did I know that the existing NYSEG transformer was not strong enough to handle the mobile home park usage. This is not an excuse. It was my responsibility for due diligence, but in all our dealings, it did not get disclosed nor discovered during the purchase. Buyer beware.

Despite the perceived conditions of the park, I DO care about the families who live here and have tried to accommodate their needs during this issue. The real problem with the electrical service and reported power surges in the homes is a shared responsibility and homeowners must take some of the responsibility to monitor the electrical system within their homes. Unlike the stereotypical portrait of a “slumlord,” as a property owner, I do NOT have a bankroll of cash that I hoard from lot rent in lieu of making the property habitable. If I had known upon purchase, the issue would have been addressed much earlier and we would not be in this predicament.

Since 2017, tenants have been informed in notifications they were issued by my property manager that they cannot run numerous electrical items in their homes, to unplug unnecessary, unused items and to try to conserve energy. Unfortunately, in the brutal heat wave of this summer, they did not comply, and power surges were felt.

Since this incident, it is now clear to me that this park has been a sore subject in the town for years. As a new owner, I did not realize the extent of the angst felt against the park by the town or the code enforcement office. I hope to work with town officials and park residents to improve this perception. Please know that I am a responsible landlord and property owner, and I have been working to correct a costly and complex issue long before the drama of this emergency unfolded.

Sincerely, Phil Provenzano

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