The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By LEE REVIS
Editor, Valdez Star 

Evictions from Aleutian Village will not be enforced this year letter says

Troubled trailer park undergoes inspections by city as residents wait for answers

 

Source: City of Valdez

A copy of a letter the Aleut Corp. sent to owners of mobile homes at Aleutian Trailer Park.

Residents of a mobile home park that were under immanent threat of eviction were given a reprieve last week.

The Aleut Corp. sent letters to mobile home owners of Aleutian Village Trailer Park stating that it is rescinding eviction notices it sent to all mobile home owners last September.

The notices sent last year gave park dwellers notice that they were to remove all their property - including mobile homes - by midnight, August 31, 2016 or face legal action that would hold them financially responsible for the costs of eviction.

The letter sent last week states that the Aleut Corp. will not close the park in 2016 but that it does intend to issue new eviction notices sometime in the near future so that it can reset the clock on its ability to close the park in the future.

"Aleut Real Estate hereby rescinds the "Notice to Vacate" issued in 2015," the letter to residents from Aluet Real Estate says. "That notice identified a closing date for the park of August 31, 2016. Aleut will take some additional time to consider the company's issues and options associated with our ownership of Aleutian Village and identify an appropriate course of action."

The reprieve is good news for the park's residents, who have been trying to thwart the eviction and keep the park open by teaming up with the City of Valdez. Since then, residents and city officials who have been working to find an alternative solution to a mass eviction have been on a wild roller coaster ride - with few firm answers to the great number of questions that both agreed need answers.

"Because Alaska statutes require that a 270 day notice be given on any plan to close a trailer park, residents should expect another such notice to be issued in the future in order to maintain our ability to close the property in the future," the letter states, which is signed by the company's general manager, Melvin Smith. "Aleut Real Estate will not close the Aleutian Village Trailer Park in 2016."

The Valdez City Council was set to hold a special meeting regarding the updates Tuesday night, after the Valdez Star goes to press.

The agenda statement for the meeting says that while the news from the Aleut Corp. is good, park residents and the city need to continue looking for solutions that will keep the park open.

"This notice is most welcome news as it grants a reprieve in the timing to continue developing a long term solution for the park," the agenda statement said. "Despite the time extension, Administration recommends continued work on solution development. This special meeting is being held for Council to provide direction on how staff should proceed from this point forward."

Inspections of electric and water utilities that were installed in the park but never hooked up to the park's mobile homes has started according to city administration.

"The City hired HDR to conduct the initial investigation of the water system," the special meeting agenda statement says. "That inspection was completed on Wednesday, May 25. Melvin Smith from the Aleut Corporation was onsite during the investigation and he had Randy Bell present who installed the system and was the manager of the park at the time of the installation."

The inspection of the new but unused electric system is slated for June 1, the city also said.

City officials learned after the initial eviction notices were sent last fall that the Aleut Corp. was looking to drop the park from its real estate holdings because it was no longer profitable.

A shortage of affordable housing options spurred the city to take action in conjunction with the park's residents, many of whom had unsuccessfully petitioned city administrators to take action against the Aleut Corp. for its alleged failure to uphold contractual obligations to bring the park's infrastructure up to code.

 

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