LYONS — Canalside Mobile Home Park in Lyons, cut off from utility power for a month, is expected to have electricity restored this Friday.
That is according to the owner of the property who also denied he is a slumlord.
In a letter emailed to the Finger Lakes Times, park owner Phil Provenzano said installation of a new electrical system is “90 percent complete.”
Work includes the installation of new underground conduit and wiring that comes from a new New York State Electric & Gas utility and transformer and runs to a disconnect for each home in 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,” Provenzano said in the letter, which can be read in its entirety on Page 6A today.
Park residents have been without electricity from the utility since July 11, when Dick Bogan, code enforcement officer for the town of Lyons, asked NYSEG to cut off power to the trailer park for the safety of residents, explaining the sub-par wiring in the park posed a fire threat.
He said calls were received at NYSEG and his office reporting power surges and brownouts.
Provenzano, of Monroe County, said power to the aging park on Old Lyons Road “will be turned on after an independent electrical inspection approves the work from pole to each individual disconnect.”
Bogan concurred on Monday.
“When Mr. Provenzano completes his construction and submits proof of inspection by an approved third party inspection agency, NYSEG will restore power,” Bogan said by email. “New York State Department of Health has emphasized to Mr. Provenzano that he is responsible to restore service to the individual tenants as well as to provide power to site boxes.”
Provenzano said he is 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.”
He said homeowners will receive a maximum of 100 amps, but noted that the electrical contractor “will 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.”
He said he will work with agencies, both private and public, “to help eligible homeowners prepare for possible upgrade to electrical service in their homes.”
“Park owners are responsible for the basic infrastructure that supports utilities and hook-ups on the lots where homeowners place their trailers,” Provenzano said. “Homeowners are responsible for any upgrades and hookups from their homes 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.”
According to Bogan, town and the park owners have been in court many times since 2017 concerning “deficiencies and safety issues” with the park’s electrical-distribution system.
However, Provenzano said many of the issues pre-date his purchase of the mobile home park.
“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,” he said. “Why nothing was done before my purchase I cannot say. … 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.”
Provenzano emphasized that he is doing his best to assist residents and resents the suggestion he is a slumlord.
“I do not have a bankroll of cash that I hoard from lot rent in lieu of making the property habitable,” he said. “If I had known upon purchase, the issue would have been addressed much earlier and we would not be in this predicament.”
He said tenants have been informed in notifications since 2017 “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.”
Town Supervisor Jake Emmel has been making regular trips to provide gas to residents with generators, while Lyons School Superintendent Don Putnam has been bringing ice and bag lunches for residents — some of whom are Lyons students.