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Owners Slapped with $7,500 Bill After Years of Messy Property

The MD of Bonnyville has had enough of the antics on a property in town, and is slapping the owners with an extra 7,500 dollars on their tax bill for a clean-up on an unsightly property.

Public Safety Officers responded to a complaint on the property in April of 2016. A court eventually gave the owners an extension until August 31st to clean things up. That day came and went without much in the way of improvement, causing the MD to bring their staff in and clean the place up on their own on September 13th. The owners will now be footing the $7,592.55 cleanup bill.

Public Safety Director Chris Garner explained that the issue had been giving peace officers and surrounding neighbours headaches since 2015. “We met with both property owners numerous times and explained what was required of them. The first one, they did the bare minimum amount of work to get to pass at the end the summer of 2015, then right away again over the winter it worked into a very poor state and of course we had to go back in April based on public complaints about the property.”

Garner says officers had to reduce their visits after the owners began to threaten them, but they still tried to work them to reach a solution. Despite the opportunities given, it appears a few small things would be done, then be cancelled out by another mess the next week.

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“We don’t want to go through all the steps we had to go through,” Garner said. “That was a huge amount of our time to deal with that. The amount we spent on legal expenses is not included in that amount, so the MD was on the hook for all our legal expenses.” Garner estimates the full cost of the ordeal might be in the 12 to 15,000 dollar range.

It wasn’t just the MD losing out from the condition of the property, councillors discussed how a neighbour moved back to Newfoundland after developing terminal cancer. They were unable to sell their MD home due to the eyesore next door. In another incident, the owner was working on a car in the front yard when it caught on fire and burned a neighbour’s tree.

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