It’s been nearly three weeks since the town ordered the power off for safety concerns, leaving residents without power in the heat. Now, they’re being told they have to pay rent, in cash, by the end of the month.
Residents have been receiving text messages they say are from park management.
People in the park we spoke with say they have lost all their perishable food, run up hotel costs, and bought generators on their own. These are costs they say park owner Phil Provenzano should have provided. The town and school have been providing humanitarian support.
One resident was told she will be evicted if she does not pay rent by August 5. She did not want her name released because of threats she says she’s receiving from management.
“We were told today that we are still expected to pay rent. If we don’t pay rent we will be evicted. They also mentioned that our money went to gas and generators, food and… they said it does not matter,” said the resident.
“They (park management) are now saying that Phil is not responsible to make sure we have electric,” she adds.
The Code Enforcer for Lyons said Phil Provenzano is the one responsible for power at the park under New York State Health Law, section 225, section 17.6.
“Don’t pay the rent!” says James Philippone of Philippone Law Offices in Rochester. He says these residents have more power than they think to get things moving.
“He (Provenzano) loses power if you don’t pay the rent. If he evicts you, what position is he in? He doesn’t get the rent,” says Philippone.
He suggests the residents band together immediately to form a tenant’s association.
Work is gradually getting done at the park, and residents were told power will be on by week’s end. The power has now been off in the park for a total of 19 days.
Phil Provenzano did reach out to News 8 on Wednesday morning, providing documents that show power has been an issue with the Canal Side park since 1979. Richard Bogan, the Lyons Code Enforcer, says that’s true, but the issues really came to a dangerous head in 2017. Further, Bogan says regardless, Provenzano is the owner of the park and needs to make the upgrades, even if the power problems go back 40 years. If he bought it, he owns the issues that go with it.
The name Phil Provenzano may sound familiar — he used to be an officer in the Fairport Police Department. Provenzano was accused of fabricating evidence. Provenzano’s Facebook page says he left the Fairport Police Department in 2011 and now works for EPCP Properties.