Who pays? Residents facing liens to pay for fuel clean-up

Peterborough, ON, Canada / (CHEXTV)
Who pays? Residents facing liens to pay for fuel clean-up

It’s been three months since a tanker truck and a car collided on Simcoe Street near Cannington, spilling thousands of litres of fuel. Now those who live closest to the crash site say they’re on the hook for the cleanup.

Dawn Dibello says she still can’t live in her home, and what’s more, there was a lien placed on her property to help pay for the cleanup.

“We still can’t come home until all the testing, air quality control tests, and testing of our property is done.,” she told CHEX News.

The Dibello’s have been living with their son since the crash, and paying him rent. They run their business – a towing operation – off their property, but say that there’s no water, so they’ve had to rent an off-site shop.

Then, this:

“We received a registered letter that there was a lien of 32,000 dollars put on our property to ensure payment for some of the contractors that were here initially,” Dibello said.

The Dibello’s weren’t the only ones.  Beatrice Samis lives across the street. She received notice that a $32,000 lien was placed on her property. Samis runs a small hobby farm with her sister. She says she can’t afford to pay the lien, and doesn’t understand why she has to pay it in the first place.  She says the lien froze her line of credit, and that it’s affected her ability to run her farm.

Liens against properties are common in circumstances like this, says lawyer Gary Farb.

As for Dibello, she says she has been told that the liens were removed, though she hasn’t received formal notice of it.

But that’s not the only financial headache she’s facing.

She says she received a $19,000 hydro bill to pay for the roadside poll that had to be replaced because of the crash. And she still has no idea when she’ll be able to return home.

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