Archived Story

Pleasure Point Park’s lease expires

Published 7:04pm Friday, January 3, 2014

Residents of Pleasure Point Park and Marina have until June. 30 to vacate their former homes, as Alabama Power’s lease with Pleasure Point management ended Dec. 31, 2012.

Alabama Power stated in August of last year that the lease would not be renewed following concerns over sanitation issues on the property. The Alabama Department of Public Health contacted Alabama Power in July of 2013.

“We had some septic system failures made known to the health department, and once we started investigating, we saw improper tie-ins to existing septic systems and greywater discharge – washer lines and such – into Lake Martin,” said Amy Baker, senior environmentalist for ADPH, in August 2013.

Brandon Glover, spokesperson with Alabama Power, said that his company met with representatives and tenants from the park in an attempt to find a solution.

“We still feel that removing the structures and not renewing the lease is the best action to clean up the issues,” Glover said. “We need to find a way to address the problem as quickly as possible.”

William Ashley is one of the park’s homeowners who has been active in the battle to stay at the lakeside development.

Ashley said that the homeowners met and came up with a potential solution to shore up the sanitation issues.

“We offered to have the septic system redone completely at the expense of the homeowners,” Ashley said. “We have 60 homeowners willing to spend $1 million out of their own pocket to fix it.”

Ashley said he and the homeowners question Alabama Power’s motive for not renewing the lease.

“They are using the septic violations as a reason not to renew it,” Ashley said. “You can’t close the park down for sanitation reasons and turn down a fix at no cost – that is a hidden agenda right there.”

Glover said Alabama Power does not believe the solution proposed by the homeowners is viable.

“When we met with the group of residents, they did present us with a proposal to install a new sewage system at the park,” Glover said. “From our perspective, the plan didn’t address the violations in a way that we felt adequately removes the existing issues.”

Glover denied that Alabama Power had an ulterior motive for choosing not to renew the lease.

“We don’t have any plans for the property other that getting it back to code,” Glover said. “To address the situation, all the structures would have to be removed and all the existing structures have to be removed. It is just not that feasible to removed all the existing structures and do it in a timely manner that fixes a problem that affects all of Lake Martin as quickly as possible.”

Glover added that Alabama Power has offered dumpster services and tree cutting services to help homeowners through the transition.

Ashley said the tenants haven’t given up yet, however.

“To make everyone happy, we offered to rebuild the septic system,” Ashley said. “We tried the polite way to keep everybody from filing lawsuits, but after offering a turnkey operation and no cost to them and having them turn it down, a blind man can see the sanitation issues were a smokescreen.”

Ashley said the tenants are currently in conversations with attorneys exploring legal means to resolve the problem.