Thursday, Jan. 7. A bobcat hauls a derelict trailer from the disused motor-cross track at the top of Morrisey Creek Road more commonly known as "Moto." Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks city hall takes trailers out of homeless campsite

City hall said the trailers had been abandoned at the former motor-cross track known as “Moto”

The City of Grand Forks removed two trailers city hall said were abandoned at the disused motocross track on Morrissey Creek Road.

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Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said the first trailer was dismantled and piled into an on-site bin Tuesday, Jan. 5, because it was deemed too decrepit to tow away. A second intact trailer was hauled to a city storage yard on Granby Road on Thursday, Jan. 6. One of the trailers had been occupied by someone now living in a city hotel, the other by someone now living in a neighbouring trailer, according to the CAO.

The city owns the site, more commonly known as “Moto,” where people experiencing homelessness have set up a number of makeshift camps. Staff have a standing directive to remove unoccupied vehicles from the area as per city council resolutions passed last year, Redfearn explained.

Staff regularly monitor the area, and vehicles are not hauled away unless determines them to be abandoned. Redfearn said the city hasn’t removed trailers from Moto that have sat unoccupied for less than a month. He stressed that staff make reasonable attempts to notify former occupants before removing unoccupied trailers.

One of the trailers taken out of Moto was broken down on site because it wasn't roadworthy, according to city hall. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

“The city wants to ensure that somebody doesn’t show up with the expectations that their trailer is going to be there. So the city works very hard to determine where the occupants have gone.”

Occupants can reclaim their belongings from city storage and or move their trailers to new addresses, provided these meet city zoning laws and that the vehicles are legally towed, he said.

The city’s park bylaws allow for overnight camping in designated areas in the community. Meanwhile, Redfearn pointed out that the trailers taken out of Moto this week had been left vacant after the extreme weather shelter opened at the Old Hardy View Lodge.

The CAO said council will hear preliminary cost estimates stemming from the removals at Monday’s regular council meeting, Jan. 11.



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