We have a 70 space park that we have owned for 6 months. This was a complete turnaround park when we purchased it, with 15 vacant abandoned trailers and a lot of infrastructure that need to be taken care of, i.e. roads, trees, sewer lines and general park clean up. Anyway, there is high demand in the area for trailers and we got all 15 sold within 6 months. When one of the new residents called the gas company to have the gas turned on, they came out to do an inspection as gas hadnt been on at this lot for over 4 years. They noticed a tree had completely grown around the meter so a new meter was going to have to be placed in a different location. No problem, thats their expense not ours. But, in doing his inspection he notice that there were 5 trailers that over the years have been placed completely over the main gas line. Within a week I had my manager calling me telling me that there were 5 guys from the gas company there doing an inspection on the whole park.
Long story short, I met with the gas company and they have decided to replace all the gas lines in the entire park along with all new meters. They said because of the issues they found, and this park is 50 years old that they want to replace it all. The bad news is that they said they found 7 trailers in the park that are placed directly over their main gas line. On the deed, it states that the gas company has a right of way of 5 feet in the park wherever their main gas line is and nothing can be placed within those 5 feet. Because I have 7 trailers over the gas line they want me to contribute $34,000 for the replacement of the gas lines in the park. They want to get started on it almost immediatly because winter is approaching fast in this part of the country and they want to get it done before that happens. They said they will be doing horizontal drilling where it will be going underneath the roads.
My question, is first, has anyone dealt with a situation like this with the gas company, and 2nd, do I pay it and consider it a good investment as the entire park would have all new gas lines all the way up to each home with new meters. Or, do I try to play hardball with them and risk having them shut off the gas on the homes that are over the lines. After speaking with them, it doesn’t sound like they have any intention of shutting the gas off on these homes, I just don;t know what a fair price would be for me to pay if anything at all. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.