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Local News

October 5, 2012

Resident says house should not face demolition

CHICKASHA — Recent attempts to remove the amount of dilapidated buildings in Chickasha were met with some criticism this week.

Resident Rick Thomas said his brother's house received a red note on the door eight weeks, ago stating the property was uninhabitable and owners would receive information scheduling a hearing regarding the future of the house.

"My brother died so the house is in probate," Thomas said. "We can't really do anything."

Utilities and outward appearance are the primary factors used by the city in determining whether a structure needs to come down. Thomas said although no water is run to the house, it does receive electricity.

City Manager Stewart Fairburn said the goal of this project is not to tear houses down, but to get owners to take care of their property. He said the city tries to come up with a plan with property owners, which will result in the owner fixing the structure, tearing it down, or allowing the city to do it. If the city demolishes the structure a lien is placed on the property.

"We've had real problems with owners dying and not leaving the house to anyone," Fairburn said.

The house in question, which is located at 1318 S. Fifth St. has stood for 40 years according to Thomas. He said he and his family have been using the property as a workshop for their business.

"This is not cost effective for us," he said.

According to Fairburn the city has been working with the executor of Thomas brother's estate for some time.

"We have been working with him for several months and he plans to have it demolished," he said.

Owners can sell their property after the city tags the property for a hearing, but the city will not sell the property once it has initiated the demolition process.

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