The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality announced it has awarded grants to three communities across the state to clean up asbestos in historic buildings.
One of the communities getting a grant is Pawnee. Mayor Brad Sewell says they will use the money to make the former Pawnee Municipal Hospital ready for redevelopment.
"Pawnee is excited to receive good news. Thanks to the $170,000 Brownfields Cleanup Subgrant from the Department of Environmental Quality, we can remove asbestos from our Pawnee Municipal Hospital building and make it ready for redevelopment. Our cleanup project will help turn a long-vacant site into a place to benefit Pawnee residents," said Brad Sewell.
He says the building has been closed since 2007 and ever since Pawnee has tried to find uses for the structure including turning it into apartments for senior citizens.
Other DEQ grants went to the city of Mangum to remove asbestos from the Hotel Franklin which was built in 1929. And the Oaks Rehabilitation Facility in McAlester. That building was originally St. Mary's Hospital.