Tulsa County To Clean Up Neglected Homes

Monday, September 13th 2010, 9:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Tulsa's County Commissioners want to use stimulus money to demolish dilapidated single-family homes.

The commissioners are working to have the funds released to tear down and clean up 13 neglected properties, 11 in Turley and two in Sand Springs.

Brien Jones, neighbor: "I don't like it."

Tara Vreeland, The News On 6: "Why don't you like it?"

Brien Jones, neighbor: "It needs to be mowed and maintained."

The properties are scheduled for demolition and clean up.

"These are important to the neighborhoods because these blighted properties bring everything down around them," said Karen Keith, Tulsa County Commissioner.

Commissioner Karen Keith says they will use funds from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act to bulldoze the blemishes.

"We are able to get all of them done for $50,000 which is huge," she said.

Keith says the list of blighted properties is long, but 13 is a good start.

"Getting these derelict properties out of our neighborhoods is very important," she said. "It's important to child safety. It's important to property values. It's important to how people feel about their neighborhoods where they live."

Neighbors say it's not just the overgrowth that bothers them but what it hides. They say they've seen snakes, rats, cats, mosquitoes. And they'll be very happy to see the property cleaned up.

"I think it can be a public health problem. Children play up and around here and the rats and all the other things that go with it, it's a health problem," Jones said. "It's a good thing. I'm all for it."

Commissioners have been in touch with property owners. Some have requested that parts of the property be saved, like a fence, garage, or chicken coop.

Karen Keith says the demolition was on Monday morning's agenda and was approved unanimously by the three commissioners.