Members of the Lead Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust announced Thursday that a second office has been opened in Miami.
The second office is located on the second floor of the First National Bank building in downtown Miami.
Records have been transferred to the site, with the exception of the active files, according to the trust operations manager Larry Roberts.
The decision to move the records and establish a dual office was a decision made between trust chairman Larry Rice and vice-chairman Dr. Mark Osborn, according to Osborn.
“It was a matter of security,” Osborn said.
Osborn said the action was forced by the abrupt departure of the former operations manager.
Currently, the trust is not compliant with the Open Records Act which mandates that its documents be easily accessible by the public.
Odborn said it is the trust's intent to comply, but that it may take time to establish procedure.
The change drew some criticism by Picher, Cardin and Hockerville residents who want a permanent presence in the Picher office.
Roberts said today that he is splitting his time between the two offices, but permanent hours have not been determined.
At Thursday's meeting, the trust also:
€ Approved offers on 22 parcels of land and withheld three for further review.
€ Was advised by Cinnabar Services that, of the 270 appraisals made so far, 85 offers have been extended with 59 accepted and one refused. Twenty-nine closings have been logged.
€ Announced that 25 offers are expected to be made every week.
€ Approved two requests to extend the deadline for vacating property. One was due to a delay in property purchase because of flooding in Miami. The other was requested because a home has not yet been found to purchase. Shirley Barnes said she cannot find suitable housing with the buyout offer she received.
€ Heard from Cardin resident, Bob Hatfield who voiced his complaints against the trust and the inconsistencies in buyout offers and the delay of action by the trust. He criticized the trust last month for allegedly leaking information regarding pending offers - saying that he was advised by a resident of the offer that was to come. Trust officials said the information leak is among the reasons why it has elected to move records out of the Picher office and into a more secure Miami location.