The Lead Impacted Relocation Assistance Trust will review final offers on 32 parcels of property today - the majority of which are church buildings and commercial structures above areas of greatest subsidence risk within the Tar Creek Superfund site.
Trust members will review the offers to purchase at-risk properties as set forth in guidelines established early in the buyout process.
The panel decided a year ago to place elderly residents and occupied structures within Priority 1 of the buyout plan.
Some of the properties are abandoned, but met buyout criteria as “residences/businesses/public use structures located above areas of potential collapse.”
“This is what we have to do according to the guidelines,” Roberts said, noting that trust money will be expended for vacant structures before all residents have an opportunity to leave the former mining communities of Picher, Cardin and Hockerville.
Today, final offers could be approved on vacant structures while an estimated 350 residents in the second priority tier wait for an offer.
In the meantime, money for the buyout is dwindling and money tucked into the Water Relocation Development Act is uncertain.
In recent days, President George Bush threatened to veto the bill.
Sen. Jim Inhofe vowed to help gain enough votes to override Bush's threatened veto of the $20 billion water projects bill that contains money to buy property from residents of the polluted Tar Creek Superfund area.
The head of the White House budget office and the Army official who oversees the Corps of Engineers sent a letter to Sen. Jim Inhofe on Wednesday, saying the bill's cost greatly exceeded what Bush requested and what the House and Senate previously had approved.
Inhofe co-authored the measure and secured water and sewer projects for several Oklahoma towns. He included $30 million for the Tar Creek buyout and relocation process, according to an article from The Oklahoman's Washington bureau.
Congress will revisit the act in September when the federal body reconvenes.
Representatives of Inhofe's office have said that the senator is seeking other avenues for funding the buyout effort - a project estimated to exceed a cost of $50 million.
Larry Roberts, LICRAT operations manager, said Wednesday that he anticipates a number of questions regarding the priorities when the trust meets today.
Properties to be reviewed when the LICRAT panel convenes at 4:30 p.m. at the Picher City Hall are as follows:
1. Parcel No. P1G2108 - Darrell & Terri Burgess (commercial property.)
2. Parcel No. P1G3B01 - Church of the Nazarene.
3. Parcel No. P1G3B02 - Bethel Freewill Baptist Church.
4. Parcel No. P1G3B03 - Rascal's Truck Stop (tenant assistance.)
5. Parcel No. P1G3B04 - Bob Garner Body Shop.
6. Parcel No. P1G3B05 - Picher Express (tenant assistance.)
7. Parcel No. P1G3B06 - Picher Odd Fellows Lodge.
8. Parcel No. P1G3B08 - Douthat Holiness Church.
9. Parcel No. P1G3B09 - Assembly of God (OK District.)
10. Parcel No. P1G3B10 - First Baptist Church of Cardin.
11. Parcel No. P1G3B11 - Cardin Christian Church.
12. Parcel No. P1G3B12 - United in Christ.
13. Parcel No. P1G3B13 - Hockerville Baptist Church.
14. Parcel No. P1G3B14 - Teeter's Asphalt & Materials.
15. Parcel No. P1G3B15 - End Time Revival Tabernacle.
16. Parcel No. P1G3B16 - Picher Mining Field Museum.
17. Parcel No. P1G3B17 - C. R. Mini Storage.
18. Parcel No. P1G3B18 - C. L. Gun Repair.
19. Parcel No. P1G3B19 - First Christian Church.
20. Parcel No. P1G3B20 - Oklahoma Flintrock Products, LLP.
21. Parcel No. P1G3001 - Evelyn Pace.
22. Parcel No. P1G3002 - Doyle Howell & Kimberly Dixon.
23. Parcel No. P1G3003 - Harold Forbis.
24. Parcel No. P1G3004 - Phillip Potter.
25. Parcel No. P1G3005 - James Coppedge.
26. Parcel No. P1G3006 - Leonard & Mary Cohen.
27. Parcel No. P1G3008 - Flora Powell.
28. Parcel No. P1G3009 - Robin Freeman
29. Parcel No. P1G3011 - Roger & Patricia Barbee.
30. Parcel No. P1G3012 - Shirley Perry.
31. Parcel No. P1G3013 - Clyde & Alta Newcomb.
32. Parcel No. P1G3014 - Gene & Patsy Huffman.