Nearly one-quarter of homes being used as stick-frame comparable in the federally funded effort to purchase homes in the Tar Creek Superfund site are outside of the city of Miami, according to a master list of comparable.
Trust officials, at the insistence of the News-Record, released two master addendas Tuesday - one for the 2005 buyout of families with children age 6 and under and the other for the current buyout.
The release of the 2007 document, however, came with a word of caution that the document for the current buyout is somewhat fluid.
“Revisions may be made to this master (list) as the buyout proceeds, e.g., to update sales information, etc,” wrote J.D. Strong, chief of staff to the secretary of the environment. “In fact, I am aware of work under way by the appraisers right now to develop additional comparable for use in the current buyout.”
The changes in comparable come on the heels of complaints voiced by Picher, Cardin and Hockerville residents who are dissatisfied with what they said are low offers on property - especially when compared to values assessed to properties purchased in the 2005 buyout.
According to the 2007 listing, the current pool of comparable homes includes 40 stick-frame homes and 10 mobile homes.
Of the 40 frame homes noted, eight are located in communities within the Tar Creek Superfund site. One other property is in Fairland. The 31 remaining comparable are located in Miami.
Some residents have voiced concerns that comparables in the current buyout are being taken from depressed markets, therefore, forcing the value of buyout offers to be less than fair.
“This trust should conduct this buyout the same way that we did in the previous buyout,” said John Sparkman, a former member of the trust who stepped down last year. “I think this trust should follow our example and exercise this buyout at the same level we did the first time around. I think people are expecting those same levels to be reached and I think they deserve it.”
Sparkman said he believes that the majority of people in the buyout area are not expecting to get rich, but are expecting to be treated fairly.
“I don't see how they can put elderly and handicapped at the top of the priority list and then force them to have to borrow money to find affordable housing elsewhere at this stage in their life.”
Sparkman said that, as for comparables, they should only come from Miami.
“You can't pull good comparables from depressed markets,” Sparkman said.
In the 2005 buyout, only two of the 22 stick-home comparables came from outside of Miami. One in North Miami, the other in Commerce.