MWC Orders Easement Clean Up, Residents Say No

Thursday, April 25th 2013, 9:57 pm
By: News 9

A group of angry residents is ignoring an order from Midwest City to clean up property the taxpayers insist is not their responsibility.

A notice sent out on April 22 to residents of the 1800 block of N. St. Peters says each resident can be fined up to $200 if they do not remove brush, limbs and dead trees in a densely wooded area behind their homes.

"I'm not going to let Midwest City bully me around," angry resident Marjorie Bralock told News 9.

Marjorie is taking on City Hall and she's not alone. More than a half of a dozen neighbors say they were blindsided when Midwest City sent orders to everyone on their block to remove brush, limbs and trash in an area called a right of way, or easement, extending 25 feet from their property lines.

"None of us have the money … none of my neighbors have the money to hire this done," homeowner Pat Myers said.

Neighbors say the majority of people on the block are elderly, some of whom are ill and can't endure physical labor.

"If they get it cleared, I'll maintain it … but there's no way I can clear that," resident Larry Freeman said.

For decades, the area was nothing but woods until a developer recently started building duplexes for senior living behind the line of homes. That's when the developer passed the buck to remove the debris to city leaders, who in turn, passed the buck to people like Marjorie. But Marjorie and her friends are sending it right back.

"Get off my back, and I mean off," warned Marjorie.

Tim Rundel, Midwest City assistant city manager says Midwest City wants to reach a compromise by requesting groups of city and county volunteers to clear the right of way and put this issue to bed.

"We understand that what was decided in the 1950s … they probably didn't think was going to be affecting something in 2013," Rundel said.

According to the latest notice, residents must clear the area by May 2, 2013, but city leaders say they will work with the residents. The city promises to keep them up to date on the likelihood of volunteers getting the job done.