Family billed for debris cleanup

Wednesday, July 23rd 2008, 11:22 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- Brent Carter's grandmother and other neighbors in Midwest City are being billed for city-mandated cleanup.

She has lived on her property even before Midwest City was a city, but the family's land was destroyed by December's ice storms.

Carter said his family wasn't finished when the city hired an out-of-state cleanup crew to remove the burn piles without notifying the Carters.

"The city sent two guys here for three hours and that was a $13,000 bill," Carter said.

He said the workers came on his grandmother's land without her permission. They removed a no trespassing sign just to get their heavy machinery onto the property, according to Carter.

Katherine Bolles, the city's attorney, said property owners were notified through a letter and the city was forced to cleanup left-over messes.

"We couldn't let the nuisances continue and we can't donate money to private individuals," Bolles said. "We have no choice but we have to collect his money.

The residents were billed for the cleanup and are being given a chance to make payments. If they can't pay, liens will be placed on their properties.

"After four years, if it's not paid, the treasurer will start foreclosure proceedings," Bolles said.

Carter said he'll continue to fight for his grandmother and the family's property. Carter's grandmother has hired an attorney to fight the cleanup bill.