Claremore Daily Progress

June 19, 2013

Commissioners seek help to clean up county

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter


Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker seeks help to clean up abandoned structures, burned  homes and overgrown areas.
Thacker asked the Board of County Commissioners, Monday to pursue assistance through the Association of County Commissioners to lobby on behalf of the county for increased regulation.
The goal is to get the authority to cover all “nuisance” situations in the county, allowing the commissioners to take action to clean up structures.
“This is a constant issue,” Thacker said. “I was at a home last week where the grass has not been mowed in 11 years.”
Most generally, the issue is within subdivisions, he added. Sometimes, it is a home that has burned to the ground or an abandoned property that people call and complain about, according to Thacker.
“There are some things that can be done within the planning commissioner some are not, he added. 
Thacker said he wanted to take information to the legislature and that ACCO could lobby the issue on the county’s behalf.
“I am going to ask for us  because it would require a legislative change that we get with ACCO,” Thacker said.
Planning Director Larry Curtis said that some ordinances apply to subdivisions located in the county’s jurisdiction.
“If someone complains, we do notify property owners that they need to take care of the issue,” Curtis said. 
However, there is currently no regulation for burned homes, he added.
“We are restricted on our responsibilities,” Curtis said. “We do not have jurisdiction in some areas and Commissioner Dan DeLozier has to work nicely with those people.”
It is an issue, he said. One problem is the lack of covenants or homeowner’s associations in the county, according to Curtis.
Commissioner Mike Helm said that subdivisions are required to have a homeowner’s association and the county needs to put pressure on homeowners to do so.
Assistant District Attorney David Iski said it depends on what was put on the homeowners when a subdivision was created.  Most homeowner’s associations require residents to pay dues and following covenants, therefore addressing these types of issues.  Often times, the original owners no longer live in the subdivision and associations are not longer active, according to DeLozier.
“I think we would miss a great opportunity in Rogers County being one of the fasted growing counties to not to address this early on,” Thacker said.