Clinton homeowners demanding city condemn neighborhood eyesore

CLINTON, Okla. - Michelle Folsom is demanding something be done to the run down apartments next door.

“Rotted-out wood [and] trash overflowing,” she said. “The patios are collapsing. You going to rent that?”

She says she’s been calling the City of Clinton’s code enforcement for over a decade, but rarely does anything ever get done. 

She's not the only one who's petitioning the city.

“Probably almost 100 [signatures] and that was our neighbors here that want it condemned,” she said.

Neighbors like Cheryl Lowry are concerned about what could happen to neighborhood kids wandering next door.

“Nothing, nothing,” she replied. “That happens a lot.”

We know John Oreb from Oklahoma City inherited the property after his mom died about three years ago.

“He's done it [and] his mother's did it before him,” Cheryl said. “This has been going on for years and years.”

Oreb's attorney Dave Batton telling the In Your Corner team the property was tied up in probate for a while, which delayed improvements, but that now he’s maintaining the property and it’s all within city code.

“He had someone running them that wasn't doing a good job, so he had to go out and remove that person and take control of the properties again,” Batton said.

We didn't see any repairs going on, but Oreb's latest maintenance man sure did put on a show for us on his riding lawn mower.

We made some phone calls and sent a couple of emails with photos to Oreb’s attorney showing the overflow of large trash on the property.

A couple of days later the mattresses, couch and chair were gone.

“Those are our workers,” Batton said. “As soon as I knew what it was, our workers were out there taking care of it.”

Cheryl wants Oreb to hand over the property’s deed to the City of Clinton so they can tear it down.

“This is not going to make you money,” she added. “There's no way it's structurally sound and everyone knows it.”

City manager, Mark Skiles, turned us down for a formal interview on-camera, but says "the city is sensitive to private property rights and the effect that non-compliant conditions have on the neighborhood."

He adds that they have had problems with the apartments complying with city code "and upon notification of these conditions, the owner remedied things in a timely and responsible manner." 

“This doesn't look up to code to me,” Michelle said. “It looks dangerous to me. It's an eyesore.”

She showed us photo evidence of the rodent infestation that showed up on her back porch last summer, she claims from next door.

“If he's not going to fix this, it needs to be taken down,” Michelle said. “It needs to be condemned.”

Oreb's attorney says that's not going to happen and his client has every intention of pouring more cash into the property and playing by the city's rules.

He said, “[My client’s] been repairing the whole complex all along.”

  • Another concern some neighbors have is what this run down property is doing to their property value.
  • Clinton's city manager tells us they will continue to monitor the property and address things as needed.