NORMAN, Ok (KFOR) – Norman community members came together Saturday, June 16 to voice their concerns about their homes that are threatened by the new turnpike, which could affect thousands of families.
Several families met at different homes at a neighborhood in Norman today that would be affected by the turnpike to discuss their issues with Joy Hofmeister, in hopes to have their voices heard.
“I’m crossing over to that point where, when do I give up? Because I feel like I’m almost there,” said Rebecca Rigsby, Norman resident, member of Pike Off OTA.
Emotional neighbors fear they may lose their homes to the new turnpike and said they’re upset that State leaders haven’t taken action.
“It’s hard to keep your faith in a government that continually lets you down,” said Rigsby.
Many of the neighbors said their issues pointed to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for not directly addressing their concerns.
The group explained their experience an emotional roller coaster, feeling left in the dark with lack of transparency from the OTA.
“I think OTA hasn’t been very truthful and upfront with the information thus far. We’ve asked for information… Were people, we have families, this impacts our life, our day-to-day life. We chose to live in this rural environment. We chose to live in these communities, and that choice is being taken away from us,” said Rigsby.
Norman resident, Amber Scroggins, opened her home for a discussion and shared her story on how she planned to live here for the rest of her life.
“You heard Maddie, our daughter, say that she thought she would live here forever,” said Amber Scroggins, Norman resident affected by new turnpike.
“I want to stay here forever,” said Maddie, who has lived in her home for years.
“We’ve put everything we had into our home. We planned to leave our home to her. I mean, that was our plan to live here forever and then pass this on to her,” said Scroggins.
Scroggins daughter Maddie is overwhelmed with the news knowing she would miss living close to her grandmother and friends.
“I would even miss my best friend,” said Scroggins.
It’s a special place for Scroggins, filled with memories and kind neighbors that you cannot replace.
“It’s not just a property. It’s also an amazing neighborhood to live in. All of the neighbors are so kind and they just take care of each other and look out for each other,” said Scroggins.
Joy Hofmiester scheduled the tour to listen to community members’ concerns.
“What I’m hearing is a lot of broken hearts and confusion and families that are seeking information and are hitting a roadblock… I’m calling also, just like these who are coming and gathering in homes today are asking for the Turnpike Authority to have an investigative audit, an independent audit, that would understand more about how these funds are being used,” said Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Also, other community members met at Atkinson Farm in Newalla Saturday night to learn more about next steps the pike off OTA is taking.
We reached out to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for a comment, we are now just waiting on a response and will update you right here on our website once when we get it.