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Kiger Announces Heavener Town Hall Water Meeting Featured

Written by  Monday, 24 June 2019 11:46
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By State Rep. Lundy Kiger

 

 

 

Meeting has been set for 11am at the Heavener Library

 

State Rep. Lundy Kiger invites residents, business owners and industry leaders in Heavener to attend a town hall meeting Thursday, June 27, 2019, tentatively at the Heavener City Library, located on East C Avenue one block east of downtown. The time and location will be announced on Facebook and in other ways when they are confirmed.

 

This meeting is to review the specific issues that poor water quality is causing everyone in the city and to take written comments for a data base. Kiger will lay out a plan in working with the city to make needed improvements. Everyone concerned is invited to attend.

 

Kiger plans to invite or include state and federal agencies over the next two weeks, including officials from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Insurance Commission, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the Oklahoma Department of Health, the Attorney General’s Office, as well as people from the offices of Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, and other state or federal agencies that may have an interest or direct oversight of municipal water quality for citizens.

 

Kiger said that for the past two weeks he’s received multiple calls from members of the public, business owners and industry leaders on the poor water quality, or no water at times for the residents of Heavener.

 

These collective comments received by his office tell a story of unnecessary and undue hardship on the people of Heavener, who are still paying a premium for their water, regardless if they can use it or not.

 

“When you hear and see the complete story from people it’s unimaginable that any community could allow their water infrastructure to remain so far below acceptable standards, and then not doing anything about it over past decades of complaints,” Kiger said.

 

Kiger announced in a newspaper column sent last Friday that for him, “Time’s Up for Heavener’s Water Improvements” and now it’s time for action and for city leaders to invest in a plan to address their water infrastructure system.

 

Even though this is a municipal issue that should be handled by the city, Kiger said he is taking these steps because it’s the right thing to do, as he represents all of the people, business owners and industries of Heavener as a part of Oklahoma House District 3.

 

“Heavener is a beautiful city with many great and wonderful assets, and if city leaders don’t take action they risk the reputation of Heavener’s business friendly attitude,” Kiger said. “This will very well spill over to the entire county and region, and people who are considering moving, not to mention businesses staying or looking to locate there will reconsider.”

 

Kiger said his hope is that city leaders listens to what he is hearing and make the decision to do the right thing and lay out an immediate plan to secure funding to replace their piping and any water treatment equipment needed to meet state and federal regulations.

 

He said that rom the comments he’s received, it appears there may be multiple violations not only to the public, but he has strong concerns that the city water system overall may not even be meeting all regulations that allows the city to actually operate their water treatment plant and pump stations.


Kiger said, “I have pictures that show how degraded this piping system is, and if something doesn’t get done this time, it never will until the entire piping infrastructure system shuts down beyond repair.”

 

Over the years, Kiger said he’s seen multiple stories in newspapers and on the news of brown to black water.

 

“This causes many hard-working individuals to loose days of working and making enough money to pay their bills, and it also causes many businesses to lose profitability on the days the water system is out of service,” Kiger said. “This is ridiculous that a city would put their people and working population who have invested in the city through this.”

 

If the water quality is bad enough that people can’t use the water, then they’re told to flush out their lines at their cost to fix the city’s problems, Kiger said. With the poor quality of water, it’s ruining plumbing fixtures, hot water tanks and dishwashers, not to mention the cost of people on fixed incomes having to replace their appliances.

 

There are many more issues Kiger said he wants to discuss with the public that he sees are critical concerns and why the city needs to act right now on a plan to fix this problem once and for all.

 

 

Kiger said he will wait until the town hall on Thursday to lay out “most” of the plan that he believes will get the attention of city leaders to start hearing the voices of the citizens they represent.

 

“If city leaders don’t hear the voices of their citizens, then I believe everything is on the table to pressure the city to take action,” Kiger said. “I will use everything at my disposal as a state representative to make something happen for these people.”

 

Kiger said this isn’t what he wants to see happen, but he believes it’s what it will take for the city to get moving and for people living in that community to get what they are paying for in receiving clean water.

 

Kiger went on to say, “Until the city sees they are at possible significant financial risk from the different state and federal agencies, I don’t believe anything will ever change in the city making the needed investments and improvements because it hasn’t over the many decades of their citizens complaining.”

 

“With these groups represented and hearing the complaints and concerns of so many people and businesses, it has to help in resolving this terrible situation for this community,” Kiger said.

 

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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