After months of wondering where and when they would have to move, Rita residents will be given the option of staying in their beloved coal camp.
In September, more than 30 residents received notice from new land owners DB Land LLC that their rental leases would expire on October 1 and they would have to vacate the property.
On Monday evening, Dec. 24, those residents who wish to stay will be given the option of purchasing the lot on which they now abide.
“We have got it designed to where they can stay,” said Jim Lewis of DB Land. “And we will be pricing their lots.”
Lewis said many of the residents expressed interest in purchasing their lot.
“There were several of them there that had showed a lot of interest,” said Lewis. “The county and Mr. Kirkendoll has worked really well with us to allow them to use the infrastructures there… the sewer systems and everything.”
Lewis said he wouldn’t be attending the meeting, but their representative Mike Cline will be there to give each resident sizing and pricing for their lots.
“We tried to survey around each home so that they would have the same home they are in now so they won’t have any expense in moving trailers,” Lewis said. “We will give them to like to the end of January to determine whether they will purchase their lots.”
Lewis said every person renting a lot will be given the opportunity to purchase that lot.
“When I went down there and saw these people… the Ellisons, I met with them and there are about 10 of them… When I met with them I just told the surveyor we first need to give these people the opportunity to purchase,” Lewis said.
Lewis said that after giving the renters the first opportunity to purchase and they decide not take the offer, lots will be offered up to others needing homesites.
“I believe they just shut down another coal camp around Madison Creek, where they are doing the new highway,” Lewis said. “We’ve had several inquiries on that; so we may be able to open up some spots economically suitable for them to go. The majority of them down there are hardworking people with jobs and we need to give them the opportunity.”