Chesapeake Energy stumbled Tuesday in a dust-up with some of its northwest Oklahoma City neighbors and a creative attorney.
The energy giant asked the Oklahoma City Council to force its neighbors to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars toward street improvements that would largely benefit Chesapeake.
“Here’s Chesapeake owning 90 percent of the property and wanting the little guy to pick up 40 percent of the cost,” said attorney Eric Groves.
Retained by Clements Foods Co., Groves collected enough objections to persuade the council to deny Chesapeake’s petition for a “street improvement assessment district.”
That’s a technical term for building or upgrading a street and sending residents the bill.
The council’s vote to deny Chesapeake’s request was unanimous. No one from Chesapeake was available for comment Tuesday night.
According to estimates prepared by the city’s Public Works Department, improvements sought by Chesapeake between NW 67 Street and Wilshire Boulevard, along Hudson and Harvey avenues, would have cost nearly $1.6 million.
Clements Foods is a longtime area property owner and purveyor of the familiar Garden Club brands.
The city’s assessment schedule showed Clements would have been assessed $65,281.94 for two parcels it owns within the proposed district.
Most of the other smaller landowners were looking at bills of $32,640.97. In the case of one landowner, that was about five times the assessed value of her land, according to a chart Groves put together.