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Picher's city offices to close today

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: September 1, 2009 at 8:26 am •  Published: September 1, 2009
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PICHER — City offices in the mining-scarred town of Picher are set to close Tuesday, as most of the final few-dozen residents left make plans to leave the blighted area.

Shuttering City Hall will mostly be a formality, since the northeastern Oklahoma town has been fading for months. The schools closed in July, and most of the Main Street businesses are already gone.

Picher lies in the middle of the Tar Creek Superfund site, a 40-square-mile expanse of former lead-and zinc-mining towns that extends into Missouri and Kansas.

Under a $60 million federal cleanup program, homeowners and businesses in and around the town have been bought out over the past several years, and the buildings will eventually be bulldozed.