The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 1, 2013

Quapaw Tribe buys housing authority in Picher

By Wally Kennedy

QUAPAW, Okla. — The Quapaw Tribe has purchased what was left of the former Picher Housing Authority.

The property, which includes 24 duplexes and three other buildings on about 15 acres in two separate tracts, sold at auction Friday to the tribe for about $30,000.

There were at least three bidders on the property, said Harrell Post, with Post Real Estate and Auction Co., of Miami. About 25 people attended the auction.

Post said the tribe did not say what it plans to do with the property, which is in the original reservation boundaries of the Quapaw Tribe. A spokesman for the tribe could not be reached for comment Monday.

The tribe already owns a considerable amount of land in Picher, a former lead and zinc mining town that was bought out in 2009 because of problems associated with former mining activity.

In July 2010, the tribe acquired from the Commerce and Quapaw school boards the property and buildings that once belonged to the Picher-Cardin School District. The property was purchased for $20,000.

The tribe also has taken over the water system in both Picher and Cardin.

Several of the federal housing program’s living units were destroyed by a tornado that struck the south part of Picher in May 2008. Recently, the fixtures inside the remaining duplexes were salvaged for use by Joplin (Mo.) Area Habitat for Humanity.

More than 700 property owners in Picher and Cardin were bought out by the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, which was created by the Oklahoma Legislature to oversee the federal buyout of residential and commercial property in the former lead and zinc mining field.