DAVIS — The city of Davis declared the Soonerette gas station dilapidated, and moved to tear the building down— a decision many citizens have been waiting on for more than a year.
Davis City Council members approved the motion to begin the process of tearing down the building at their regular meeting Monday. The building has been vacant since March of 2016, when an interior fire destroyed much of the building. Owner Muhammad “Sid” Siddique who owns the Soonerette, 602 E. Main St., said the reason nothing has been done with the store is because he has been battling the insurance agency for the $80,000 he is owed, per his policy. But city officials were done waiting.
“We will rent a backhoe in the next few days and begin tearing it down,” City Manager Tom Graham said.
In their July meeting council members gave Siddique 30 days to prove to them that he had a loan, or money from his insurance company in hand, so that he could begin reconstructing the building. They also mandated that he move the large construction dumpster, sitting in front of the building, to the back of the building and fix his security fencing. When he failed to do all of those things, as reported at the meeting, the council members voted unanimously to tear the building down.
Graham said, if necessary, they will look into putting a lien on the property to recoup the cost of the demolition.
“Someone brings this up at every meeting,” council member Josh Oakley said. “If this was my store I would be out there doing everything I could, but you haven’t. People have wanted to see something done to this property and haven’t, so I stand by my decision.”
Other council members agreed. When Siddique asked for more time during the new business portion of the meeting, the council held firm.
“We tried to be fair and we want to be fair,” council member Stan Jones said. “But it’s been 30 days and you haven’t touched any of the things we asked you to.”
The council also voted to apply for a Southern Oklahoma Development Association REAP grant in the amount of $48,000 for additional rescue equipment for the fire department. The police department will also be applying for a grant to purchase body armor. The amount, if awarded, would be $10,000.