- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

MAYFLOWER, Ark. (AP) — More than 15 homes are still for sale in a Mayflower subdivision where an oil spill occurred last year, according to an Exxon Mobil spokesman.

The oil giant’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured in March 2013, spilling thousands of gallons of oil in the Northwoods subdivision. The company has blamed the rupture on manufacturing defects.

Mobil Pipe Line Co., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, bought 38 of the subdivision’s 62 houses, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1ITWfCC ) reported.

Of the 38, Exxon has sold seven. Spokesman Christian Flathman said the company could purchase more homes under a compensation plan offered to homeowners shortly after the spill.

“It’s a beautiful little subdivision,” Mayor Randy Holland said. “I think it will just take a little time.”

As the economy continues to improve and more businesses move into the area, more people will need homes, Holland said.

Bill and Virginia Ausbrooks, whose previous residence was destroyed by a deadly April tornado, were among the first homebuyers. They bought their nearly 1,800-square foot home for $182,500, and Virginia Ausbrooks said she’s happy there.

Wendy Moore, a Mayflower real estate agent, said she sold a house in the neighborhood to another family who also lost their home in the tornado. She said she’s had several people interested in the area, but that there’s still a stigma attached.

“The biggest concern I’ve heard from people is about the soil testing in the neighborhood,” Moore said. “Most of the questions are about their kids, the environment and what’s left behind.”

The houses for sale are “going to be there for awhile,” she said.

But, she said, “I think (they) will start selling a lot more when the market picks back up.”


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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