Inner City Oil gas leak: ‘There’s no guarantee that it’s going to be cleaned and redeveloped at all’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An August settlement was supposed to solve the problems associated with a gas leak at a Kansas City gas station. But now neighbors surrounding the gas station at 31st and Cleveland say not only are they not getting any of the money from the settlement, they aren’t seeing any cleanup.

State Rep. Randy Dunn touted a $300,0000 settlement in August. "This is an opportunity to bring some investment back into the urban core into a community that desperately needs it and move us in a positive direction," he said.

But tonight State Rep. Brandon Ellington told neighbors, “there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be cleaned and redeveloped at all.”

Neighbors living around 31st and Cleveland near the Inner City Oil say they’ve smelled gas for years, and watched family member after family member get sick.

“My mother died of colon cancer, I have had pancreatic cancer, I discovered recently that my daughter had cancer,” Patrice Culclager said.
“my father died of multiple myeloma, my sister died of Leukemia And we had the fire Dept come to our house in 2007/08 because we smelled gas in the basement and they said it was gasoline coming from the sewer,” Ricardo Wade said.

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church helped form Urban Success Development Incorporated. Pastor Kevin Smith said at the time of the August settlement the group will use money contributed by gas station owners, Zill, to turn contaminated Brownfields into Resurrection Village, a new housing community.

“I haven’t gotten any money, nobody talked to me about any money I’m just trying to figure out if we can get it cleaned up.”

Rep. Ellington says Zill told him they’ve already paid into the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund and now it’s that organizations job to pay for the cleanup, but Ellington says so far they’ve balked. With that settlement now in limbo, residents like Wade and Culclager are left trying to reorganize a fight that appeared to be over.

“If we stand around and don’t do another protest they are going to get their way,” Wade said.

“We need real help, people that are actually going to help with the money that is supposed to be in the clean up,” Culclager said.