Midtown Square hearing

Lawton_Lawton Judge Keith Aycock said Midtown Square will still come down but no definite day when. The owner, Bobby Mansell, filed an appeal to Aycock's mid-December demolition ruling and that threw a monkey wrench in the city's plan to tear it down. In the meantime, the city asked the judge to make Mansell get the money together to pay for the demolition.

Lawton's City Attorney Frank Jensen has a few fears about what's going on at Midtown Square. He said the city can't award the demolition contract until the city has the funding from Mansell. He wants Mansell to have a chance to get his personal property out of the building before demolition day. Most of all, he feared that on the eve of demolition day, Mansell would ask the judge for a stay. But Judge Aycock took care of all that.

The city asked for a surety bond of about 370-thousand dollars--to cover all demolition and removal costs. But Bobby Mansell had something in mind, too. He requested a stay of demolition. He still stood by his word that the buildings are not dilapidated and was hopeful the appeals court will turn over Judge Aycock's previous ruling to tear the buildings down.  He also said the amount the city asked for for demolition may be too high.

Judge Aycock met the city and Bobby Mansell right in the middle. He issued a stay for Mansell but only until February 6th. Judge Aycock said Mansell has until February 6th to post the surety bond, too. All he said about the amount for the bond in court Wednesday was that it's an amount for the worst case scenario in demolition costs, which sounds like it may be more than 370-thousand.

Jensen also said the city is working to get Mansell's case put on an accelerated docket, so the city can bring an end to what seems like a never-ending Midtown Square debate.