Buyer Beware | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Buyer Beware 

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I just read “UnNatural Disaster” [City Weekly, Jan. 28, 2009]. This article made me think that I have lived in this state too long, and the Republican atmosphere had contaminated me. I couldn’t help thinking, “Why did these people buy the houses? And why are they complaining now?” There was a reason that Gordon Curl got a “screaming deal” for his home: It was built beside an oil refinery. That’s why it was the cheapest you could get in south Davis County.

I used to work just up the freeway from this area. Every day, I drove by thinking, “Why are they building next to the refinery? Who would buy the houses?” Did they not realize that just next door were millions of gallons of highly flammable liquids and gases? How can anyone not think there would be a possibility of explosion?

Everything Jesse Fruhwirth wrote about in the article regarding lack of inspections, aging equipment and unsafe practices may be true. That the there were backhanded deals between the city and developers wouldn’t surprise anyone. But people didn’t have to buy those homes. Don’t they sometimes have to be responsible enough to recognize a bad deal? There is a reason homes are cheaper in the river bottoms and it isn’t a good idea buy a house on stakes on the side of a mountain. They should know you might have trouble in the future if you buy a home from a subsidiary of the largest land polluter in Utah or just next door to large stacks that emit clouds of steam, smoke and fire every day.

Homes surrounded by huge tanks containing millions of gallons of oil and gasoline may not be the best place to raise a family. People share a responsibility to protect themselves—government isn’t always going to do it.

Please print something on this soon before I start to think that Senator Buttars isn’t really insane and that Bob Lonsberry really has family values.

Harvey Barnhart

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