ExxonMobil rolled out compensation packages for Northwoods residents in Mayflower Tuesday, 19 days after the company’s pipeline carrying diluted heavy crude oil, sometimes called bitumen or dilbit, ruptured and spilled thousands of barrels of the product.
According to Kim Jordan, media relations advisor for ExxonMobil, the company met individually with households in the neighborhood they’ve determined was most impacted.
After the rupture on March 29, the product flowed in yards and on streets in the subdivision off of Main Street in Mayflower, and into drainage ditches before spreading.
Compensation information provided by ExxonMobil to residents the company began meeting with Tuesday states each household will receive $10,000 to compensate for disruption and inconvenience.
The information packet says the company will also pay for one whole-house cleaning.
Maintenance for re-landscaped yards, those touched by the oil product, will be paid for up to two months.
Rental tenants in the neighborhood whose landlords sell their homes will be provided with rent money elsewhere for three months.
ExxonMobil has agreed to pay moving expenses.
Landlords whose tenants inside Northwoods decide to move out as a result of the spill will be reimbursed for rental income for up to one year, according to the compensation offer.
If homeowners decide to sell their home within a three-year period ending March 28, 2016, Exxon will purchase the property.
At the time of the sale, the value homeowners will receive will not be reduced to diminution in property value caused by the spill, according to Exxon.
The value of homes is to be established by HUD-approved appraisers.
“Directly impacted” homes or lots can be sold immediately to ExxonMobil.
According to Exxon, homes not “directly impacted” can be marketed by the homeowner.
If there is no buyer, or the best offer reflects that the spill has impacted the sale price, ExxonMobil will buy the home or lot, or make up the difference in the sales price.
Exxon-approved appraisers will determine if the sale price has been negatively impacted.
Exxon will cover closing costs and moving expenses for homeowners up to $8,000.
Residents who decide to stay in the neighborhood will be paid a one-time payment for diminution in property value.
Diminution values will be established by third-party appraisers, according to Exxon.
Property values on homes in side the neighborhood will be established by third-party appraisers.
One appraiser will be selected by ExxonMobil, and another may be hired by the homeowner to offer comparison.
The largest amount of lost value will be chosen if values are within 10 percent of each other.
If the difference is more than 10 percent, a third appraisal will be obtained and a value negotiated.
ExxonMobil will pay for both appraisers hired by homeowners and ExxonMobil.
Exxon has stated acceptance of these offers “will not affect your right to assert any claims that you may have against the company.”
Exxon representative David Eglinton said Tuesday acceptance of any part of the compensation package does not prevent home and property owners from pursuing future litigation against the company, or from receiving compensation for claims filed with the company.
Eglinton declined comment on if any home or property owners had accepted compensation from the company Tuesday.
According to Northwoods resident Chris Harrell, who was not part of more than 20 homes evacuated in the neighborhood, he and others were notified by telephone Monday evening of at least $10,000 in compensation.
The additional compensation offer was released Tuesday.
Harrell said residents were told home and property owners’ lawyers were welcome at the meetings.
ExxonMobil has told residents of the Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower they will provide $10,000 per household to compensate for inconvenience associated with the March 29 oil spill in the neighborhood.
Resident Chris Harrell said he and others received phone calls from Exxon representatives Monday night about the offer, which will be extended at upcoming meetings between Tuesday and Thursday.
Harrell said he was told the offer does not prevent residents from pursuing future litigation or claims against the company.
He said households' lawyers were welcome at the meetings. Check back for details on a larger compensation package extended by Exxon to home and property owners in Northwoods.