Residents and local officials gathered here Thursday to say a fond and final farewell to a lead-contaminated town that no longer exists.
In the past two years, this city in the far southeastern corner of Kansas has been virtually emptied of its residents, who were given government-sponsored buyouts to move away after Treece was declared unsafe for human habitation. Thursday’s ceremony was part municipal funeral and part celebration of the community that once was and is no longer.
“I just want to congratulate everyone that had a deal in this buyout, that it went as smoothly as it did and as expediently as it did,” said Bill Blunk, the last mayor of Treece. “Once we found that it was deemed unsafe, the ball started rolling and it didn’t stop until it was finished.”
Treece has now officially been removed from the map, disincorporated by an act of the state Legislature earlier this year.