Thursday, December 4, 2003

Loveland delays church purchase

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOVELAND - Despite pleas from the pastor, church members and the former mayor, council put off a decision Tuesday to spend $300,000 to buy the True Holiness Covenant of Peace Assembly sanctuary and office building.

Council tabled the issue so that three newly seated council members, who were sworn in this week, could be briefed on the issue before deciding. A vote was put off until next week.

A former council contracted with the church to buy the properties at Broadway and South Second streets to improve a dangerous intersection in an area that is pegged for redevelopment after Nisbet Lumber & Hardware moves to Sharonville next year. City officials estimate the improvements will cost about $750,000.

Pastor Pamela Smith urged council to make good on the agreement. The church, which now has no Loveland members, has a contract to buy another property in Walnut Hills, she said.

The city is buying the office building as part of the package because it would be useless to the congregation when they move outside the city. Congregation member Irene Phillips said it has been hit twice by cars losing control on a steep hill at the intersection.

Former mayor Donna Lajcak, who was unseated in the November election, spoke at Tuesday's meeting, cautioning the new council that it had a "contractual and moral obligation" to follow through.


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