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Officials: Church misses deadline

Court ordered clocks, windows restored in structure

January 1, 2013
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Church of God of Prophecy, which owns the Bleecker Square church, has failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to restore clocks and windows at the church, and did not meet the December deadline for partial abatement or full forgiveness of the $60,000 in fines.

The court ruling stated if the church fully and successfully complied with all of the conditions, it would be able to apply on or before Dec. 15 for either a partial abatement or full forgiveness of the fine totaling $60,000.

"We gave them many options to try to work with them, but [the church] never took any action, so my plan is to move forward with the necessary action to see this is resolved," Mayor Dayton King said about the issue Monday.

City Attorney Anthony Casale declined to comment on what exactly the city will do now that the deadline has passed, or whether there will be any additional fines for the church's inaction.

The church was given three conditional discharges and one year to pay $60,000 in fines after stained-glass windows and steeple clocks were removed in February of last year from the 143-year-old church without the Historic Preservation Review Board's consent.

The $60,000 is broken up into five $12,000 fines - one for each of the four facades of the building and one for the steeple, where the clocks were removed.

According to the court document, as one of the conditional discharges the church had until June 30 to restore the clocks and windows in accordance with the mandates of the city's Historic District Review Board, but has not replaced either.

Also as part of the conditional discharge, the church was ordered to pro-actively maintain the property in the future in strict accordance with city code and proactively market the building for adaptive re-use by a bona fide purchaser for a religious, commercial, residential or civic purpose.

Robert Meringolo, an antiques and art expert and dealer from Westerlo hired by the church to handle the project, said a miscommunication with his project partner, Joe Bailey, the owner of From Europe to You, resulted in the windows and clocks removal without approval, after an application had been submitted to the board.

The Church of God of Prophecy Northeast Region, based in Albany, has owned the Bleecker Square Church since 2000, when it was purchased for $60,000, according to tax map data.

At this time, the church has left boards on all of the windows.

Presiding Bishop of the Northeast Region for the Church of God of Prophecy, Cervin McKinnon did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com

 
 

 

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