City officials to close unsafe church building

By ELIZABETH RICHARDSON erichardson@newnan.com A local church will soon be forced to close its doors because the property has been deemed unsafe. Members of the Newnan City Council discussed the issue at a council meeting Tuesday evening. The church, the Holy Zion Center of Deliverance located at 115 Temple Ave., recently failed to meet city code standards.
"We must move quickly to have the place closed down," said Mayor Keith Brady. The city will order it vacated before securing the structure and proceeding with condemnation procedures. Newnan's fire marshal was made aware of the situation and the structure's violations -- which include an absence of smoke detectors. As of May 29, the city had not issued a certificate of occupancy for the structure, which would certify that the renovation work that had been taking place on the structure is code compliant. The city has attempted to contact the property owner concerning the code violations noted at the property but has received no response. On April 2, responding to complaints received concerning the condition of the structures and the property in general, the city conducted a cursory observation of the facility and noted code violations, along with unsafe conditions, according to a city report. Of particular concern is the fact that construction and renovation work had been performed without proper permits. The building is presently being used for religious assembly purposes and appears to be regularly occupied. In other meeting business: * Council voted to enter into an agreement with Coweta County for leveling and resurfacing Newnan Crossing Bypass from Poplar Road to Lower Fayetteville Road. The work, which will be charged by quantity, will cost the city an estimated $179,000 and will be funded from the 1997 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. The county will provide the labor. The work was first done eight years ago. This time the city plans to add a "permaflex" layer that will add strength to the road to make it more durable. * Council released an invitation to bid for a full-depth reclamation and paving for a portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Staff expects the process to take seven to 10 days, and the road will remain open to traffic during the project. * Council accepted a recommendation from staff to award a contract to Pond & Company, a firm that will provide the city general on-call engineering services for two years with an option for renewal for one additional year. When the city issued a Request for Qualifications for engineering services, it received 33 responses. Pond & Co. will help with the implementation of contracting for capital improvement projects. * Council awarded a bid of $7,150 to Breeding Tractor and Equipment to purchase a new riding mower for the city's beautification department. * Alcohol beverage licenses were approved for Carniceria y Tienda El Progreso, 270 Greenville St., and for Claire's Love Your Mother Cafe, 8 Savannah St. * A request from Southern Cabinet Works Inc. for the city to deduct penalties the business acquired due to a mistake in calculation of the occupational tax return was denied by council.


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