Mayor asks stop order be issued against church

By ELIZABETH RICHARDSON erichardson@newnan.com The Newnan City Council said Tuesday it is finished granting extensions for a local church to bring its building up to code unless the owner can offer an acceptable, compelling reason why not to proceed with demolition. "I am done dealing with 115 Temple Ave.," said Mayor Keith Brady.
Holy Zion Center of Deliverance was on the agenda for council to discuss the status of the property and consider granting another extension for work. There have been at least three extensions already granted since the condemnation process was initiated in June 2008. When no one from the church was present at Tuesday's meeting to explain why renovations aren't progressing, Brady asked the city to issue a stop work order. Brady said he didn't want the owners to invest any more money in the property before council has a chance to discuss how to proceed. The city will also send the property owners notification to appear before council at its next meeting -- particularly if they don't want the property torn down. In September 2009, representatives from the church reassured the city they were moving forward with plans to renovate the building to meet the city's building code. They even provided the city with engineering plans that would have the property up to code within six months. Bishop Cecil Newton, pastor of the Temple Avenue church, and Melvin Cooper, the general contractor for the project, came before the city and reassured council the church had the money in hand to proceed with the work. In other meeting business: * The city granted approval to the Newnan Police Department to apply electronically for the Bulletproof Vest Assistance Grant, which will reimburse the city for half the cost of each vest purchased for new officers or for replacement vests, according to Chief Buster Meadows. * Council granted alcohol beverage licenses to businesses in Newnan, including: Your Back Yard, 385 U.S. 29 North; Tequilas Restaurant and Club, 276 Greenville St.; Food Outlet, 249 Temple Ave.; Walgreens, 1 Farmer Industrial Blvd. and Silver Star Chevron, 165 Temple Ave. * Council approved an ordinance to amend the 2009 budget. Those amendments include the Sprayberry Road property purchase, Carnegie building renovations and expenses related to the Veterans Memorial Plaza construction. * City council forwarded a request from Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church to make Lovelace Street a one-way street to the police department and engineering department to study the issue and make a recommendation. * Councilman Ray DuBose asked that the city revisit the idea of building a convention center in Newnan. The mayor agreed and asked City Manager Dick Bolin to contact the Newnan Convention Center Authority and instruct them to begin meeting and discussing the feasibility. * Community Development Director Cleatus Phillips said the new pool at Lynch Park is on schedule to open on May 21. The grand opening will take place at a later date. "It's looking good," said Councilman Bob Coggin.


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