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Trial set in case of stripped church

July 19, 2011
By AMANDA WHISTLE , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Church of God of Prophecy is scheduled to appear in court for a trial July 26 after the church failed to submit a plan for replacing the stripped steeple clocks and stained-glass windows from the 142-year-old Bleecker Square Church that city officials deemed acceptable.

City Attorney Anthony Casale said the trial, in which both sides could call witnesses, is scheduled for 10 a.m.

"It's not actually very difficult or complicated. I think the trial will be relatively short," he said.

The Historic Preservation Review Board meets on the first and third Thursday of each month, but Casale said he hasn't heard that a new proposal has been issued.

"In the event the city is successful [in fining the church], it does not necessarily solve the problem for the church. It has always been the city's position that it would have behooved the church to simply comply and bring the property to compliance because now the court is simply going to levy fines and the property is still going to remain in violation and [be] subject to further fines going forward," Casale said.

According to the code, violations could cost anywhere from $25 to $50 for each day for each violation.

Previous hearings in City Court have been adjourned several times over the past few months. The church presented a proposal to the board, but Casale said the board deemed it "too general in nature" and asked for changes, which have not been submitted.

The church at 7 Elm St. is in the historic district buffer zone. Any changes made to the exterior of the building require approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board.

Robert Meringolo, an art dealer, said he was hired by the church to handle the project.

He said a miscommunication resulted in removal of the windows and clocks without approval.

manda Whistle covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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