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Abandoned church demolition stopped, pending hearing

Updated: Monday, March 17 2014, 08:03 PM CDT
HARRISBURG – Mayor Eric Papenfuse on Monday visited the families displaced by the collapse of portions of the roof of the abandoned church at 12th and Magnolia Streets, and assured them the city was doing all in its power to help them safely return to their homes.

The City moved to demolish the condemned structure this weekend, but the property’s owner, Bishop Augustus Sullivan successfully petitioned the courts to stop demolition pending a hearing later this week.

Two separate court hearings are scheduled in connection with the roof collapse of the former Victory Outreach church. The collapse of portions of the roof created a public safety threat for two families and forced closure of streets in the area.

The City Solicitor’s office said the first hearing on Tuesday will take up charges filed by the City that arose from the building collapse on February 21.  The second hearing on Wednesday will consider a request from the Sullivan for a preliminary injunction to prevent the city from moving forward with the demolition of the condemned property.  

The District Attorney’s office will handle the criminal hearing and the City will be directly opposing the injunction request, which will be heard Wednesday morning in the Dauphin County Courthouse.

City Solicitor Neil Grover said it would be inappropriate for City officials to attempt to influence the outcome of these matters through further public comment, as the issues now rest squarely before the courts. Abandoned church demolition stopped, pending hearing


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