Local Church Fights For Space - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Local Church Fights For Space

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PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

The fate of a local church is in the hands of the Pittsfield City Council this week.

The Pittsfield Crossing Church campus has been renting space in an industrial park, and wants to purchase the building next door, even though city zoning doesn't allow non-profit organizations there.

Today the 10:45 service at the Crossing Church in Pittsfield was overflowing.

"Today we had almost 350 people here,"said pastor Clint Weir.

The pastor said they'd like to be in a bigger building but they've seen some obstacles.

"It's not supposed to be for non-profit organizations, and the reason is that taxpayers built the thing and they want taxes generated from it," Pittsfield Alderman Bill Scheiwe said.

 Scheiwe said that the city established the industrial park in 1997, and about 5 years ago made it a Tiff District, intended to bring in taxes. But non-profits, like the church, don't pay those taxes.

"There's about 7,000 dollar tax on the building itself which the city will lose, and then any sales that would be generated from the businesses, they would be taxed. And we don't want to lose the tax, and we want more tax revenue," Scheiwe said.

Weir said the church provides other benefits to the community."We do a food pantry on the third Saturday of every month where we give out free food, we offer counseling, free professional counseling," he said.

Weir said he understands that the city council has its own set of obligations, and that the church will do their best no matter what.

"They're doing their job, they have to protect the city, and I'm going to stay optimistic," he said.

Scheiwe said the city has given the church alternative sites to use or to buy and build on. Though Weir says that they will have enough financing to move buildings, building one of their own is just to expensive right now.

The City Council vote will take place Tuesday. Scheiwe said he doesn't think the vote will be approved, but he says sometimes votes can be surprising.

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