HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg is going after the State Bank of Texas to be reimbursed for over $295,000 in clean-up costs following demolition at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
City Council voted four to one Tuesday to "adopt a resolution to adjudicate the clean-up cost and direct the placement as an assessment for demolition cost" against the Mount Carmel Church property. Ward 2 council member Deborah Delgado was against the action.
This is a step in a legal process against the church's mortgage lender, State Bank of Texas. According to the resolution, the actual clean-up cost the city is hoping to earn is $295,677.32.
In July, building "B" on the property was deemed unsafe and a menace to the public health of the community. At the time of the issue, the State Bank of Texas revealed the bank would not allocate any additional resources to make sure the property was no longer a threat to public safety. The city demolished the building, costing about $340,000.
Last month, a federal judge ruled the mortgage lender would receive all of the church's insurance settlement, close to $1.7 million, from February 2013's EF-4 tornado that damaged buildings on the property. Mount Carmel Pastor Gabriel Bobbett had told city leaders legal battles over funding for repairs had kept anything from improving on the property since the storm hit.