Airport update 7-22-09

It’s about time that I posted an update on the status of our church’s case with the airport. (For background information, see my most recent post from March.)

Here’s our current situation: we have come to a pending agreement between our church leaders and the Airport Authority Director. However, in order┬áto make it official, both the church membership and the Airport Board of Directors have to accept the agreement.

Our church membership will be voting on the agreement this coming Sunday following the worship service. I do not know when the Airport Board will address it.

Basically, the two major components of the pending agreement are:

  1. The Airport Authority will purchase all of our property and buildings on Lynn Street and Edison Road for just over $700,000.
  2. The default date for us to be moved from our current facilities will be January 1, 2013, unless they need to begin work sooner. If that occurs, they must give us a 120-day notice before we have to leave.

The vote this weekend will be up-or-down. All questions must be addressed before then. You can contact me with your questions by phone (574-232-1618 x115), email, or Twitter.

And don’t forget…if this pending agreement is accepted, we are just entering a whole new season of life at Oak Tree Community Church. So keep praying!

If you would like to hear the recording of the informational meeting, including more details and a question and answer session, the MP3 is available upon request.

God is…

This summer we are participating in One Prayer again. Last year, over 1800 churches across the planet joined together to try to be the answer to Jesus’ prayer that we would be one (John 17:20).

This year the theme is God. Actually, it’s “God is…” I’ve been taking suggestions about what teaching you need to hear about God. Fill in the blank – “I need to hear that God is _______”.

You can post your comments here, or email them to me here.

One Prayer 2009 at OTCC begins on May 31. Don’t miss it!

Airport update 3-12-09

Hey, I finally have a little bit of an update for you. First, thank you to everyone who has been praying for the last six years about our case with the Airport Authority about our property. We’re not done, so keep praying!

(If you’re new to this and want more background, you can read all of my posts about this here.)

Here’s the quick, catch-up version: The Airport Authority made us an offer to acquire everything south of our building. Based on the offer, the close proximity to the new road they’re building (45-50 feet), and a host of other things (including losing 75% of our parking and our septic system), we rejected the offer. They filed a condemnation suit, and we went to court.

Last year, the court appointed a panel of appraisers to assess the situation to determine a couple of things:

  1. Was the Airport’s offer for that partial acquisition fair?
  2. If they proceeded to take that part of our property, what residual damage(s) would that cause, and what would it cost us to fix it/them?

The panel’s answer?

  1. The offer was not fair. They came back with a dollar amount that was nearly 2.5 times more.
  2. If the Airport Authority won the law suit and took that land, it would change the best use of our remaining property to light industrial, making it useful for warehouse space but not a church, thus devaluing the property.

Based on that report, the Airport Authority deposited the new full amount of money with the court and requested that the partial property be transferred to them so they could begin work.

We immediately filed a motion asking the judge to stay the transfer until we could have a hearing on the other part of the report – that the value of the remaining property was significantly reduced by the change in “best use”, putting us in a really bad situation.

We had a court hearing this morning on the Request for Stay of Transfer.

Though the judge did not make a ruling, she took our request under advisement. In the meantime, we are working to set up another meeting with the Airport Authority to see if we can come to an amicable settlement that would allow them to continue their project and us to continue God’s work.

Keep praying. It isn’t over yet, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been. I will continue to share information as it is available and appropriate.