Church, city reach settlement

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 6, 2005

Just days before the scheduled Feb. 4 court date, the city and Greater Love Outreach Center reached a settlement on the city’s condemnation of the church’s former East Washington Street home.

Norfolk attorney Joe Waldo, who represents Greater Love, said he couldn’t discuss the settlement amount approved by Hampton Judge John Ford. But the two parties met about halfway between the Greater Love’s $450,000 claim and the city’s first $140,000 offer, he added.

&uot;Although he had hoped to get a little more, I think Rev. (Willie) Royster (church pastor) thought this was a good faith offer,&uot; said Waldo. &uot;Both sides gave some to reach the agreement.


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&uot;The church wants to get going with its ministry,&uot; he continued. &uot;They don’t want to spend time in court.&uot;

The city condemned the church’s former building-a 100-year-old brick building which generations of Suffolk residents remember as a liquor store-in late 2003 to move ahead with its Fairgrounds project. The city has razed the building and is partway through construction of the G.W. Carver traffic circle near the site.

Greater Love Outreach Center’s congregation has been worshiping at its new church on South Saratoga Street for nearly a year.

Efforts to reach Royster, Suffolk attorney Richard Savage, who represented the city, and Dennis Craff, city spokesman, were unsuccessful Friday.