City to decide fate of historic church

Abandoned Osceola Baptist Church Caves In, Council Plans to Demolish
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - A 100-year-old church owned by an Osceola resident has caved in and left a pile of rubble on the lot.

Debra Felske had plans to get grants to restore the building to turn it in to an art center.

Code Enforcement Officer David Tucker said Felske and the city agreed on a five-year plan last year to restore the building.

He said this came after she went before the city council to give her the chance to improve that part of town.

The city asked Felske to put a metal fence around it for safety after some children were spotted playing in the rubble.

Tucker said because nothing has been done, at Monday night's city council meeting they planned to get approval from the council to tear it down and discuss the best options for funding.

Tucker said they would also look at what to do next with lot the church sits on.

"There have been a couple of interested parties about putting affordable housing in empty lots in the city," Tucker said. "So, I think the options are open with a lot this huge."

Mayor Kennemore said one part of the building needs a lot of work but the structure is in decent shape.

If the city takes over the building, Kennemore said it is possible they could keep part of it and donate it to a local nonprofit organization.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android