JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - One day after our 3 On Your Side investigation into a dilapidated, abandoned church in west Jackson, there are new developments. Jackson City inspectors were on the scene of Victory Cathedral Tuesday testing for asbestos.
The sprawling church is slated for demolition. The church is located at 220 Moss Avenue off West Capitol Street. Vagrants and thieves have stripped Victory Cathedral. Neighbors say's it's a haven for crime.
Our investigation found it was abandoned years ago. We have also learned that as of June first, the Hinds County Tax Assessor ruled the property is no longer tax exempt because it is abandoned and not in use.
Now, the city of Jackson intends to use a new law that went into effect days ago to make the owner pay up. On Tuesday, we contacted Claude Smith Manager of Community Improvement for the city of Jackson and posed this question. "Has this church been on your radar screen or was it what you saw yesterday you found disturbing?" His reply, "No. We have had this church on our radar several months. We've already contacted our agents that go out and do the investigation. We do know the property owner and now it's going out for asbestos testing. And from that point we will proceed with having it demolished."
In the cathedral, we found Sunday bulletins from 2001 listing the pastor as Bishop R.K. Pitts. We traced ownership to Bishop Pitts through county land rolls.
We are told the city intends to board the building up within 10 days. All costs will be added to Bishop Pitts property taxes. We have been unable to reach the former pastor for comment.
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