I Love My Church - 3
"THEY WANT HOW MUCH?" I like to have died when the letter arrived from the county that said we were going to make us hook up to the water and sewer. That wasn't what surprised me though. It was the $100,000 plus price tag that took my breath away. The county decided to install water and sewer on the road in front of the church. I was sure that the 20 or so people who were attending here now didn't have the money. I called the district to let them know what was going on (we were in home missions status at the time). They told me was, "Russ, you have got to get that price down! - have a nice day we are praying for you." (click)
For a year we went to public meetings where a very nice gentleman would get up and explain to us why it cost so much, over and over and over and over. The bill went from a hundred thousand something down to 50 or 60 thousand then down into the 40's. Still I wasn't happy about it. So I asked for a meeting with our county commissioner and the head of this project from the utilities dept.
The day of that meeting I walked into the room to find the head of every department along with the county attorney plus every property owner who had been billed on this project too! I looked at the county commissioner and asked her why all these people were there? She said that she didn't know. Later I discovered that she had invited them all.
So I sat down and looked at her and she said, "Well you called this meeting, what do you want to know?" What she didn't know was that a) my dad was a sub contractor for southwestern bell for many years. He buried miles of telephone cable. It wasn't all that different from a water line. b) I am one motivated pastor who knows that this bill will probably be the death of this church. c) I am counting on God to get me through this. A and B helped, C came through!!
So as I started to ask questions about certain things, the county commissioner tried her best to put me in my place. It didn't last long until I had exposed a number of problems with the project. The big one being that they were installing a water line that was entirely to big for the project. They admitted that this water line was for the residents and that were going to make us foot the bill for them.
The water and sewer were installed, and our bill? $11,000 Everybody elses bill went down too. That county commissioner still will not talk to me to this day.