Wendell commissioners wiped their hands of the Central Baptist Church water problem last night. Church leaders offered to bond future construction of a water line in return for permission to hook on to the line that now extends to the edge of their property.
If you're just tuning in, church leaders thought they had followed all the rules in extending the line to the edge of the property, only to have Raleigh tell them the rules require the line be extended, essentially, all the way across the church property.
That's a several hundred thousand dollar proposition and the church had pretty much tapped out its financial resources to pay for the large new building it's now waiting to occupy.
Without the money to extend the line, church leaders turned first to Raleigh, then to Wendell, back to Raleigh and, again, back to Wendell, looking for relief from the rules. No one seemed interested in giving them that relief.
At last night's town board meeting, Wendell Mayor Harold Broadwell ruled out of order a motion by Commissioner Ronald Thompson that would have accepted the church's offer of a bond guaranteeing the future construction of the line. Broadwell said the agreement had been turned down by Raleigh officials and Wendell had no authority to enter into such an agreement.
Commissioners then voted down a motion to ask Raleigh to approve the bond. That vote failed 3-2 with commissioners Sid Baynes, Bill Connolly and Carol Hinnant voting against it out of concern that it might anger Raleigh officials who control the town's water supply.
So for now, the church has three choices - build the line or pay the fee-in-lieu of construction - either way, the bill will run six figures; or do without water.