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Smithtown approves plan to demolish 'eyesore' abandoned church

Smithtown Town Hall on Main Street is shown

Smithtown Town Hall on Main Street is shown here. (Feb. 20, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

The Smithtown Town board has approved a plan to demolish an abandoned church that building inspectors said is unsafe.

At a public hearing Thursday, no one appeared on behalf of the Church of the Gospel Ministry, which had been located at 436 Edgewood Ave. in Smithtown. Town attorney John Zollo said attempts to reach church leaders were unsuccessful.
Zollo said the church is an “unsafe structure” and an “eyesore.”

Neighbors of the property, which includes several vacant buildings, a swimming pool and a boat, said it has been unused for at least six years. They said they have seen drug paraphernalia on the site, which is overgrown with bamboo stalks.

The town will have a competitive bidding process to hire a contractor to raze the buildings. Demolition costs will be applied to the church’s property tax bill.

Zollo said neighbors will be notified before structures are torn down.

The church is among nearly two dozen properties targeted by town officials for cleanup or demolition.

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