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Smithtown moves to tear down abandoned church

The Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to purchase

The Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to purchase two properties for $240,000 that can be used for transfer of density flow rights. (Feb. 20, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

Smithtown Town officials are taking steps that could lead to the demolition of an abandoned Smithtown church.

The Church of the Gospel Ministry, at 436 Edgewood Ave., is structurally unsafe and shows signs of “decay and disrepair,” said town building director John Bongino. A swimming pool on the property is filled with stagnant water, he said.

Chain-link fences are roped shut at the site, which is covered with 30-foot-high stands of bamboo.

The town board has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. on May 23 to discuss plans to clean up the site and possibly tear down buildings, including a house and a garage.

Church leaders could not be reached for comment.

Bongino said the church has been vacant for several years, adding, “I can’t remember it ever being opened.”

Bongino said the town’s attempts to locate church officials were unsuccessful. There was no reply to a letter sent to the church last month by certified mail, and the town has not been contacted by anyone claiming to own the property, Bongino said.

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