THE CITY OF VERSAILLES IS CONSIDERING BUILDING AN 18 HUNDRED PERSON SHELTER THAT WILL DOUBLE AS A CHURCH.
Church shelter debate 2.18.21
The city of versailles is considering building an 18 hundred person shelter that will double as a church.
Money for the project will come out of the federal government..and the wallets of taxpayers not surprisingly, the proposal has sparked some debate between church goers and the safety conscious and financial watchdogs.
And some say weather alone could be a reason against it.
Abc's danielle saitta sheds some light on the argument.
###### versailles mayor brian traugott says there's been a need for a large shelter for versailles...a week of cold and icy weather has been a prime example.
But it's not that simple.
Because this shelter would also serve as a place of worship.
According to the mayor...first baptist church came to him a year ago..asking his help to get federal funding to build tornado shelter mayor: "which would also serve as their sanctuary on property they owned adjacent to the existing neighborhood" the mayor says it's a good location because it's by versailles housing authority where there are 480 homes within a half mile.
Most have no safe place in case of severe weather.
That, plus the safety of the congregation, makes the one point two million dollars for a 10 thousand square foot dome a good investments.
But others argue two points.
The region is not prone to tornadoes like areas in the south and midwest.
Furthermore, tornadoes don't give much warning...about 13 minutes at most according to weather experts.
Mayor:"we are as prone as anybody in central kentucky we are not immune to it by any stretch of the imagination .
In wood ford county there have been about ten in the past 30-40 years" reverend floyd greene with first baptist church says this kind of emergency facility is a need for when disaster strikes.
Rev: it's not just tornado.
It's multi-purpose and sort of a disaster relief center an out of state organization called freedom from religion foundation was contacted by a citizen who was upset about the shelter plans....chris line a staff attorney says yes..if a city deems a shelter necessary it should be built...but not attached to any sort of religious group...funded by tax payer money.
Chris:"whether you're religious whether you're anything tax payer dollars going to a church is inappropriate not how we do things in america" the organization thinks there's a better way to build a shelter o chris: "if the city really wants a storm shelter they should build a storm shelter that is not owned by a church that is not on church property and is owned by the city--and then they would use that building for secular purposes" if the grant is awarded..work can begin within 90 days of announcement a decision is expected to be made relatively soon but construction would take until a year.
In versailes danielle saitta abc 36 news the four game road losing streak is over and