Posted: Mar 20, 2013 4:12 PM by Caroline Flores - email@example.com
Updated: Mar 20, 2013 10:02 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - City council passed the first reading of an ordinance that will have citizens and businesses pay a street user fee. That includes churches. Church leaders say having them pay this fee will cause residents more harm than good.
Churches around Corpus Christi do much of their work with the poor and non profit organizations around town, something that takes money. That is why Church leaders all around the city are speaking out saying them having to pay the street user fee isn't right.
"Money is extremely tight and it's hard on us now to get by," said Vice Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church Mary Jo Smith.
In fact paying an extra fee could be detrimental to the Metropolitan Community Church.
"Well that could close our food pantry cus we don't... We live from month to month. We don't have a lot left over. It's not like we have excess money," said Smith.
Metropolitan Community Church is not alone in being against the street user fee.
"We are not a for profit. We are here to serve the people that are most in need," said Executive Director of Sacred Heart Catholic Charities Linda McKamie.
The Catholic Charities at the Sacred Heart Church say that even something as little as 10 dollars can make a huge impact. McKamie says that little amount of money can feed a family of four for four days. So take that away and many families could go without food.
"That doesn't seem like a lot of money. But every little bit counts in this kind of work," said Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church Rev. Chip Blackshear.
Blackshear says the city needs to understand that in the long run, making churches pay this fee will cause more harm than good.
"I really think that we can find a way as a city to improve our streets and without causing a burden that's going to have a ripple affect through the ministries that help so many people in our community," said Blackshear.
The City Manager says it will be at least six weeks before the ordinance will go before council for a second reading. At that time religious leaders hope the ordinance will exclude churches from the fee.
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