Apr 03, 2007

Waterline Break Gives Pennsylvania Church $2 Million Bill

A church in Ford City, Pa. received a big surprise recently.

Ford City Council agreed to send the Second Baptist Church a $2 million water bill.

Council members did not reveal the total, but church trustee Eugene Banks said a council member told him it was for more than $2 million.

The bill is for water used when a line broke inside a vacant building the church owns, but doesn't use. There was no heat in the building because the gas company shut off service to change a meter last summer and did not restart service, Banks said. When cold weather came, the water pipes froze and burst.

Water department officials knew a lot of water was being lost, but could not find the leak, councilman Homer Pendleton said.

Water rose to about six inches inside the building and poured out the front door into the street, but went unnoticed because of snow pushed there by plows, he said.

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