Page: B4
Date: Saturday, December 22, 2001


BRUCE A. SCRUTON Staff writer

Albany The city's move to condemn the former St. Joseph's Church on Ten Broeck Triangle has been challenged and will go to court early next month. While building owner Elda Abate was unsuccessful in gaining a restraining order to stop the city from working on the building, state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Cannizzaro did set a hearing for the morning of Jan. 4.      Abate's attorney, Randall Kehoe, said the restraining order could not be obtained since there was not time late Friday afternoon for the city to get a representative to the court.

     Under an Article 78 proceeding in which a government entity is sued, a municipality must be given a chance to respond before any order can be signed against it.      Kehoe said he wanted the restraining order because Abate could suffer irreparable financial harm by having the city doing work inside the church. ``Imagine a company coming in (hired by the city) and setting up $50,000 worth of scaffolding. Somebody's got to pay and it shouldn't be her if it's not needed.''      On Thursday, the city condemned the building and began emergency work on two support columns to keep the roof from collapsing. The city had opinions from six engineering companies, including one hired by Abate, stating that the landmark church building is in an unsafe and unfit condition.

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