Jan 28, 2016 1:36 PM

Members work to restore Grafton church amid tax payment deadline

The Associated Press

GRAFTON — Plans to restore a more than 200-year-old church that was damaged in a fatal fire in Grafton could be complicated by a tax dispute involving town officials.

The Jan. 12 fire severely damaged the Peaceful Assembly Church and killed 57-year-old John Connell, pastor and founder.

The Valley News reports the church has a Feb. 8 deadline to pay $6,000 in taxes or the town could confiscate the property for a non-payment of nearly $14,000.

The bill stems from a years-long battle with the town over its religious tax exemption. Town officials have denied the church's applications for exemption, arguing that its lack of affiliation with a denomination disqualifies it.

Dave Kopacz, chairman of the church's Board of Directors, plans to pay the bill but still doesn't accept the town's decision.

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