News and Tribune

Clark County

February 15, 2013

Decision coming soon on Jacob’s Well

Legal battle over ‘house of hope’ continues for nonprofit, Utica residents





While the proposed and future uses of the building were argued in court, the lack of development of the property is a concern and cost.

Lewis said since the township was deeded the property, it has been incurring annual costs of $20,000 per year to board up the building. 

“It was too expensive; they couldn’t maintain it any longer,” he said.

Pam Sandefur said she has heard that argument but believes there are ulterior motives, including protecting the investment already made to renovate the property.

“All we hear is the town’s broke and we’ve got to get more grants,” she said. “And then we’re being told to be quiet because ... these people have a lot of money,” she said of those donating to Jacob’s Well. “And the state is really looking at this little community right now because the [east-end] bridge is coming through. 

“There’s still nothing in there. They have not helped one person.”

With no development at the site, Lewis said the building was deteriorating.

“The building continued to fall into disrepair,” he said. “No one else has an interest in this property other than the town and the grantor.” 

He added because the building wasn’t being used, it was subject to vandalism, criminal activity and animals had begun living inside.

Again, the local residents disagreed.

“The school’s not in disrepair,” said Utica resident Jacky Snelling.

He added the community was using the building as it had been for years, as a shelter during floods, a food pantry and even for birthday parties.

“It had something going all along,” said resident and former town council member Ann Graham.

But now that Jacob’s Well has possession of the property, the residents said the public can no longer access the former schoolhouse. The residents added that there had been attempts to develop the site in the past, but they were blocked as a result of the deed restrictions on the property.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.