Shuttered center at odds with Bastrop

Attorneys for a nonprofit center for children say they are concerned whether the city of Bastrop will pay for the center’s damage incurred because of the city’s refusal to repair a drainpipe that forced the center to ultimately close.

New Beginnings Christian Center sued Bastrop in July 2008 after the city refused to fix the drainpipe running under the center’s parking lot. Court documents indicate the city repaired the pipe from 2005-07, but refused to do so in 2008. The center was forced to close and ultimately sued, alleging the city should be responsible for repairing the pipe.

According to court documents, the area above the parking lot and above the drainpipe has continually eroded and periodically caused cave-ins of the concrete above the pipe.

“I’m concerned they are not going to do what they are called upon to do,” said Richard Fewell Jr., an attorney for the center.

The center, which helped keep youth off the streets by offering spiritual counseling, athletics and educational programs, lost its case at the district level, but won on appeal. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the center’s assertion that the city undertook a responsibility to continue to repair the drainpipe when it performed previous maintenance and repairs. The center is now asking what the city plans to do to fix the pipe.

Fewell said they have yet to hear from anyone in city government. “If they don’t respond, we’ll have to see what the court has to say.”

Mayor Betty Alford Olive couldn’t say what the city’s plans are.

“We have forwarded this information to our Office of Risk Management, and we’re going to wait for the guidance of our legal advisers,” she said.