PTL tower owners plan to sue York County if they can’t reach deal

PTL tower owners plan to sue York County if they can’t reach deal


by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 1 at 7:20 PM

YORK, S.C. -- MorningStar Ministries says it will file a lawsuit against York County if the county doesn’t accept its plan to repair the old PTL tower made famous by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

The two sides will go over MorningStar’s presentation Monday night as part of a settlement offer, since York County claims MorningStar violated a five-year-old development agreement which required MorningStar to fix the tower or use their own money to tear it down.

MorningStar claims it didn’t violate the agreement and the lawsuit, if filed, would seek damages alleging York County disseminated misinformation about contractual obligations which hurt the ability to fix the tower.

Eric Kinsinger's disdain for the old PTL tower isn't just on his face, it's also on his car with a bumper sticker saying tear it down.

“It’s an eyesore,” Kinsinger said.  "Everybody is sick of it, everybody is sick of looking at it, everybody is sick of dealing with it."

The tower former PTL preacher Jim Bakker made famous by overselling and getting into legal trouble in the 1980's has bricks falling off the side.

MorningStar says it's still in great shape and they're ready to spend millions to renovate it and create condos for the elderly.

York County says MorningStar is already in violation of a five-year-old development agreement which included MorningStar fixing the tower, or spending its own money to tear it down.

So far, neither has happened. 

MorningStar says it has a repair plan pretty much ready to go, costing roughly $6 million just for the exterior.

If the county leaders like it, they could approve it and grant MorningStar more time to fix the interior.

Morningstar says if the county says no, there will be a lawsuit seeking damages.

"We suffered damage by false information put out by the county,” said Heritage International Ministries President Rick Joyner.  "There were actual financial damages and losses.  We had people drop off, reservation holders.”

Kinsinger just wants it torn down and says Morningstar has had plenty of time to fix this.  He argues the damages have been done to the people who have lived next to it for years with no results.

"They're terrible neighbors,” Kinsinger said.

In an ironic twist, the York County manager is Jim Baker.  Baker says MorningStar threatening a lawsuit days before their presentation is a foolish way of doing business.

Baker says the county could also sue MorningStar to force them to tear the tower down if no deal is reached.