'Put up or shut up' for old PTL Tower - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

'Put up or shut up' for old PTL Tower

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FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - It has gone from gem to eyesore, and Wednesday was a critical deadline for the old PTL Tower, a rotting remnant of a once promising tourist trap.

In April, Morningstar Ministries had a plan and said they just needed time for the decrepit building. Time has passed and has amounted to nothing, and the York County Council is ready to call in a mediator or a judge.

It was once an important piece in the Heritage USA Empire, but time and neglect are displaying troubling signs of wear and tear. The obvious question is, who would want to live here?

Morningstar ministries which owns the site claims the demand is strong. Dave Yarns is one of the pitchmen for the project, and says the church has at least $15 million tied into reviving the ailing building, but is it enough?

"We have a thousand or so people who have expressed interest in the tower," said Yarns. "200 plus that have out money down as a deposit as a reservation, and we're building our deposit holders."

Buddy Moats chairs the York County Council, and says a third party may decide if the building stands or faces the wrecking ball. "We've indicated that we will write a letter to a mediator and have them out us on the docket and let a mediator decide," said Moats.

The push is on to sell units at the tower, but how safe is that unoccupied building? Yarns claims its been given a clean bill of health. "It has been certified structural sound by an engineer," said Yarns.

But safety, Moats says, may be in the eye of the beholder. "It's a structure that's been standing vacant for 25 years, since Jim Bakker was there originally," he said.

York County officials say they still suspect stall tactics are being used by the church. There's no word yet on when mediation will begin, but it could start by the end of this summer.

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