Hamilton Township, Monroe County (WBRE/WYOU) — Some residents of a Monroe County Community are worried about a controversial church buying a sports complex in the area.
People wanted to find out more about the Korean based church that’s hoping to buy the Pocono Dome in Sciota at a township meeting Tuesday.
It drew residents like Mary Ann Niceforo, who doesn’t usually attend municipal meetings. She is worried about the church turning the sports complex into a retreat center.
Niceforo said “If they’re here to help people that’s wonderful but to me they sound like money grubbers.”
Hamilton Township resident Gwen Kaiser also weighed in. “We need to really try to have a community center not a religious retreat we already have a couple – which is fine.”
Jessica Zugel is also wary about the proposed church purchase. “It doesn’t seem to fits its original use and when the Pocono Dome came in here we were happy to have a business like that that would draw more tax money to the area.”
World Mission Society Church of God – which hopes to buy the Pocono Dome, has been criticized and sued by former members, who call it a profit-making cult.
A church representative did not attend the meeting, which was rescheduled for May 9th.
But residents are concerned about the church requesting a special use permit, which would mean the township could lose revenue.
“I’m sure they’re going to apply to have tax free and my school taxes are high enough. I don’t want to subsidize their taxes,” said Leibig Charlesf.
Still others, who live near the Pocono Dome, are worried about what the change in ownership could mean for the area.
“It’s not conducive to that many people especially if they are bringing retreats in on buses,” said Joan Eilenberger.