The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore has paid two subcontractors for work on a Fallston church, averting a court order that would have put the church up for sale if the debts weren't satisfied.
The companies filed separate suits in Harford Circuit Court last year against the archdiocese and Archbishop William H. Keeler, seeking payment for work on the Church of St. Mark.
P.D. Valle Electric Co. of Baldwin said in court papers that the archdiocese owed it $9,044; Ridge Sheet Metal Co. of Fallston contended it was owed $36,810.
Harford Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill said in a Jan. 9 order that the archdiocese would have until the last day of February to pay the companies or risk having the church sold.
If the companies were not paid by Feb. 29, Anthony J. DiPaula, a Towson attorney representing the companies, would have been permitted to begin procedures to have the church sold so the debts could be covered, Whitfill said in his ruling.
Thomas N. Biddison Jr., a Baltimore attorney representing the archdiocese, sai the archdiocese has paid the companies, but maintains the bills are the responsibility of the church's general contractor.
Ridge and Valle sued the archdiocese after the general contractor, EBC Industries Inc. of Parkville, did not pay them for their work, Biddison said.
The archdiocese is negotiating with EBC Industries to deduct the money owed to Valle andRidge from the general contractor's bill, Biddison said.
Valle and Ridge filed requests for mechanic's liens last January after being paid for some of their work at the Church of St. Mark, which was finished in late 1990 for an estimated $1.4 million.
Valle's bill totaled $165,349 for installing the church's electrical system and Ridge's bill totaled $304,022 bill for installing the church's plumbing andfire protection system, court records say.
The Church of St. Mark, at Reckord and Old Fallston roads, was built on a three-acre site to replace a 105-year-old church that has since been relocated to Joppa for another parish.
The old church was at the center of controversy six years ago when the archdiocese announced plans to demolish itto make room for the new facility.
The parish was split between those who wanted the church preserved for its historical significance and those who saw the need to make room for a congregation of 1,150 families.
As a compromise, the old church was dismantled piece-by-piece and then reassembled at its new location along Mountain Road as the St. Mary's Assumption Eastern Rite Catholic Church.