Promised state funds expected soon for historic Buffalo church - The Buffalo News

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Promised state funds expected soon for historic Buffalo church

A nudge from two state legislators is expected to free up state money for Corpus Christi Church within a matter of days.

Those at the historic East Side church, a state-designated landmark eligible for preservation funding, have waited more than a year to be reimbursed for nearly $200,000 in restoration work to the south tower.

The church took a loan from the Pauline Fathers and Brothers, the order of priests that runs the parish, to make ends meet while waiting for the state to hold up its end of the deal.

But the funds are expected any day now, said Jim Serafin, president of the Friends of Corpus Christi, a group that raises money for the church’s preservation.

Serafin credited Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-South Buffalo, and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, for pushing the state’s budget office to release the funds, part of a $450,000 grant originally awarded in 2007 through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.

“They pinned down exactly what the logjam was,” Serafin said.

The hold-up prevented the church from making final payments to the architect and general contractor.

The south tower work, which included masonry repair, was completed in June 2012, when a new 36-foot tall copper cupola was installed on top.

The church was built in 1909.

Further preservation work on the north tower, as well as drainage work, is planned for the building at Clark and Kent streets.

“We’re not quite there. We have two more big projects,” Serafin said. “We need to raise a little more money for that.”

The parish will celebrate its annual Dozynki Harvest Festival today through Sunday.

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