Gaz Metro cuts off heat to N.D.G. church
A congregation in N.D.G. was forced to conduct its service this past Sunday in the cold, after Gaz Metro turned off their heat.
The pastor of the River's Edge Community Church overlooking Girouard Park admits that while it's often late in paying its bills, the bills have been getting paid.
A representative from Gaz Metro shows up at the church on Cote St. Antoine St. last Wednesday to demand payment for a bill that was about 30 days overdue. Church officials insist the bill was paid within an hour, but by the evening it was clear that there was no heat in the building, and that there hasn't any been since.
Now, Gaz Metro is now demanding a $14,000 deposit from the church to get the heat back on, in addition to a $350 hookup fee, despite the fact it's still winter.
"We did it. We paid them," says pastor Lorenzo Della Foresta. "They asked for $7000, we gave to them within the hour, and then we still get shut off. What is that?
"It's understandable that are rules and protocol that a company like Gaz Met has, but they were completely inflexible with us, even after we did everything possible to pay."
Della Foresta says the Sunday service went ahead, even if those in attendance were bundled up in their parkas. Other church activities and services may have to be suspended, though they'll try to keep others going, such as its community kitchen.
He says at this point, there's little more can do, except try and appeal to its congregants to help it come up with the money to pay off Gaz Metro.
"We don't know what else we can do, except come up with the money."
Photo: River's Edge Community Church