Church Parking Garage Construction Halted Due to Corruption

By Grace Zhi, August 30, 2017 09:08 AM

The construction site of the underground public parking garage of Chongyi Church when the groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 31, 2015

Construction on an underground parking garage for Hangzhou Christian Chongyi Church was halted in March 2016 with a decision by the local CCC&TSPM. Special task forces were also formed to deal with the remaining work.

On Aug 21, 2017, a "Notice on the Suspension of Remaining Work of Chongyi Church Underground Public Parking Garage" was posted by Hangzhou Christian Council. It showed that the remaining relevant work was finished and been audited according to regulations. It also explained what happened to the donations made for the project.

According to the notice, between July 1, 2013, to April 30, 2017, 28,718,822 RMB ($4,418,280) in donations were received beyond what believers put in the offering box. The actual expenditure was 13,867,217 RMB ($2,133,418) to begin with, including project approval, design,  construction, and more. At the moment over half of the balance remaines.

The notice also showed that the balance for the project will be used for the church's parking expenditure to serve believers in Chongyi Church.

The project was launched in 2013 to solve the traffic problem in front the church during services. It would also help relieve the traffic and parking tension in surrounding areas and improve the city's underground space utilization. On Nov 11, 2013, the local traffic authority, the Task Force Office on Traffic Congestion of Hangzhou, agreed that the Hangzhou Christian Council could utilize the underground space,  Xinkai River, and the riverbanks to the southeast of the church, to build an underground public parking garage.

On April 23, 2015, the Bureau of City Planning of Hangzhou issued the site selection proposition which approved their site and specified planning condition. On May 20, Hangzhou Development and Reform Committee granted administrative permission. The church started the paperwork according to the capital construction procedure. On Dec 9, all administrative paperwork was completed after the Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Yujiang District issued a building construction permit.

On Dec 31, 2015, the groundbreaking ceremony was held after the thanksgiving service.

On Jan 29, 2016, it was announced on the official website of the CCC&TSPM of Hangzhou that Pastor Gu Yuese, president of Hangzhou Christian Council, was under investigation of embezzlement and other financial issues. In March of the same year, the decision to shut down the project was reached after a meeting of Local CCC&TSPM.

The garage is located in the southeast of Chongyi Church in Xintang Rd., Jiangyu District. Xinkai River and and the banks are already used. In order to optimize the design, it switched to China United Engineering Corporation. The garage covers an area of 4,812 m2, 37 m from south to north and 102 m from east to west. The building area of the project is 12,522.6 m2 with 80 m2 on the ground and 12,442.6 m2 underground. The estimated budget is 115 million RMB.

Hangzhou Chongyi Church was completed and put into use in May 2005. Over 9,000 people attend regularly with more than 2,000 serving in the church.

-Translated by Grace Hubl

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