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					                                    Information
                               From Bedford County
                                www.co.bedford.va.us



                                      May 12, 2006


Fact Sheet:

   1. The County has issued a notice of violation to the owner of a property in the
      County where a barn has been converted for use as a meeting place for Cowboy
      Church.
   2. It is the responsibility of all local governments to protect the health and safety of
      the public when they gather in public places. If a fire or other emergency
      occurred and resulted in injury or death, people would rightly lay blame on
      Bedford County if it did not ensure that the building met safety codes.
   3. Based on information provided to the Building Official and the general public, the
      Building Official was compelled by State Code to advise the property owner that
      the use of the farm building for a Cowboy Church was not permitted under the
      Uniform Statewide Building Code.
   4. The County is merely seeking to ensure the safety of those attending the
      services. Concerns with the use of the existing facility include:
           • Emergency egress or lack thereof
           • Capacity of the facility’s electrical wiring to support the activities
           • Lack of adequate and sufficient plumbing
           • Adequacy of fire suppression
   5. The Cowboy Church also holds services at Wytheville in a Church Fellowship
      Hall and has plans to hold services in the Thaxton Community Center in Bedford
      County. Both of these facilities are suitable for this use.
   6. It is the County’s intent and desire to promptly reconcile our concerns that the
      safety of attendees be ensured with the property owner’s desire to provide a
      meeting place for Cowboy Church and bring this matter to a close.
   7. In order to accommodate those attending services, the Cowboy Church
      continues to meet in the barn until such time as the issue is resolved. No cease
      and desist order has been issued.