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Legal complaint against Project Faith by engineer; HELP Center in limbo

There is a legal complaint against Project FAITH, Inc., Project FAITH Phase Two Development, LLC, and Angelwood II Management, Inc., that was filed last September 2011 with the King George Circuit Court by engineer and surveyor J.L Howeth, P.C., for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Froncé Wardlaw is listed as the registered agent for all three entities named in the

complaint.

The complaint was filed on Sept. 2, 2011 and responses were filed by the defendants on Sept. 28, 2011, with a motion to dismiss by Angelwood Management II, Inc, and answers and demurrers by the other two defendants.

The status of the case is somewhat unclear from online court records.

It is listed as ‘active,’ but with no date currently scheduled for a hearing. On Feb. 13, The Journal attempted to contact both parties to request the current status of the case, with no response from Howeth, and only a brief message two days later from Wardlaw saying, “I will get back with you. Thanks.”

Howeth’s complaint asks for a judgment in the amount of $37,250 along with interest, attorney’s fees and court costs alleged to be owed for additional work he performed under a 2007 contract for provision of a conceptual plan, preliminary subdivision plan and final site plan for Angelwood Phase II at a contract fee of $89,500.

Angelwood’s motion to dismiss primarily alleges that it did not contract with Howeth nor own the property in question and its sole purpose is as managing member of Project FAITH Phase Two Development, LLC.

The answer and demurrer from Project FAITH, Inc., and Project FAITH Phase II Development LLC, primarily denies that the alleged “additional contract work” was in addition to the work set forth in the contract proposal, asserting that was fully paid for.

PROJECT FAITH, HELP CENTER

Project FAITH is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation and certified as a Community Development Housing Corporation by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

It uses property for charitable and benevolent purposes to provide affordable housing for persons with disabilities and elder individuals with low incomes.

It has partnered with the county and qualified for funding on some of its projects submitted by the Board of Supervisors for federal funding through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) to pay for infrastructure costs for the housing projects.

Wardlaw has been promoting Project FAITH’s proposal for a “HELP Center,” for the last couple of years, which envisions a commercial center which would also co-locate community-based programs and services in the areas of health, education, learning, parenting assistance and other services to county residents of low-to-moderate incomes.

But the project has been on hold since summer 2010.

The original plan was to purchase property adjacent to the Gateway Urgent Medical Center. In July 2010, the state provided notification that the HELP Center project was turned down for grant funding by the Department of Housing & Community Development.  

Wardlaw had appeared before the Board the month before asking for $1,500,000 donation for the project, which was likewise not forthcoming.

Then in October 2010, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the Board of Supervisors to provide land for the HELP Center at the county’s government center at Purkins Corner.

That MOU came with numerous strings attached.

The MOU agreement hit an insurmountable snag after the county realized that commercial development was intended to be included as part of the HELP Center.  The county was being asked to give away real estate that would be used in large part for commercial development.

The status of that proposal appears to remain in limbo.

At a Board meeting earlier this month on Feb. 7 chairman Cedell Brooks announced that he, county administrator Travis Quesenberry, county attorney Matt Britton and Wardlaw had an upcoming meeting in regard to the proposed HELP Center to “see if we can make it happen.”

Nothing has been announced publicly as a result of that discussion.

Phyllis Cook

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