Wilson Parris VFW Post 8600
817 Rainbow Drive
Gadsden, Alabama 35901
Post Special Meeting Minutes February 14, 2016 to vote on putting the Post Home up for sell by owners
- Opening Ceremony: Meeting Opened at 6:10 PM by Commander LaPoint. Opening ceremonies conducted. Comrade Holmes gave opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance recited by all members present.
- Guests: None.
- Roll Call of Officers:13 Present, 1 Vacant(Tr2) 2 Excused (Chap,Serv).
Cmdr, SVCmdr, JVCmdr, Qmst, Chap , Tr3, Tr2 v, Tr1, HC1, HC2, HC3, Surg, Serv, Adj, OD, JudgA
- Petitions For Membership:
Motion to accept carried: Holmes, Bozeman.
- Reid Harris, New Member, Iraq qualified
- All other normal business was suspended.
- Special meeting called to vote on putting the Post home up for sale
- Letter mailed to 168 Post members on February 3rd calling special meeting and specifying the date and time.
- A document, 'Making a Case for Relocating the Post Home', referenced in the letter and published on the Post's web site, was distributed as the main talking points.
- Main points
- We have more building than we need for our membership. We need to downsize.
- Sales are down.
- Membership is down.
- At this rate, we won't have a Post, let alone a Post home within a year.
- Quartermaster Comments
- Discussed ABC law requiring 150 paid members to have a Class II Club license.
- We have 168 members, but we had 12 letter come back as undeliverable. We don't know where they are, so we could down to 154 members, include 2 deceased members we just found out about.
- While our sales and assets are down, we're not in dire need, but if we don't do something soon, we may not be around next year.
- We had about $70,000 in bank for the last three years. We're down to $60,000 now ,but it will probably be down to $55,000 by end of year.
- Our only source of income is the Canteen - without it we have no income.
- We have options. We could obtain a Lounge License instead of a Private Club license, but there are problems. We could tear down the old area and make some improvements, but that would require borrowing money.
- We are not voting on selling the building tonight, just requesting open bids.
- If we receive an offer that is acceptable (enough to build a new home or relocate and put some money in the bank), that offer would be discussed and voted on at another meeting.
- Commander Comments
- Looked at several existing facilities in area in the 5,000 SqFt range. Range is between $150,000 and $300,000.
- Discussed the inefficiencies of the current facility and what we've considered doing. We just don't have the money do modernization without going in debit.
- Discussed not having a front door, the place looks like an abandoned building.
- Building a new 5,000 SqFt facility would be about $250,000 - not counting property.
- If we get offer over $600,000, we could downsize, have an more efficient facility and put up to $250,000 in bank awaiting the the younger members to take over.
- Open discussion
- Some discussion was about running the post and not selling the home. Those will just be briefly touch on.
- If we move, will there still be a dance floor? Yes, probably smaller, but what we can efficiently do in 5,000 SqFt
- I never see any Officers at the Canteen. The officer's job is not to socialize, but to run the Post.
- Are the places you looked at comparable to the current facility? Yes we just looked at a few.
- Has there been any interest in this property? The has been in the pasts, but that's what we're trying to find out. We don't know. We think there may be.
- You wouldn't sell this without having another place? No. We hope to have enough time to move. IF it was a really good offer, but could move to a temporary facility while we locate a permanent facility.
- We're all seem to be fairly old, what are we doing to attract younger members? Sports bar? We do have TV on sports. It's just not time yet for younger member to give up time needed.
- Comments on work that current officers do.
- Comment on history of what post went through in past and post doing the same thing - talking about moving remodeling. The problem is not the building, it is getting members and having them participate. Concluded that membership is the root problem and it's everyones job to get new members.
- Could we contract out running the bar and facility? We still have to have control and it has not worked at other location in the past. Could we have food? We can only do so much, 4 or 5 people can't do it all. You just burn out. Or you have to pay someone to do the food and hope you have customers.
- Comments from Sr Vice. The AUX closed down because they couldn't fill officer positions. We're getting to the same position. He gave some history but came down to the bottom line. Our expenses are exceeding our income and the expenses are just running the place. We need to do something or we're going to loose it all.
- Some comments on the Sports Bar, Jefferson's approach. We're a private club and can't cater to just the public. We have to have members in here for guests, or we could be in trouble. Also talked about Iraq and Afghanistan vets and it just not time yet. We do need everyone to recruit and we gave everyone membership applications.
- After discussions were concluded, a request for a motion was made. Comrade Holmes motioned that we authorize putting building up for sell. If we get buyers, we'll bring it up to membership to vote on accepting any offers meeting our minimum requirements.
Closing Ceremonies performed and meeting Adjourned by Commander LaPoint at 7:30 PM.
- Comrade Holland point of order. How long will the building be up for sale, you don't have a limit. We will set a limit of 6 months. Suggest and open bid, much like eBay. If we don't get an acceptable offers in that time, it' time to go to the next plan.
- Motion second by Comrade Shelly
- Motion passed unanimously with 14 votes by show of hands.
- We will keep membership up date on progress and report at monthly membership meetings. Minutes are published on the post's web site.