Bellefontaine Examiner

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Local Elks lodge closes after 123 years

Bellefontaine’s BPOElks Lodge 132, 221 N. Main St., officially has ceased operation after more than 123 years of local operation.

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Members of the BPOElks Lodge 132 voted Monday evening to close the lodge, surrender the charter and sell the building and assets to pay off the private club’s outstanding debts. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

A group of 36 members turned out at a Monday evening meeting and voted to sell the building and surrender the lodge’s charter, which was established in 1889.

Any group of individuals interested in reorganizing a lodge and reclaiming the local 132 charter, however, may do so for the next five years, Don Flora, special representative for the southwest district, told the group.

The lodge has been experiencing financial difficulties in recent years culminating with a decision by the Ohio Department of Taxation not to allow renewal of the liquor license.

Foreclosure proceedings on the building, which is currently appraised by the Logan County Auditor’s Office at $275,000, have also begun.

The lodge is $4,000 behind on payments and still owes $94,000 on the building, Mr. Flora said.

It also has about $40,000 in other debts, including $5,000 in local land taxes.

Those who wish to transfer their Elks memberships to a new lodge can send payment of $39.25 for lifetime membership renewal or $78.50 for regular membership annual fee to 221 N. Main St., P.O. Box 357, Bellefontaine, OH 43311.

Payment should be sent in care of Wendy Putt no later than April 1 and specify the lodge the member desires for a home lodge.

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