Legion post looking into possible long-range deal to use civic club

The Princeton civic center has a new metal roof and siding. The city appropriated some money for the civic center rehabilitation project and many have been donating to it as well. A deal with the American Legion could help finish the project.

The Princeton civic center has a new metal roof and siding. The city appropriated some money for the civic center rehabilitation project and many have been donating to it as well. A deal with the American Legion could help finish the project.

The Princeton American Legion is considering entering into an agreement with the city to make the Princeton civic center its meeting place.

The Woodcock-Herbst American Legion Post 216, in a  recent monthly bulletin, states that part of the agreement could include the post paying for renovations still needed at the civic center.

The city began a renovation project at the civic center about two years ago and has made many improvements with community donations and some injection of city money. The building now has a new roof and siding, many new windows, and the ceiling rafters that now support a vault-style ceiling.

But some interior work remains.

Princeton City Clerk Shawna Jenkins keeps a tally of the work remaining, and the total is more than $86,000. It includes ceilings, doors, walls, trim work, utility-room remodeling, flooring and insulation, plus electrical supplies, kitchen equipment and air-quality equipment.

City Administrator Mark Karnowski last week declined to specify any possible terms of an agreement. Disclosing anything at this stage could jeopardize a possible negotiated agreement, he explained.

Karnowski and Legion Post Commander Jerry Whitcomb acknowledge that the post and the city have been talking about trying to reach some agreement that would be satisfactory to both.

The Legion Post, for many years, had its own building downtown, which is now Steven’s Restaurant and Catering. Since selling the building, the post has been conducting its meetings in the Princeton VFW Club downtown.

In an era of declining membership at veterans posts including the Legion post in Princeton, local Legion post members have discussed what could be done to attract new and younger members. Princeton Legion Post member Barry Hatch has suggested that if the post had a building that it could call its own meeting place and conduct family-oriented activities there, it would attract new members.

Whitcomb has stated that a Legion organization is not a building, but it is the membership and its work in the community.

All of the Legion Post’s members will have a chance to discuss the civic center topic at the post’s Nov. 14 regular meeting.

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