The members of the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Hall in southeast Clatskanie are now meeting regularly at the American Legion Hall on N.E. 5th Street while the old VFW Hall is sold.
“We have been pondering selling the hall for a number of years,” First Vice Commander Gerry Simmons said. “This last year its been a pretty serious discussion.”
Simmons said the decision to sell the hall, located about a mile east of the American Legion building, is based on the deterioration of the building and finances of the Clatskanie VFW post.
“The post doesn’t have a whole lot of money and the cost of maintaining the building has been coming out of our pockets,” Simmons said. “The building is old and needs a lot or repairs and we just didn’t have the funds.”
To move the sale ahead, the VFW has offered the property to Columbia County.
“We are interested in it because the hall shares the county’s shop parking lot and we could use it for public works storage,” Columbia County Public Works Director Mike Russell said. “We appreciate the VFW and the hall would help provide us with more needed space. We are sorry to see them go. They have been good neighbors.”
Russell was scheduled to take details about the sale and the asking price of approximately $20,000 to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners for review Wednesday, June 2.
“We will have to do our due diligence on the property, which would include an appraisal to assess any liabilities,” Russell said.
“It’s never a done deal unless the cash is on hand,” Simmons said. But we believe selling to the county is a win-win situation. It’s a benefit for the VFW and the county, so it is good for everybody.”Simmons said the VFW members have been meeting at the American Legion Hall on N.E. 5th Street in Clatskanie following the American Legion meetings on the second Monday of each month.
“We have about 40 members,” Simmons said. “Over the last few years we have lost a few but retained others, so the memberships is about the same over the past 10 years. The majority of our members are Vietnam War veterans.”
Simmons said the VFW members hope to continue their community service projects during the lodge transition.
“We currently provide help to veterans and the elderly,” he said. “If someone passes, we’ll help the wife get through the paperwork shuffle with the government. If someone needs financial assistance we have a little bit of money that we can share with them.”
To find out more, or to become a member of the VFW or American Legion, contact Simmons at 503-476-6252.