Renovations, maybe for Legion Hut
American Legion Hut closed for year after family reunion damage; Renovations possible
The American Legion Hut, located across North Adair Street from Clinton Middle School, has been closed since a family reunion held Jan. 28, 2017. The building is owned by the City of Clinton and City Council Monday received an update on damage caused during the family reunion, as well as estimated costs of renovating the aging facility.
The person renting the Legion Hut paid a $100 security deposit, which was not returned, as well as a $250 rental fee. A note on the rental agreement said trash was left all over the property, shots were fired, the front door jam was broken along with a number of windows and ceiling tiles in the main area of the building fell during the event.
The rental agreement application, filled out by a Clinton resident, said alcohol would not be served during the reunion, which began at 8 p.m. and was to end at midnight.
Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon asked council not to take any action on the proposed renovation at Monday night’s council meeting.
“I haven’t had a chance to visually see the property,” Cannon, who was attending his first regular monthly council meeting, said.
Council gave City Attorney Allen Wham the authority to try to collect money for the damages from the person who rented the building, although the city doesn’t have an estimate for just fixing the damages from the family reunion.
Estimates to renovate the building, including making the building ADA compliant, range from $177,000 to $285,000.
A Department of Public Safety incident report said police responded to the property shortly after midnight because of the high number of cars in the parking lot. While an officer was traveling on Willard Road toward the Legion Hut, Laurens County dispatch said shots had been fired at the location.
At least one person in the parking lot was reported to be “extremely intoxicated and angry.” An officer entering the building reported an “extremely strong odor of marijuana.” A female in the building said there had been a “fight between family members and everything was OK,” the incident report said.
Drops of blood were discovered on the floor of the main room.
Council members were given a copy of the rental agreement and the incident report, which included pictures of damage to the building.
The American Legion Hut has been rented by the city since the city acquired the building. It was rented 24 times in 2014, 25 times in 2015 and 15 times during from June 2016 until Jan. 28, 2017.
The proposed renovations include replacing windows, replacing all doors, building a handicap compliant deck at the rear of the building and making one rear door ADA compliant. Plans also call for a handicap parking space on the North Adair Street side, replacing damaged fascia and replacing the siding over the front entrance.
Interior pine walls will be replaced with sheetrock, replacing and repairing drop ceilings, refinishing wood floors on the stage and main room and converting office and storage areas into ADA accessible bathrooms.
In other business, council voted to appoint the city manager as the city’s alternate member to the PMPA board, effective Monday.
Council also voted unanimously (with Council Member Gary Kuykendall recusing himself) to purchase a service truck for the electric department from Cooper Motor Co. in Clinton. The cost of the truck and service body is $71,148.
Following an hour-long executive session, council voted 7-0 to give Cannon a $500 per month car allowance rather than provide him with a city-owned vehicle. Council voted to amend Cannon’s contract effective immediately.