A sign posted on the door reads, “Post is closed due to violations of fraternal regulations of the VFW. Ordered by the Department Trustees.”
Gerald Calenberg, who has held various offices in the post, most recently as chaplain, said local officers were scheduled to meet with state officials last Thursday night. But the meeting never happened.
“Several members went there, but a handwritten sign was on the door, saying that the meeting had been canceled,” Calenberg said.
The Times-Georgian could not reach officials at the VFW state headquarters in Macon Wednesday.
According to records in the Carroll County Tax Assessors office, the VFW property consists of a 5-acre plot where the post building stands, valued at $893,988, and the 28.75 acres of fairgrounds, which is valued at $556,953. The property owner is listed as “James Conner VFW Post 7404.”
Sandra Ferguson, the county's chief appraiser, said the post pays no property tax on the land since it is a nonprofit organization.
Georgia Secretary of State records show the post was registered as a nonprofit corporation on Oct. 21, 1947. It is listed as in active compliance, with the last registration filed on April 24, 2012.
Calenberg called it a “darn shame” that the post has been closed down after so many years of operation. The post’s first location was on Highway 27, just north of Carrollton, but it has been at its present 1625 Bankhead Highway location for about 40 years, members estimate.
“The economy is down and the membership has been dwindling,” Calenberg said. “The property is getting some age on it and it’s expensive to keep up.”
He said a water heater recently broke, flooding the ballroom with water, which necessitated an expensive cleanup.
“The facility is much larger than we need and it’s becoming a big money pit,” he said.
The building is expensive to operate, requiring payment of a liquor license, electricity, telephone and TV cable.
The VFW post rents the fairground for various functions including the county fairs in the spring and fall, rodeos, wrestling matches, gun shows and tractor club events.
However, Calenberg said, “We haven’t gotten rich,” due to the advertising and promotion costs for the events.