Membership loss spurs Brooksville Elks sale

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BROOKSVILLE – In the last four years, the membership of the Brooksville Elks Club has declined from about 1,300 to 600.

The electric bills are more than $2,000 a month and some building repairs are needed.

The time has come to sell the 33-year-old facility at 14494 State Road 50 – just east of the Suncoast Parkway interchange – and find a smaller place, said Richard Ferguson, past exalted ruler and past district deputy of the lodge

“The building is too big and costs too much to operate,” said Ferguson, who just celebrated his 81st birthday.

The members voted this week to proceed with the sale, which must now be approved by the national headquarters in Chicago. Once they get the go-ahead, the ‘for sale’ sign goes up on the six-acre property.

For whatever reason, younger people are not patronizing Elks Club 2582 and the “older people are getting older, Ferguson said. The average member is in his or her 70s, he added.

“Perhaps we don’t have the type of music (younger people) like and when we do put in a band that plays their kind of music, the older people say ‘we don’t like that (darn) music’ and they don’t come,” Ferguson said. “It gets to be that you’re caught between a rock and a hard place trying to please your members.”

The assessed value of the building is $1.37 million, according to property appraiser records. The building itself is worth $586,516.

The owners paid $5,000 in taxes in 2012.

Ferguson said there was a sinkhole on the property that has since been repaired. There also is a new roof, he said.

“The building is not in bad shape,” he said. “It needs some fixing up but if someone was to buy it, all of that would be taken into consideration in the sale.”

Ferguson said the members would prefer a smaller building somewhere close to the current site because so many members come from the nearby High Point and Brookridge subdivisions. The national headquarters would also have to approve any investment in another facility.

“We’ll get by until such time that we find a smaller place that the lodge will approve of,” Ferguson said.

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