“Operations at VFW Post 7404 have been temporarily suspended for fraternal reasons by the VFW state headquarters,” said David Pipes, state adjutant for the VFW Department of Georgia. “The VFW post does exist and the property is not up for sale.”
Pipes, responding to a Thursday Times-Georgian article about the post closing, would not elaborate on what the reasons were that brought about the suspension.
“It will be under review for at least the next 90 days,” Pipes said. “A determination will be made and published when the review of operations is complete.”
He said local VFW members who have commented on the situation “cannot speak for the VFW. They do not represent the VFW. Only my office can speak (on the situation).”
According to the VFW website, the nonprofit organization was founded in 1899, shortly after the Spanish-American War. It is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., and currently has 1.9 million members belonging to 7,644 posts. VFW members contribute about 8.6 million hours of volunteerism annually and $3 million in student scholarships.
Operations at the Carrollton VFW post were halted earlier this month by state VFW officials. 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, a local VFW member who has held various offices at the post, most recently as chaplain, said local representatives were supposed to meet with state officials on Jan. 10.
“Several members went there, but a handwritten sign was on the door, saying that the meeting had been cancelled,” Calenberg said.
According to records in the Carroll County Tax Assessor’s 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.
The post’s first location was on Highway 27, just north of Carrollton, but it’s been at its present 1625 Bankhead Highway location for about 40 years, members estimate.
The VFW post rents the fairground for various functions, including county fairs in the spring and fall, rodeos, concerts, wrestling matches, gun shows and tractor club events.