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Commander says the Ogdensburg VFW is close to selling its building and paying off its debts

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Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2936 announced Friday has found a potential buyer for its building at 525 Caroline St.

The news comes as a relief to VFW members. The post was in danger of having its charter revoked by the state VFW after owing upward of $50,000 to the state, vendors and utilities in 2012. The money for the sale of the building will be used to pay off the post’s debts, Commander Scott “Skip” A. Compo said Friday.

Mr. Compo said Friday he could not disclose the total value of the building and property or its buyer since the sale has not yet been finalized.

“But we do have a buyer and they have signed a purchase offer,” he said.

In 2012, Commander Larry Latimer, unable to pay the post’s bills, turned over the building’s keys to the state VFW. The post’s charter was in jeopardy unless remaining members elected new officers. That’s when the post’s new commander, Scott “Skip” A. Compo, stepped in.

Mr. Latimer previously cited increased upkeep costs and utility bills as the reasons for the post’s sudden closure. As a result, the 525 Caroline St. building’s electricity and gas were turned off and its plumbing was drained in February 2013. The building incurred between $700 and $1,000 in electricity bills in the wintertime and a $700-a-month gas bill, Mr. Compo said.

The cost was too much for the post’s aging and declining membership to incur.

The post has also been the subject of an investigation by the state Gaming Commission for failure to report its bell jar and chance ticket sales.

A call inquiring about the status of the investigation to the state Gaming Commission was not returned Friday.

“I spoke with the state Racing and Wagering board last week,” Mr. Compo said. “They said the investigation is coming to an end. We will owe a little fine, but as soon as the sale of our building is finalized, we will pay it.”

The amount owed to the Gaming Commission has not yet been determined.

Mr. Compo said he expects the post will receive its bell jar ticket and games of chance licenses back once the fine is paid. Mr. Compo said he and fellow members have been working hard to bring the post back from near closure.

“We are always accepting donations, but as of right now, were not soliciting them to pay off our debts,” Mr. Compo said. “We expect the sale of our building will be enough to get a good start on what we owe.”

Meanwhile, officers are in search of a new headquarters for the post, which has over 180 members.

“We have a few options in mind, but there is nothing set in stone yet,” Mr. Compo said. “We’re still deciding what we want to do. We’re taking it one step at a time.”

For now, the members meet the first Thursday of every month in the Dobisky Visitors Center.

“Basically, my biggest push to get the members that haven’t to become active. We are still holding meetings,” Mr. Compo said. “We, of course, always welcome new members to join. We are still here, and we aren’t going anywhere.”

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