Ralston American Legion Post 373 members have decided to sell the post’s building southwest of the Ralston Arena.
Financial strain of upkeep of the building and declining membership were major factors contributed to the Legion’s decision to sell.
The post will keep its charter and has retained a real estate agent to look for offers for the building, said Corey Starr, the post’s chaplain.
About 20 members, the post’s executive board and former commanders came to the May 18 meeting and were unanimous in their support for selling after the real estate agent answered questions about how the process would work and what the building could be worth, Starr said.
Earlier this month the executive board asked members to vote on the sale at a May 11 meeting, but the vote was tabled to allow for members’ questions to be answered.
Starr said Post 373 will be able to better serve the community through things like scholarships and summer baseball now that it doesn’t have to keep up with the costs of maintaining the building.
“Honestly, I think this will be great for Ralston,” he said.
Even so, Starr said he and other Legion members were sad about having to sell the building, which the Legion has occupied since its inception in the 1950s.
“It’s sad to see a pillar like that go,” he said.
The post hopes to sell the building sooner than later, Starr said.
Over the years the City of Ralston has expressed interest in the location because of how it could serve the nearby Ralston Arena, and Starr said the city has “right of first refusal” on the property.
City Administrator Rick Hoppe said the city is interested in the building and will engage in conversations, but right now it is focused on trying to balance the current year’s budget.
“It’s difficult to envision acquiring property considering the city’s financial position,” he said.