WARRENTON — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10580 believes it has found the perfect location for its headquarters: The old library building in Hammond.
The building has sat empty since the Warrenton Library left more than two years ago following an inspection that revealed the building had outlived its useful life and posed a hazard to visitors.
With the City Commission’s blessing, Bert Little, representing the VFW, will work with city staff to look into the feasibility of repairing the building and remodeling it. Little hopes to pursue grants and support available from local Army National Guard units for the work.
The VFW has been looking for a permanent home and a place to hold its monthly meetings for a while, Little told City Commissioners at a meeting Tuesday night.
The building, a quaint white structure that looks like an old-time schoolhouse, is a familiar landmark in Hammond. For many years it housed the Warrenton Library. The property is on the city’s appraisal list.
“We will need to determine through the building and land use process what improvements would be required to establish such occupancy,” City Manager Linda Engbretson wrote in a memo to the City Commission.
“There’s details that would have to be worked out,” she told the commission on Tuesday.
Some of the commissioners said they would rather just give the property to the VFW.
“The building’s in terrible shape, so if they can do something with it through funds they can acquire, that’s awesome and the community’s better for it,” City Commissioner Mark Baldwin said.
Mayor Henry Balensifer supported the plan for city staff to work with the VFW to see what could be done to improve and reopen the building. The former library is a “limited facility,” he noted, and the VFW would likely be one of the better fits.
But the possibility of gifting the building to the group will need to be explored after the building is appraised, he said.