GM Rod and Gun Club has enough funds to stay open through spring

Published 10:31 am Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday night, there were more people at the Grand Meadow Rod and Gun Club than there have been in a long time. But they weren’t there for fun.

In the last several years, the gun club’s property taxes have risen from the mid-$100 range, to nearly $1,200 because of a change in tax classification. The club had been classified as seasonal recreational residential-commercial, but Mower County Assessor Rich Peterson said the classification was changed, along with many other area gun clubs, when his office found the clubs’ classifications were incorrect.

Now that the club has fallen on hard times, about 20 locals — some club members and some not — are tossing around a lot of ideas to keep the facility operational. Some ideas include increasing membership dues, offering more three- and five-year memberships, asking for donations and possibly holding a chicken shoot this fall.

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Perhaps the most dramatic change could be allowing an outside party to buy the property, which the gun club has been on since 1939, and lease it back to the members. Member Greg Lamp said this was an option, but he didn’t mention who was considering such action. Furthermore, members fear if they sell the property and eventually shut down the club, they’ll never see it again.

“You lose it and you’re never going to get it back,” member Greg Lamp of Grand Meadow said — something most others agreed with.

Though the club members didn’t settle on any concrete solutions, they did manage to find a new board of five members, with possibly a sixth. That board also has yet to select positions of seniority, as well.

For now, Lamp said the club has enough money to operate through next spring. Before several members left the meeting, they each gave $100 a piece toward the club. That may help short term, but the building also needs a new roof. That’s something the new board will have to decide soon as the club makes more plans for this winter.