Community organization donates Lions Club headquarters to Knightdale

mhankerson@newsobserver.comOctober 21, 2013 

The Knightdale Lions Club currently rents and maintains 426 N. First Ave., which is owned by the Knightdale Extension Community Association. KECA has decided to donate the building to the town of Knightdale.

MECHELLE HANKERSON — mhankerson@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— The Knightdale Extension Community Association (KECA) is in the process of donating their property at 426 N. First Ave. to the town.

Currently, KECA rents the property to the Knightdale Lions Club – a rental agreement the town plans to honor when the property comes under their ownership.

The town plans to have the donation completed by the end of this year so KECA can terminate their lease with the Lions and the town can enter a new lease with them.

The Lions Club subleases the building to a church because they don’t occupy the building all the time. That sublease will not be honored.

The lease with the Lions Club, as proposed to town council last week, would be for one year. It would give the Lions two nights a month, one weekend in the spring and one weekend in the fall to use the building for meetings and events. In the interim, the organization can use the space as storage.

The first year of the lease will also allow the Lions to use the building rent-free.

Knightdale Town Manager Seth Lawless told the council the Lions have invested about $20,000 in the building over the past two years. Their maintenance of the building was obvious during the town’s inspection of the property, and Lawless said that because they took such care of the building, there was no need to charge rent since there were no repairs and the building itself is free.

“We’ll consider it year-by-year,” Lawless said.

Dwindling activity at building

KECA is donating the building because the organization hasn’t used the building in about two years, said president Mary Laymon.

“We are few in number now with our group and we’re seniors so we don’t use the clubhouse anymore so we decided we’d just donate it,” she said. Since the organization is a nonprofit organization, they aren’t able to sell the property.

They considered giving the property to the Lions Club, but Laymon said that organization was experiencing a similar decrease in membership and activity.

“(We) considered donating it to them but they are also few in number. ... We just felt like this (donation) would be furthering our community service so it would be continued to be used in a community atmosphere,” she said.

At the town council meeting last week, Lawless suggested the town could use the 1,456-square-foot building and property for parks and recreational storage.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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