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Two years short of 100th Anniversary, Rome Moose Lodge faces foreclosure

By By CAROLINE GABLE

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Loyal Order of the Moose in Rome has long been a pillar of the community, but now the property is headed towards foreclosure.

The organization has not been able to pay the bill on its taxes for the past three years.

The lodge owes over $65,000 in taxes - money they just can't come up with in this tough economy.

The Moose has also struggled with competition from the casino at Turning Stone and gambling at Vernon Downs.

Every week, the Moose used to hold bingo, but slowly those numbers have dwindled.

Cary Downs has been a loyal member of the Moose for 34 years, like his dad before him.

Downs says the organization was 1,000 strong as recently as ten years ago, but now the club is down to 150 members.

"Ever since the Griffiss Airforce base went out, we've steadily gone downhill in membership," Downs said. "We lost a lot of members, not only military, but civilians who transferred to other bases. With DWI laws, and a casino near us, our bingo went down hill."

This week, the lodge is selling off all the contents of the building, trying to pay off its local bills.

"You just can't get anyone to commit to working the kitchen, bingo, or to being an officer," Downs said. "To put on a function, you can't succeed if you don't have things going on."

Members of the Rome Division of the Moose, will now become apart of the general chapter. They are also able to join another local order if they choose.

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