By STEVEN T. DENNIS
A nonprofit group based in Knoxville, Md., has applied for a permit to hold bingo operations at the former Moose lodge on Downsville Pike, angering volunteer fire officials who worry that the lodge would cut into their gambling operations.
Universal Charitable Corp., which was incorporated in 1996, said in permit documents that it plans about $90,000 in improvements to the building for bingo, including 625 chairs, 200 5-foot-long tables, 10 television monitors and a snack bar.
Bingo patrons would be charged $35 per person to gamble, the documents said.
The application throws into question a plan to turn the lodge into a gambling-free, tropical-theme lounge and restaurant.
Paul Prodonovich, director of permits and inspections, said a special exception granted in August for a lounge and restaurant specifically excluded bingo. A local group, 632 Limited Partnership, which has a contract to buy the agriculture-zoned property from Moose International, has applied for Highway Interchange 1 zoning.