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Funkstown Moose Lodge is for sale

August 12, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown Moose Lodge 2435 is trying to sell its building on Old National Pike for $1.7 million and move into a smaller home.

Harry Toms, a RE/MAX Achievers real estate agent who is listing the lodge building, said there have been two offers.

Since the 13,000-square-foot building south of Funkstown went on the market two or three months ago, churches, auto dealers and investors have expressed interest, said Toms, the lodge's treasurer.

The lodge hopes to move into a building half as big, said Mike Stumbaugh, the lodge's administrator. He said the lodge has an option to buy property nearby.

A combination of financial problems, higher costs and lagging interest among members is spurring the lodge to scale down, Stumbaugh said.

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Stumbaugh said the alleged embezzlement of tens of thousands of dollars from the lodge last year contributed to its financial difficulties.

But, other problems are common to many fraternal organizations, he said.

"All of the clubs in the county are really hurting," Stumbaugh said.

David Brandenburg was charged last year with taking $31,600 from the lodge while he was the administrator.

However, theft and embezzlement charges were dropped in June as part of an undisclosed settlement.

Stumbaugh said the lodge has about 1,200 members, but "maybe 30" are active. Tepid participation means few people buying food and drinks at the building, which has hurt revenue, he said.

Stumbaugh said rising gas and electricity prices also have hurt.

"This has been in the works for a year," he said.

When the building opened in 2000, Moose officials said membership had sharply increased to about 1,800.

The lodge bought the five acres on which the building sits from Larry Artz in 1997 for $60,120, according to state property records.

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