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VFW to meet with city council Monday night

Mitchell VFW Commander Pat Ziegler said he and other vets will meet with the Mitchell City Council Monday night to determine the long-term future of the local VFW post.

Demolition of the Longhorn Bar to the south of the VFW -- which share a common wall -- has destabilized the veterans' building, and shut down lounge business for more than 30 days.

Ziegler said Sunday that it will be business as usual at the club lounge in the coming week -- as long as members use the back, or west, door.

Construction crews have removed most of an unstable second floor wall that posed the greatest potential safety risks for club members and patrons, but the front of the building is still in question, he said.

"The city has asked us not to use the front door until the wall can be inspected by architect Larry Jirsa," he said. The front entry will be used only as an emergency fire exit, he said.

"They're concerned the stability of the front wall in the building's southeast corner and we've even taken down signs to reduce possible wind loading on the wall," Ziegler said.

He estimated that it could take up to four months to recover business losses to the club's lounge caused by the shutdown.

Ziegler said he's checking to determine whether the VFW's insurance will cover business losses suffered during the construction.

A future course of action is yet to be determined.

"We'll hear the city out Monday and see what they have to say," Ziegler said, adding that the VFW will hold a special meeting Tuesday to determine the feelings of members about repairing the damaged south wall or possibly selling the building to the city and relocating the post.

"I think the people of Mitchell want to do the right thing for the VFW," Ziegler said, "and we want to continue our mission here."