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04-15-03: Eagles planning building in Coldwater
The Daily Standard

    COLDWATER - Coldwater Eagles Aerie 3025 is in the infancy stages of an ambitious $1 million construction project to build a new 16,000-square-foot facility on the southern edge of the village.
    The new one-story building will be located on a five-acre parcel situated on Ohio 118 behind the Coldwater Bicycle Shop. The land was purchased in 2001 by the Eagles organization from the United Steelworkers Union.
    According to Eagles President Brian Hogenkamp, a rough draft has been drawn up by Bruns Building & Development Corp., St. Henry. However, it is still too early to speculate when construction will begin, he said.
    "There will be a small hall that will seat around 200 people. It will be used for the events we conduct for charities and also may be available for rental, such as for small wedding receptions. Basically, it likely will be a multi-use hall," Hogenkamp said. "Then there will be the club room, kitchen area, etc. All will be handicapped accessible."
    The Eagles decided to undertake the project partly because their current facility at 101 West Walnut Street has street parking only and heating bills have been astronomical due to the high ceilings, Hogenkamp said.
    "The old building is three-story, and it used to be a movie theater at one time. It's a historical building, but what will be done with it down the road is still up in the air. We don't know yet," Hogenkamp said.
    Funding for the project will come from the Eagles membership, he said.
    "Right now we're running a raffle and all money goes into the new building fund and all kinds of fund-raisers are planned in the future. But the first thing we needed to do was get the land rezoned," Hogenkamp said this morning.
    That first step was accomplished at a Monday evening Coldwater council zoning meeting.
    A 50-foot buffer zone was all it took to calm Betty Lane residents' fears that the new Eagles facility would bring extra noise, traffic and trash.
    Betty Lane properties abut the north parking lot of the proposed facility, and nearly a dozen residents attended the meeting to voice their concerns to Coldwater councilors.
    "We want to be good neighbors," Hogenkamp said. "We don't see that water runoff will be a problem and the buffer zone, especially if it is mounded, should help with the traffic noise."
    The facility and the property will be taken care of, stressed long-time Eagles member and trustee Jim Shane of Coldwater. And most of the Eagles activities take place inside the building, not outside, he added.
    Village councilors voted to rezone the property from residential to commercial after adding the 50-foot buffer zone stipulation at the request of neighboring residents.
    "I feel better, with the buffer zone included in the rezoning. It's easier to live with," Betty Lane resident Theresa Dysert said.


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