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American Legion asks Hartselle to amend bingo ordinance

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — The chaplain of American Legion Post 52 wants the City Council to amend its bingo ordinance to allow the Legion to use more of the proceeds to run the post.

“We’re slowly but surely going broke,” Bill Partridge told city leaders Monday night.

A city ordinance allows the post to use 25 percent of the proceeds for expenses. Partridge wants this amount increased to 51 percent.

“Where does the money go?” Councilman Bill Drake asked.

“Charitable organizations,” Partridge answered.

“What you’re asking to do is hold more for operational expenses and give less away?” Councilman Mark Mizell asked.

“Yes,” Partridge said.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley said the ordinance does not apply only to the American Legion.

Any organization can play bingo in Hartselle if it qualifies under the ordinance, Tankersley said.

The mayor said another organization has requested a copy of the city’s ordinance, and that organization qualifies to play bingo.

Partridge said he doesn’t play bingo but is a spokesman for the organization.

“We have given away a lot of money in this town,” he said about American Legion Post 52 on Sparkman Street.

Partridge said electricity alone is costing the post between $1,500 and $1,800 every three months.

“We have cut expenses where we could, but we need your help,” he said.

Partridge said the post’s education trust fund, for example, has declined from $125,000 to $84,000.

A majority of council members agreed to amend the ordinance.

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