Art group wants to vacate Vaile Gallery: Deed would revert back to town of Palmer Lake

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Maintaining the property they currently occupy has become a financial burden for the Palmer Lake Art Group and they are considering vacating it.

PLAG has occupied the Vaile Hill Gallery at 118 Hillside Road since it was deeded to them by the town of Palmer Lake in 1979. The home once belonged to Lucretia Vaile and when she died she willed it to the town of Palmer Lake. However PLAG feels that the financial burden to maintain the property is taking away from funds they use to meet their mission and that is to provide art education and support art in the community and to award college scholarships to students of Lewis-Palmer School District 38. If they should vacate the property would revert back to the town under the terms of the deed.

In November PLAG members voted unanimously to vacate the property and revert it back to the town under certain conditions. If the town does not agree to the conditions in writing then the vote is null and void.

Margarete Seagraves and John DeFrancesco of PLAG presented the town council during the March 5 board meeting with five conditions: the property in its entirety will revert back to the town, the town shall take immediate action to sell the property without any cost to PLAG, PLAG shall be allowed to utilize the property for meetings until it is sold and they will continue to pay utilities and insurance. If PLAG decides to vacate prior to selling then the town would assume all costs and expenses. The town shall agree to provide PLAG 33 ½ percent of the proceeds of the sale which PLAG shall use for the benefit of the community through high school scholarships, art education and art shows and exhibits. The final condition states that the town shall conduct its monthly memberships meetings and it's Christmas Craft Fair in October in town hall at no cost.

“When this particular sentence was written there is an error here regarding the craft fair because we didn't realize when we wrote this and Margarete informed me we do actually pay for that. What we would suggest, because we know that you are going to want to charge a fee, that you would come up with what you want to charge us and put that into your document and we will take that to the membership for a vote of approval,” DeFrancesco said, referring to the cost to use the town hall for meetings.

Earlier in the evening the Palmer Lake Historical Society went before town council and asked them for an exemption to the $25 use fee for renting town hall. The board of trustees said the town is hurting for money and rental fees help defray some of the costs. The town pays approximately $650 a month in utilities for town hall.

“Just to be fair to the historical society we would probably have to charge you $25,” Mayor Nikki McDonald said.

DeFrancesco said the art group is willing to stay at the Vaile Gallery until it is sold.

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