The Parker Town Council has approved waiving the permit fees for repairs and rebuilding at the building that houses the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 4419. The structure, located at Mohave and Arizona Avenues, was damaged in a fire July 16.
At the council’s Aug. 6 meeting, they heard from three Eagles’ members who asked them to waive the fees.
Eagles’ Auxiliary member Annette Draper said the organization raises funds for local and national charities. As it stands now, they have no money coming in.
“It’s a place of people helping people,” she said. “We’re asking you to help us.”
The Aerie President, David McDole, said the Eagles, as a national organization, donate $10 million to local communities annually. They also have a number of national projects they have created and support, including a diabetes research center at the University of Iowa.
Eagles’ Trustee Bill Bowman said he’d spoken with a fire marshal in Phoenix who said that, if they boarded up and closed off the damaged areas in the rear of the building, they could re-open the area in the front of the building.
The Eagles’ members thanked the Parker Community/Senior Center for allowing them to use their building for their meetings.
Vice Mayor Jerry Hooper asked Community Development Director Nora Yackley how much money would the Eagles pay in fees. She said she wouldn’t have the exact figures until the full scope of the work was known, but she estimated it would be less than $500.
Council Member Karen Bonds asked what would be next if the council voted to waive the fees.
Yackley replied they would follow the usual process for issuing permits.
The council voted unanimously to waive the permit fees.
The fire at the Eagles’ Aerie broke out in the late afternoon of Tuesday, July 16. According to Parker Police Lt. Mike Bailey, cooking grease for tacos was being heated on a propane grill in the yard behind the building. The grill caught fire, and soon the back end of the building was engulfed in flames.
Although there were people in the bar at the front of the building, there were no injuries. Eagles’ member Nathan Torres and Parker Police Officer Raymond Gomez have both been praised for their quick actions in getting people out of the building.
This is the second organization to have permit fees waived by the council in order to rebuild their home. On July 2, the council waived the fees for rebuilding Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7061. Their building was destroyed in a fire May 26.
The Eagles’ Aerie was one of the places the VFW had been holding their meetings following the fire. They were also meeting at the Parker Elks Lodge.