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RCDA may bid on IOOF property

ELKINS — With the closing day of the online auction of the historic Elkins Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge and the 126 acres of land that surrounds it fast approaching, the Randolph County Development Authority is showing signs of interest in the property.

At last week’s regularly scheduled RCDA meeting, board members went into executive session to consider and discuss participating in the auction, which is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Monday.

“There was no decision made when we met last week, but we did approve a loan proposal in case we do bid,” Randolph County Development Authority Executive Director Robbie Morris told The Inter-Mountain Monday. “We are going to have another special meeting on Monday to determine if we are going to bid, and if so what we are going to bid.”

If the RCDA decides to participate, there will be another meeting on Tuesday to do what’s necessary to fulfill the obligations of the auction.

“We are interested in some of the property,” Morris said. “We’ve been doing our due diligence and that’s what the big thing was, keeping the board up to date with what we’ve found out so far and analyzing a bunch of things.”

Kaufman Realty & Auction of West Virginia is handling the sale, and has broken down the property into different sections. Bidders can bid on the property as a whole, or in different sections. For instance, there are 71.4 acres of land across the street from the 137-room lodge facility that can be purchased separately from the rest of the estate.

Morris said the property contains more acreage then it at first appears.

“It kind of surprised me that there was 71 acres in one area, then another parcel with 22 acres, and even 17 acres along with the house. All of it kind of surprised me,” Morris said. “There’s a lot of land there and we will make a decision on Monday before the auction ends on whether or not we are going to do something.”

The IOOF Home first opened in 1910 and was created to house orphaned children and the elderly. Over the decades the home became a facility that cared for older adults and widows, most of whom were suffering from economic hardship. Over the past decade it mainly served as a nursing home.

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