20-30 Club rejects new lease for jail | RecordCourier.com

20-30 Club rejects new lease for jail

by Susie Vasquez

Claiming the lease agreement was overly restrictive, members of Douglas County’s 20-30 Club rejected the contract offered by Gardnerville officials. The club leases the historic building, once the local jail, as a clubhouse.

“This lease agreements sets the 20-30 Club up to fail,” said the club’s representative, Mike Blackledge.

The issues concerned everything from rental insurance to repairs, which the lease agreement states must be handled by members of the 20-30 Club.

In a separate interview, Blackledge said the group will continue to work on an agreement, but he feels town officials want the club to leave.

“They created a lease that was so stringent, that at some point in time the club would fail and Gardnerville would take it back,” he said. “If they’d draw up a reasonable lease, we’d be more than happy to sign.”

About 15 members strong, the 20-30 Club has worked to restore the old building, which Blackledge said was uninhabitable when they signed their first lease in 1996.

“It’s been our home so many years. We’ve put so much time and effort into it, with the intention of being there through 2026,” he said. “Had we known we would have to go through this, we would have moved.”

Board member Mike Philips said he heard a lot of objections, but no solutions in Blackledge’s commentary. He asked members of the 20-30 Club to come back with a better idea.

“We’re trying to protect one of the town’s assets,” Philips said. “The 20-30 Club has all adult members. If they don’t like the agreement, they should design some options.”

Mike “Smiley” Rowe, attorney for the Town of Gardnerville, said that since there was no agreement on the lease draft, no action could be taken.

The 20-30 Club acquired a 50-year lease on the historic building in 1996.

When Douglas County deeded the property to Gardnerville in 2003, they included a provision that it be used for historic preservation and public use.

To that end, the Gardnerville Town Board terminated the 20-30 Club’s lease.

The club sued in District Court and Judged David Gamble ruled in their favor.

Built in 1910, the two-story gray building stands between Heritage Park and the back lot of the French in Gardnerville.

It is on both the state and national list of historic places.

In other business:

• Board members chose a new chairman and vice chairman Tuesday. Chairman Paul Lindsay will be handing the gavel over to Tom Cook in the coming year, and Cook is relinquishing his vice-chair seat to Mike Philips.

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.