By Tim Leeds
The Havre Eagles auxiliary is back in the kitchen of the Havre club.
The auxiliary of Eagles Aerie No. 166 reached an agreement governing use of the club and its facilities.
The women's group had been banned from using the facilities over a rent dispute since June, causing disruption of wedding receptions and other public uses of the hall.
"We're happy," Eagles member Tom Farnham, who has facilitated meetings between the aerie and auxiliary since July, said today. "Both sides gave in and worked together."
Eleanor Mejie, president of the auxiliary, said she is happy to be able to use the club's kitchen and dining room. The auxiliary has traditionally prepared receptions and other functions for the public.
"I'm back to my cooking again," she said.
The auxiliary was notified by a letter from the aerie's trustees in June that they were banned from using the kitchen and dining room for functions. The letter requested that the auxiliary pay $2,400 in back rent and $200 a month in rent.
The dispute attracted the attention of statewide Eagles leaders, who initially attempted to mediate the dispute.
The two groups met twice in June. The aerie proposed dropping the rent request and instead proposed procedures and a usage fee for the facilities. The auxiliary requested further changes in the proposal and the aerie offered an amended proposal.
The auxiliary in July told the aerie it would wait until the end of September to make a decision on the proposal.
The agreement lasts for six months, at which point the costs and charges will be reviewed again. Farnham said the changing costs of utilities is the reason for the six-month term. The Eagles might have to make adjustments, he said.
"It's something we will try on a trial basis and look at again in six months," he said.
Under the agreement, the aerie, the auxiliary and the Under-35 Club each have to contribute $60 for maintenance when it puts on the Thursday night dinner. The three groups take turns preparing the dinner. It also sets usage fees for other functions.