HUDSON — A local congregation is hoping to take over the defunct Masonic Lodge in Hudson.
The building at 241 Columbia St., also known as Mt. Carmel Lodge, was officially foreclosed on April 25 for nonpayment of back property taxes and the city has since taken ownership.
A sign posted on the door Wednesday read, “No Trespassing.”
The property is also connected to a parcel of land at 243 Columbia St.
Between the two parcels, the total owed in taxes is $34,492.62, according to the city treasurer’s office. The foreclosure process began in 2012, city Treasurer Heather Campbell said Tuesday.
The Rev. Edward Cross, who also serves as supervisor of the city’s 2nd Ward, rented the space for the congregation of Endless Love Temple for the past eight years and is looking to take over the property.
The congregation has 10 full-time members and some members that come on a part-time basis that do not belong to a church, Cross said.
“What we would like to do is pick up some of the bills in any way we can,” Cross said Tuesday. “We would like to pay what the Masons owe as far as making an initial payment, and from there get on a payment plan.”
It is not clear at this time if Cross’ congregation will seek tax-exemption status for the property. Cross said he is still working on an agreement with the Common Council.
The building is assessed at $135,000, but that may not compare to what the appraisal value would be, Campbell said.
During the foreclosure process, after multiple attempts to contact the owners about a repayment plan and no response is received, the city is forced to foreclose on the property, Campbell said.
“Before a foreclosure goes into effect, a variety of actions take place,” Campbell said. “It is not a quick process. When a property becomes delinquent after a certain amount of time, they end up on a working foreclosure list. We send an automated notice if they are delinquent after two more years or later.”
Cross said the Masons, like many churches, “have seen declining memberships.”
“We do want to switch it over,” Cross said. “When St. John’s Church on 6th Street closed down, we were blessed to have the Masons allow us to use the building.”
Local representatives from the local chapter of the Masons could not be reached for comment.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.