CANONSBURG – Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome met last weekend with officials from a Murdock Street club to discuss continuing complaints about the club’s unruly patrons.
By meeting’s end, Rhome said an agreement was reached with Canon Elks Lodge 186 officials to resolve the problem one way or another.
“Over a year ago, we had issues with the club. We received complaints about loud noise, fights, misbehaving,” Rhome explained. “We all agreed then to take an aggressive approach” at resolving the problem.
Rhome said that there were then fewer complaints about the club, but that didn’t last long.
“From January to last weekend, we’ve had 18 complaints,” said the mayor, who oversees the borough’s police department. “There continues to be a pattern of people who don’t want to follow the rules.”
Canon Lodge Exalted Ruler Dane Cole said, however, that many of the complaints made to police were unsubstantiated. As for those complaints that were founded, Cole said, “We can’t help what people do outside our club.”
Despite their differences, the mayor and club officials agreed their main goal is to keep the community safe.
Rhome said the borough police will have more of a presence around the club, especially at closing time. The borough is also working with Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone to obtain a video camera to monitor activity around the club.
The club has agreed to close an hour earlier and more aggressively monitor its patrons. By state law, a private club is allowed to remain open until 3 a.m. but it will now close at 2 a.m.
Cole said the club is willing to close an hour earlier, although it makes most of its money between 1 and 3 a.m.
Rhome said he’s not singling out the Canon Lodge and would approach any other establishment that was the subject of complaints.
In the meantime, Cole pointed out that the 100-year-old club is not “just a bar.”
“We’re an Elks lodge,” said Cole, who went on to point out that members do many community projects throughout the year such as providing free meals for the needy at Thanksgiving.