The American Legion Goff-Moll Post 101 may have to disband because of its failure to obtain a smoking ban exemption, a post official said.
The city's Board of Aldermen on Monday (Feb. 7) voted 4 to 3 in favor of the exemption for the post at 2721 Collier Ave. However, five votes were needed to approve it.
"The city of warmth, as Brentwood characterizes itself, is apparently not too warm to veterans, at least for now," said Leo Lang, first vice commander of the post.
Alderman Michael Marshall was absent from the meeting.
Those voting in favor Monday were Anthony Harper, Lee Wynn, Keith Robertson and Andy Leahy, while those opposed were Barb Clements, Lorraine Krewson, and Tom Kramer.
"However, an alderman could reintroduce the bill because Alderman Marshall was absent," City Administrator Chris Seemayer said.
Leahy, who introduced the exemption bill, is considering bringing it back to the full board, Seemayer said.
Brentwood's smoking ban is more restrictive than St. Louis County's. Both bans went into effect Jan. 2.
Brentwood's law only exempts homes, cars, 25 percent of hotel rooms and tobacco stores.
Lang said the smoking ban has hurt business at the post because 30 percent to 35 percent of its membership smokes.
"We took a vote and 94 percent of members approved keeping smoking in the bar area, which is the only place smoking is allowed in the hall," Lang said.
The ban cost the post about $3,000 in business in January because members stayed away, he said.
The post has been in Brentwood for 70 years, but it faces competition from other veteran's facilities that allow smoking, like the Shrewsbury and Maplewood American Legion posts and the Richmond Heights VFW post, he said.
"What killed us was that 54 people were in and out of our bar for Super Bowl last year, but this year we only had 14," Lang said.
The post, which serves those in Brentwood and Rock Hill, only has funding to stay open until April 1 without an exemption, he said.
"Rock Hill would like to have our sales tax income and has some empty buildings, such as on Manchester Road, that we could move into," Lang said.