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Charlotte Haunted House Meeting

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A very popular haunted house in Charlotte, IA was suddenly shut down a day before it was set to open. An inspector from they city's insurance company made the decision after receiving a tip about safety concerns. Closing the haunted house also meant closing the Charlotte Area Activities Center. Now, the Charlotte City Council is asking residents their thoughts about the haunted house and activities center's future.

For more than 20-years thousands of people from hundreds of miles away came to Charlotte for the Halloween tradition. However, this year that tradition came to an abrupt end.

"It's not just affecting us, it affects how we look to other communities and our future," says a Concerned Charlotte Citizen.

People poured into the Charlotte Fire Station for a special city council meeting to share their thoughts about the closure.

"The inspector did not know we have a safety meeting before the start of every night the haunted house is open,  they did not know we everyone sign in and keep track of how many workers and visitors are in the haunted house at all times," says Charlotte Fire Chief Dave Sellnau.

Even though safety precautions have always been taken the insurance provider still shut the haunted house and the activities center down.  The inspector's report says there were safety violations with the building and haunted house. The inspector added if the haunted house wasn't shut down the city would have lost its insurance.

"I would really like my grandchildren to have the same opportunity as my children did with this building," says Rhonda Marlowe of Charlotte.

However, with the closure also came the loss of the activities center primary revenue stream.

"Most of the income comes from the haunted house," says CAAC Board Member Bridgette Boehmer-Campbell, "There are a lot of family parties and people who rent the gym out, but really that's a drop in the bucket. The haunted house brings in thousands of dollars that there's really no way to keep the building open and heated without that fundraiser."

So, now the question is what to do with the building.

"Besides our beautiful homes that's one of the last buildings that stands that defines this town as a survivor," says Brian Costello of Charlotte,

On Tuesday, the Charlotte City Council will discuss the activities center future. If the building does re-open council will also have to find a way to fund the building.

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