The Whanganui Musicians Club says it needs council support to maintain its 127-year-old heritage building at Pukenamu Queen's Park.
Whanganui District Council owns the land at 65 Drews Ave but sold the building to the Savage Club for $1 in 2005.
The Savage Club then sold it to the Musicians Club for the same amount in 2015.
Whanganui Musicians Club board member Murray Lazelle said the club was "stuck between a rock and a hard place" in terms of the building's future.
It submitted to the council's Long Term Plan asking for support.
"[When council sold it] I think Council saw a whole lot of buildings that had huge liabilities on them and thought 'it would be good for us if we sold them'," Lazelle said.
"Things have moved on a little bit since then in terms of looking after heritage buildings. We got caught between these two periods, really."
There was public good in keeping the building, Lazelle said.
"It sits on a really important reserve [Pukenamu Queen's Park], and the district is committed to looking after all the other buildings there.
"We are really the odd one out, and we hope this submission gets us back in the council's focus."
According to the submission, $200,000 in future capital costs were "hanging over the club" when the building was sold in 2005, and those costs still remained.
"You sell them [buildings] to the Savage Club or the Musicians Club, and it probably wouldn't matter if you put in the Scottish Dancing Club or the Bridge Club, the outcome is the same," Lazelle said.
"None of us have two or three thousand dollars to maintain a building that the district now requires to be maintained."
The club had already applied for funding to obtain a Conservation Report, which would cost around $32,000, Lazelle said.
"The ideal outcome [of the submission] would be that we become a line item like all the other historic buildings in Whanganui, and the council commits to maintaining it to a standard that provides for its continued community and public use.
"The main aim is to restore the building, because it needs it."
No significant conservation work had been done on the building since it was built in 1893, the submission said.
Whanganui District councillor Helen Craig said it was one of the city's most important heritage buildings.
"It's also on Whanganui's most important site - Pukenamu Queen's Park," Craig said.
"Council sold it at a time when they wanted to divest themselves of what they considered at the time to be their less strategic heritage assets."
Craig said she agreed with the Musicians Club, in terms of the council taking more responsibility for the building.
"You cannot duck-shove a building of this importance to a community group and say 'now it's your responsibility'.
"Another one is the Repertory Theatre, which is in exactly the same situation."
Both buildings were well used by community groups, Craig said, with the Musicians Club regularly available for hire "for a number of uses".
"It's not like they're sitting there rotting away and 'who cares?', they are actively used.
"I think if we ran a survey with the community they would say these are important buildings and we should keep them."
Funding and expertise from the council, along with Lottery Grants and financial support from local organisations, could result in a positive outcome for all parties involved, Craig said.
"This work doesn't have to be undertaken all at once, it can be staged.
"It's about having that partnership to relieve the responsibility from these two passionate groups (Repertory and the Musicians Club), so they aren't left holding the baby.
"I have been talking to Council and trying to get support. There has been interest, but not that formal agreement to say 'yep, these are important buildings, let's do something'."
The Musicians Club's submission wasn't "asking straight-out for money", Craig said, it was more about additional support.
"We have to sit down with them and ask 'what does that support look like?'.
"It'll be a good discussion."
The council is set to deliberate on long-term plan submissions on Tuesday, May 25.