Historical society sells Waterville property, sets budget

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, Montgomery Messenger

Photo by Jay Schneider

Le Sueur County Historical Society has shed its vacant Waterville property and is focusing on the future.

The announcement of the sale was made during the society’s August 7 regular meeting in Montgomery.

“I have no idea what they (previous LCHS board members) were going to do with it, and it’s no use to us. It’s a drag financially as it’s taxable as a regular dwelling, so no reduced taxes, and we can’t afford to keep it,” stated LCHS Chairman Bill Stangler.

According to the Le Sueur County Assessor’s Office, the sale of the house at 220 Third Street South, Waterville, and a narrow strip of land by the property were sold to a private buyer on Thursday, August 8 for $25,100.

LCHS purchased the property in 2017 for the same amount, according to county records. Data from Minnesota Department of Revenue states the purchase of the 1930 house was to allow “development for historic site.”

According to Stangler, the property was not maintained by the previous board and it had to be sold as a distressed property.

”Got the best price offered, but we took a beating on it,” he stated.

According to public records, the building and land were assessed in 2019 at $79,400.

2020 Budget The LCHS Board thinks they’ll need $72,415 for 2020 and voted to ask the county commissioners for the amount, but without seeing the society’s complete financial records from previous years, it’s a best-guess number.

If anything, board members believe it to be an underestimate.

“We’ve been operating in the hole for so long as a society... There are one-time expenses we need to cover before we can really move the society forward,” said Stangler, who is hopeful the commissioners will recognize the need for the funding. “The society now has between 220 and 230 members — we’re growing — but what we’re doing, preserving the county’s history, is for the whole county, members or not.”

LCHS Treasurer Bonnie Reak was tasked with researching the costs of the society’s operating expenses, along with imminent needs such as......

To see more on this story pick up the August 15, 2019 prin edition of the papers.

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