By: Don Prestly and Murray Thurston
The Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the Episcopal Residence Committee (ERC), has determined that it will sell the current episcopal residence (bishop’s home) and purchase a different one. This will be done in accordance with Book of Discipline requirements and advice of the Minnesota Conference chancellor.
The current house has suffered some water problems that necessitate major repairs to the exterior. While some minor water and drainage issues have been addressed as they arose, the most recent problem is more extensive. Upon discovering the full extent of the problem in early August, the ERC ordered moisture testing of the exterior. These tests show that the stucco siding should be replaced and the surrounding grounds regraded and landscaped for improved drainage. The Trustees are seeking competitive bids for this work. Preliminary estimates suggest that it will cost around $150,000. The work must be done to ensure the wellbeing of those who will live in the house and to meet current City of Eden Prairie housing code requirements.
Based on the demonstrated need for this work and the time it will take to complete it, the ERC and the Trustees determined that the most responsible course is to make the repairs needed and prepare the house for sale.
Because the house is well maintained and located in a good area, they anticipate that the cost of the repairs will be recovered upon the sale of the home. It should be at its most marketable following the repairs.
Sale of the house also eliminates the possibility of having to deal with future problems that cannot be corrected without significant disruption to the bishop’s family and cost to the conference.
The trustees began researching the availability of properties that meet the North Central Jurisdiction episcopal residence standards. They expect to select and purchase a home that will be ready for occupancy in early October.
The conference Council on Finance and Administration will consult with the Board of Trustees on financing of the purchase and repairs. Sources of funding will include conference reserves for the purchase down payment and conventional bank financing for the repairs on the current home and purchase of the new home. The Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees will keep Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodists apprised of progress in our work to make sure we investing in a safe, well-maintained, and cost-effective home for our bishop.
Don Prestly is chair of the Minnesota Conference Episcopal Residence Committee. Murray Thurston is chair of the Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church