3/27/2014 3:10:00 PM Moody house sale moving ahead
Google Earth photo shows location of homesite, a large shed in between it and the historic round barn at Moody Lake, bottom. The Chisago County Historical Society is asking the township to split-off a lot with the home, in order to sell it. The original historic site purchased by Chisago Lake Township was 25 acres.
by DENISE MARTIN
When your income doesn’t keep up with expenses you cut expenses. and, that’s what the Chisago County Historical Society is attempting to do by carving the bungalow farmhouse lot from the Moody Round Barn Historic Site, in order to sell the house. Or, rather, that’s what the Historical Society is asking Chisago Lake Township officials to do. Township supervisors said last week they are in the process of having a legal description written for platting just the home and lot.
At last week’s township board meeting the legal ins and outs continued to be sifted through by the supervisors, embarking on what could be a complicated process of severing township taxpayers from the historical society’s site. Chisago Lake Township used its park acquisition fees to acquire the Moody Lake round barn and land. The fees are paid to the county as part of the zoning and platting system here. Townships receive a portion and if there is a parks plan in place townships can request the fees for specific purposes. In this case Chisago Lake Township spent thousands on developing the Moody Lake Round Barn Historic Site. The house originally sat on the west side of Lofton Ave. and was moved across the road to sit beside the unique round barn. Still unclear is exactly how the house owners (developers) transferred ownership of the structure to the society, as a corporate or personal gift, and if Chisago Lake township assumed or was ever conveyed ownership.
Both the township and society put money into siting the home and into preserving the beloved round, blue barn over the last several years. The main issue now is how much each entity has spent and what’s the best legal way to define who gets what, when the home sells. The Historical Society was invited to continue discussion with township supervisors at last week’s meeting and Robert Chudek was the only society representative there. Chudek was asked about insurance and he assured the Town Board the society will meet its obligation in the 2004 lease agreement with the township. Outgoing township board chair Jim Froberg commented that “...it disturbs us a lot” when supervisors heard elsewhere that the looming insurance bill may not get paid. Chudek said the Historical Society Board is agreeable to its commitments, but will fully cooperate on revising the partnership lease put in place almost 10 years ago.
Supervisors also listened as Chudek explained that structure ownership is viewed as “one of the gray areas” in this arrangement. He said society members feel proceeds from the house sale would go to the society. Froberg pointed out that township money has been spent building a foundation, providing water, etc. in support of the parcel becoming a “park” or public historic site. Froberg said both the society and township ought to itemize all their Moody Lake Site expenses as a starting point. Further negotiating can focus on allocating proceeds upon a home sale. Township Attorney Peter Grundhoefer advised the Board to amend the 2004 lease agreement in order to accomplish what’s being planned, and there will probably be a public hearing required as well. On a motion by Township Supervisor Wayne Houle the action was to unanimously initiate the 120 notice to the Historical Society to terminate existing lease terms and for legal staff to prepare amendments.