(LINO LAKES) – Lino Lakes City Council approved a plan that could lead to the transformation of the city’s oldest structure, a 125-year-old house that is currently abandoned.
Anoka County recently paid $278,900 for the property, house, and outbuildings at 509 Birch Street. The house was built in 1893. Mayor Jeff Reinert told the council at its December 10th meeting that he had a conversation with county leaders about the fate of the house, which he said was likely demolition. Reinert said he encouraged city staff to see if there was a way to save the house.
Community Development Director Michael Grochala made a brief presentation to council to say that the city wanted to conduct a $20,000 feasibility study to see if the city could use the property and possibly the house itself as its newest well house.
“I think we have a pretty good idea that it’s possible to do,” Grochala said at the meeting. “We’re at the point now we want to start to pull together some hard numbers and look at the impact of this and what it may cost us to do that.”
Included in the feasibility study will be architectural drawings and mock-ups and an $8,000 drilling for a test well to see if the location is prime for a city well. The property is next door to Rice Lake Elementary School and several large neighborhoods, including new construction near Hokah Drive.
“Since we spent about $800,000 on our last well house, making this into a well house and then saving this old structure may actually end up saving us money, oddly enough,” said Reinert at the meeting.
City council voted unanimously to approve the feasibility study.