Costs of Mansion acquisition
TINA L. SCOTT
In a recent Historic Preservation Committee meeting, City Administrator Dave Johnson shared estimates for costs associated with acquiring the T.B. Scott Mansion. In 2018, Ascension reportedly offered the City of Merrill the chance to acquire the Mansion, if they moved it off the current property.
“Back in 2018, when this was first talked about with them,” Johnson said, “I approached Schuette’s in Wausau. They had given a previous estimate of $700,000 and said that it would be more than that now, so $700,000+ to move it.”
“Along with that, there was an estimate made of $2-$3 million, and this was solicited by Ascension several years ago,” to renovate both the interior and exterior of the building, he said.
“You then have to secure a lot to put it on. Once you get it on that lot, you have to landscape the lot. You will have to maintain the building in the future. You will have to staff the building. You will have to do groundskeeping on it in the future. You will have to pay utilities in the future. None of that is funded at this point,” Johnson said, “And raising money as a local fundraiser, unless you can literally raise millions of dollars, it can’t happen.”
Alderman Steve Sabatke said he had also checked on this with Schuette Movers more recently, and he said they told him it would cost at least $1 million to move the Mansion. He noted the building could not be moved north, because it is too heavy for the bridge, so south is really the only option. Sabatke ran some numbers of his own and concluded, “It would require anyone wishing to move the building to have at least $3 million in the bank.”