As you have probably heard, the City Commission rejected the Friends of the Story Mansion offer last month to purchase the Story Mansion property via a Contract for Deed. Our proposal would have immediately relieved the City of all responsibility for the maintenance, operation and renovation of the property. Instead, the City has decided to invite any and all interested parties who might have an interest in purchasing the Mansion to submit proposals, which Commissioners will be considering this summer. It remains to be seen how many proposals will be submitted, or if any of them will be able to comply with the R-1 zoning and other restrictions on the property. Also unclear is what criteria the City will use to evaluate disparate proposals from nonprofit vs. for-profit entities. To say the least, much work lies ahead for the Commission.
Your Board of Directors continues to believe that the Story's brightest future lies in its use as a vibrant center for community gatherings and educational outreach. With your help, we have succeeded in making sure the Story was properly cared for and beautified and celebrated over the past several years. And, although the City is placing the Mansion for sale "on the market" this summer, Friends of the Story Mansion is not going away! In fact, we believe that the City Commission will ultimately agree that our vision for the future of the Story reflects the best interests of the community, and that we will once again be asked to play an active role in the promotion and renovation of the Mansion. We will continue to need your help and support in staying prepared for this scenario.
Thanks to all of you who were able to Stand Up For the Story last month, by showing up for the hearing, writing letters to the editor, and calling your Commissioners in support of our proposal. And thanks to all of our Friends who continue to share our vision for the future of the Story Mansion. We will closely monitor the Commission proceedings this summer, and continue to engage in activities designed to keep the Story in the public's eye.
In the meantime, we have expenses associated with maintaining a modest office and keeping our bills paid. Please consider making a tax-deductable donation to help keep us active and engaged in Story-related activities during this transition period. The level of support we receive will determine how active we can be this year. Contributions, in any amount, can be sent to: Friends of the Story Mansion, P.O. Box 6767, Bozeman, MT, 59771-6767. Any level of support would be greatly appreciated!