Grants awarded to city for repairs to Big Store
The City of Minneota was recently awarded two grants to be used for repairs to the exterior of the former O.G. Anderson and Co. Big Store building.
"I'm excited," said Society for the Preservation on Minneota's Heritage President Wendy Sarazyn. "You never know if you are going to get a grant or not. People always need money for projects and it's very competitive. We were cautiously optimistic."
The two-story O.G. Anderson & Co. Big Store was built in 1901 at an estimated cost of between $12,000 to $15,000. In 1916, a one-story extension was built that is now the Minneota Senior Center. The Big Store, which closed in 1972, was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The grants were written by Sarazyn and Nancy Dilley and require specific information about what the funds will be used for, photos, itemized costs, etc.
The Society for the Preservation of Minneota's Heritage (SPMH) has been raising money to repoint the building for several months. To date, they have received well over 100 responses from fundraising letters mailed out, and more than $37,000 in private donations.
The Legacy Grant, which is funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund in the amount of $10,000, will be used to pay for the design plan for the repointing project. It will detail specific work that will be done, Sarazyn said.
The second grant is the Library Construction Grant, which is a matching grant fund by the Minnesota Department of Education for $58,250. The SPMH, Friends of the Minneota Library, and the City of Minneota are each contributing to the required matching funds.
"The repointing project is divided into phases and categorized by priority," Sarazyn said. "The Library Construction Grant and matching funds will cover the cost of all Priority One phases. The Priority Two phases, a much smaller scope of work, can be done in the future as funding allows."
The SPMH will continue fundraising to help preserve the historic building.