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Commissioner Consider Story Mansion Proposals

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The city of Bozeman could be one step closer to selling a historic icon. On Monday night, commissioners will vote on two proposals to take ownership of the story mansion.

The city of Bozeman has been working for more than a year to sell the Story Mansion, located on the corner of Willson and College Street.

"I think it's important for cities to keep some of their old buildings particularly ones that maintain a sense of our history," said Carson Taylor, Bozeman Deputy Mayor.

On Monday night, commissioners will vote on two proposals. The first proposal would be to sell the mansion to the Portal School of Creativity and Innovation at the appraised value of more than $1.5 million.

The Portal School is a training center for students studying acting, music, film and business.

"The advantage to the private sale is if it goes through the city, they get the appraised value for it. The disadvantage is everything seems dependent on an anonymous donor," said Taylor.

The second proposal would be to transfer the property to a non-profit under certain conditions at less than the appraised value. For that proposal, Taylor said a contract would be written up and those details have not been worked out yet.

"The second proposal has the advantage of having a lot of access. The renovation funds are not to all accounted. The organization would raise a half a million dollars and none of that money would come back to the taxpayers," said Taylor.

Both proposals would have to follow federal restrictions.

"The standards of me have always been how much of the taxpayers investment, would come back to the taxpayers and will it get fully renovated," said Taylor.

Taylor said no matter what proposal is decided upon, he wants to make sure the building is renovated and taken care of for years to come.

"We have more than $3 million of taxpayer money into this building and if we can't get all of that money out it then I think the taxpayers are entitled to access and I would like to see the building fully renovated," said Taylor.

City commissioners will make a decision at their public meeting on Monday night at City Hall.
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