September 04, 2018 07:19 PM
(ABC 6 News)-- When "Bear Creek Christian Church" purchased Crossroads College, it inherited some challenges with upkeep on the decades-old campus. It also inherited a big tax bill.
Bear Creek purchased the campus in Rochester for $3.59 million on June 29. The intent was admirable.
“We saw the need for more affordable housing,” said Jeff Urban, an Outreach Pastor at Bear Creek.
“They [Bear Creek] took a look at this opportunity; this diamond in the rough and said 'We can make something out of this',” said Dave Dunn, the Executive Director of the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
Church staff and volunteers have been hard at work, converting the campus into 43 affordable apartment units. Most of which are full now.
“18 of those are one-bedrooms which are $575 a month; which includes all utilities. There are 13 four-bedrooms and those are $1000; including all utilities. Then there are 12 six and seven bedroom units.” said Urban.
“One of the things that we lack in this community are rental properties that are high quality at affordable rates," said Dunn. "So keeping this renal property is of the utmost importance."
However, the taxes owed will set Bear Creek back.
“The taxes that are due this year are a result of the decisions made last year,” said Urban. “The school was not in session last year so they lost their exempt status. You pay taxes from your previous year in your current year.”
The church owes more than $118,000 in property taxes.
“It wasn't a surprise to us,” said Urban. “But it is kind of a hard to have to come up with all of that cash right away when we were starting out and on a shoestring budget.”
More than half the bill has been paid but Bear Creek still needs to come up with around $55,000 before October 15. There are no plans to raise the rent.
“We have got part of that worked into our business plan,” said Urban.
But it's still a stretch. The church will do some fundraising and, if need be, some projects will be put on the backburner.
“No regrets, it’s an adventure,” said Urban. “It just makes it more interesting to see how God will provide."
To make a donation, visit Bear Creek’s website : https://bearchurch.org/
Created: September 04, 2018 07:19 PM
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