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"Caretaker's Coalition" sends letter to Winneshiek County Board

Posted: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 5:07 PM

Six members of a group calling itself the "Caretaker's Coalition" met with county supervisors Monday to discuss the proposed demolition of the Caretaker's House at Wellington Place.

The county currently has a contract with the Oneota Historic Future Alliance that calls for the building to be removed by April 30th.  But Caretaker's Coalition spokesperson Deborah Bishop told supervisors "everyone is agreeing that moving the house intact is a more favorable option if it has to be removed at all."

Bishop told the supervisors she was "sad and angry" that "a perfectly good house" will be torn down.  "We don't feel that justice is being done," she concluded.

But County Board Chairman Les Askelson said it would cost an estimated $80,000 to $100,000 to fix up the building by adding insulation and a heating system.  Askelson said it would cost $50,000 to $80,000 to move the house to a different location.

County supervisor Bill Ibanez pointed out that the county's contract was with the Oneota Historic Future Alliance and not with the Caretaker's Coalition.

Bishop said her group did not have someone interested in moving the building, but wants to work with local realtors to offer the building for free to anyone who would pay to move it.