February 7, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Brunswick transfers responsibility of farmhouse to historical society

BRUNSWICK — It’s up to the Brunswick Area Historical Society to find funding to repair and reopen its farmhouse.

The city of Brunswick and the society signed an agreement July 27 that shifts responsibility for maintaining the seven buildings at the Heritage Farm, 4613 Laurel Road, from the city to the society.

The Heritage Farmhouse was closed by the city of Brunswick because of safety issues. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Society member Don Weiland, of Brunswick, said the agreement means “we are now in control of getting the buildings reopened to the public.”

“Before this, the city was responsible for maintaining the buildings,” he said. “We negotiated it to the point where we would take care of the buildings and they would take care of the grounds.”

The society leases the property’s buildings — a farmhouse, barn, chicken coop, garage, corn crib, granary and machinery shed — from the city.

Weiland said the city closed the farmhouse, corn crib and granary in April 2011 because of structural problems.

City Manager Jim Lukas said the city couldn’t afford to make the needed repairs.

“We’re hopeful that we can all work together for a good reason and that the community is supporting their fundraising efforts,” Lukas said, “and one day we can get the necessary repairs done and have a successful historical society with a great home.”

Weiland said the top priority for the society is fixing the farmhouse, which also serves as a museum.

“There’s a roof leak that needs to be repaired and there’s water entering the foundation,” Weiland said. “One of the main support beams under the floor has to be addressed also.”

Weiland said the cost to fix the roof should run about $1,000 and foundation repairs are expected to cost between $15,000 and $25,000, he said.

The society hopes the county will provide the money needed to make the repairs, Weiland said.

In June, county officials said there was $41,000 that could finance the museum project — $16,000 left over from last year’s Community Development Block Grant projects and $25,000 from the county’s revolving loan fund. Commissioners have not yet decided what to do with the money.

“We have to get a large sum of money soon in order to get this thing moving and off the ground,” Weiland said.

Contact Michelle Sprehe at (330) 721-4048 or msprehe@medina-gazette.com.