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Museum devising plan to take over St. Stan's church

An agreement that would transfer ownership of the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church to the History Museum of East Otter Tail County has been proposed.

The plan follows the announcement earlier this year that St. Stanislaus will be closing--and merge with the St. Henry's parish. Both churches are located in Perham.

The proposal calls for a re-use plan, though the details are still pending further discussions.

The plan is on the agenda, as an informational item, for the April 9 Perham city finance and personnel meeting, at 7:15 a.m.

According to the proposal, from Lina Belar, executive director of the Friends of the History Museum of East Otter Tail County Inc., the museum group intends to prepare a business plan for the building that will address the following:

•historic and architectural significance

•physical condition

•financial resources

•community needs and potential re-uses

The plan will also include examples of successful adaptive use of historic properties in other communities.

The agreement and preliminary plan, which would be between the museum group and the St. Stanislaus Church Parish Council, is expected to be ready for review by the church council in July 2009.

The stately brick building, which will now be closed, was constructed in 1922.

It wasn't a great surprise for most parishioners when St. Cloud Bishop John F. Kinney in January informed the congregation that the 133-year-old St. Stanislaus would be closed.

Still, is was disheartening for longtime members--many of whom were descendants of the Polish immigrants who helped found the St. Stanislaus mission in 1876.

An inventory of all the items owned by the church, and those which will be removed, is in the process of being prepared.