Small city loan enables depot improvements

The City Council approved a request from the Mille Lacs County Historical Society for a $15,000 loan from the city’s Small Cities Development Program fund to make improvements to the historic Great Northern Railway Depot building on 10th Avenue. The historical society would use the money in conjunction with a $25,000 gift it received for energy improvements to make a number of upgrades, such as bringing the main-entry door and bathroom door into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, removing asbestos from the depot building basement, insulating pipes and installing a sprinkler system in the event room. The loans are for 10 years and zero interest, and the principal reduces by 10 percent of the loan amount for each year the historical society continues to own the building and it is used for public purposes.