SHERBURNE – A group calling itself the “Save the Sherburne Inn Restoration Project” has put down a $10,000 non-refundable deposit on the former Sherburne Inn.
The deposit gives the group the option to purchase the downtown Sherburne landmark, giving it until April 1, 2013 to raise the rest of the $155,000 needed to buy the property. A purchase option obligates property owner Jim Webb to refuse any other bid, no matter how large a sum of money it may be, prior to April 1, and afterwards only if the Save the Sherburne Inn Restoration Project has been unable to raise the money to complete the transaction.
Although restoration project member Kathleen Yasas was unwilling to disclose details on how the $10,000 deposit was raised, she was willing to comment that “a lot of people are willing to commit money to the project. We already have commitments for one-third of the money needed.” At the moment the group cannot accept any direct donations because it is in the process of forming a not-for-profit organization. The process should be completed in a few short weeks, Yasas said. Even so, eager donors are already making commitments to give the project money and once the group attains its non-profit status, it will be able to accept tax deductible donations, she said.
More than a week ago, when the group was unable to raise the necessary funds for deposit on both the Sherburne Inn and the former Big M building, Webb sat down with the group’s members and offered them the option to purchase just the former inn, at a total price of $165,000. “It’s the price I have been asking for seven years,” said Webb. Stewart’s Shops, which runs a gas and convenience store in the village, had also expressed interest in the properties, hoping to raze both to build a brand new service center. Webb said that although he believes Stewart’s is a great company, he would like to see the inn stay standing. “In my career, I have helped preserve a lot of old buildings, such as the old Sherburne high school,” he said.
“We are not only trying to preserve a building, but also the history of the town, as well as do something good for the community,” said Yasas. She has also expressed a fondness for Stewart’s Shops, but said she objects to the construction of a gas station at what she feels is the symbolic center of the Sherburne community.