Lodge’s sale won’t cover debt

To the editor:

Over the past year Jack Sprietzer has expressed frustration over the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and advocates that it be sold. His concern is understandable.

For an unbiased perspective, I recommend “Best Use/Re-Use Study Keweenaw Mountain Lodge” by Place Dynamics LLC at keweenawcountyonline.org.

The information is instructive. For example, during 2007-8, a total of $3,857,000 in grants and loans was received by Keweenaw County for expansion of the lodge, of which $1,793,000 were in repayable loans.

A recent appraisal valued the property at $1.5 million, which is more than $2 million less than the grant and loan money put into it. The $1.5 million appraisal is considered unrealistic, and the likelihood that any bids would be received on the property in its current condition is doubtful.

Meanwhile the county owes the original $1,793,000 loan, plus an additional $300,000 in accrued interest. It is unlikely that the federal government will forgive the loan, and even if the property were sold at $1.5 million dollars, that would leave another $500,000 to be repaid to the federal government.

If the property were sold, the original grants (not loans) have provisions that would probably require that the county give 45 percent of the sale price to the federal government.

The bottom line is that sale of the property will not cover the county’s debt, leaving its 2,191 taxpayers to foot the repayment to the federal government.

My question to Mr. Sprietzer is this: Will that be cash, check or credit card?

Read Burgan

Lake Linden