Learn more about Westminster’s decision to purchase the land adjacent to its property. Please contact Chris Tuttle with questions.
What is Westminster buying?
Westminster is under contract to purchase the property directly adjacent to our church (on the “cabin side”). This property consists of two separate pieces of land, each with an existing house. The two parcels of land together contain approximately five acres. The purchase price of $300,000 includes both parcels of land and both houses.
We are obligated to complete the purchase of the property no later than March 25, 2015. During this “due diligence” period we will do a title search of the property and review existing zoning and other property use requirements.
Why is Westminster buying this property?
The Session unanimously supports the purchase of this property because:
- This property gives the congregation numerous future opportunities to fulfill our mission and better serve our members and our community. As we go through the strategic planning process, access to this property gives us new opportunities and options for the future that we would not otherwise have. How Westminster uses the property will ultimately be up to the congregation both now and in the future.
- This opportunity may never be available again. The family that owned this property has owned it for over 70 years. There were multiple offers to purchase the property, and it was going to be sold. Once it was sold, it would be gone.
- Owning the property gives Westminster more control over its future. If someone else bought this property, they would determine its future use and development. Owning the property gives Westminster the ability to more directly determine how it will be used.
Can Westminster afford the property?
Yes. Westminster has some funds already set aside for the purpose of property acquisition and we are confident that we can borrow the remaining funds we need. The church has been a good steward of our financial resources and we have no other outstanding debt on the existing church property. The annual carrying cost should be well within our means.
How will Westminster use the property?
We are currently going through a strategic planning process* to better define the future goals and direction of the church. This strategic planning process is driven by the church’s mission. Owning this property will give the church more options to fulfill its mission both now and in the future. We believe that God has given us a great gift by making this property available at exactly the moment that we, as a church, are planning for the future. Westminster has a solid history of using its resources wisely and carefully, and we hope to build on that tradition with this new property and the opportunities it provides. Ultimately, we as a congregation will decide Westminster’s future direction and the future uses of this property.
What is the process for acquiring the property?
Based on careful discernment by a highly–qualified team of realtors and lawyers, and with the approval of the Ways & Means Commission, the Session has approved this purchase. On March 8, the congregation will vote on the proposal. If approved, the Presbytery must approve the purchase. In the meantime, many levels of due diligence are being conducted.
*A Strategic Planning Survey Results Discussion will be held on March 15.