Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Olmsted County Board Tuesday picked a proposal from Rochester businessman Joe Powers over one from the Rochester Parks Dept. for the future of the Biermann House.

The historical but dilapidated building on the former Mayowood grounds was purchased by the county in 1979 but a long-term purpose was never adopted and the board had considered demolishing the house.

Powers - who also purchased and renovated the nearby Mayowood Stone Barn -  is proposing to convert the house into an apartment building with two or three units. He told the board the only reason he submitted a proposal was to save the building after learning there was no other interest. He says he later learned the Parks Dept. had submitted a proposal to create a public purpose for the property, which has an appraised value of $300,000.

Powers told the board he is nervous about the city proposal, noting its acquisition of the Chateau Theater without a definite plan for its use. The Parks Dept.was not at Tuesday's board meeting.

The board has directed staff to work with Powers on an acquisition agreement and bring it back for a vote in 60 days.

The board vote was 4-3 with commissioners Bier, Brown, Flynn, Podulke voting in favor and Kiscaden, Thein and Wright voting against the Powers proposal.

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