Gov. Tim Walz and his family soon could be moving temporarily into the official residence of the University of Minnesota's president, pending a proposal to the school's Board of Regents.
The board will consider the proposed lease agreement during a special meeting Monday, according to a news release. If approved, Walz's family would move into the house, known as Eastcliff, after departing President Joan Gabel moves out this summer.
The official governor's residence on Summit Ave. in St. Paul is soon to undergo exterior and interior updates that will require Walz and his family to relocate for a time.
Initially, the state Department of Administration planned to rent a private home for the governor and his family in the south metro suburb of Sunfish Lake for just over $17,000 a month. That price tag drew criticism from Republicans in the Legislature.
Under the new proposal, the state would pay $4,400 in monthly rent, as well as direct costs such as utilities, snow removal and lawn care, according to the university release. The state also would arrange and pay for internet, cable, telephone, custodial and security services at Eastcliff throughout the Walz family's time there.
Eastcliff is at 176 N. Mississippi River Blvd. in St. Paul. It has served as the residence for eight school presidents since 1961. Gabel is leaving the president's job to lead the University of Pittsburgh.
"Timing is everything and as the governor's residence undergoes scheduled renovations, Eastcliff will be vacant following the departure of President Gabel this summer. That timing presents a great opportunity to continue to use this public asset for a public purpose during the university's presidential transition period," said Myron Frans, U senior vice president of finance and operations.
The proposal seeks to begin a lease after Gabel's departure and run through September 2024, with three, one-month options for renewal to extend the term through the end of 2024.
The university would use the rent to cover remaining maintenance and operation costs during the lease period, according to the release, and no capital costs related to Eastcliff are associated with the rent.