Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Land Purchase Approved

At a well- attended congregational meeting on Sunday, May 22, 2016, the following amended resolution was passed:

Location of Property - Click for more information

Location of Property – Click for more information

Whereas Zion Lutheran Church has determined it can receive financing from Thrivent to purchase the neighboring property while maintaining a monthly mortgage payment at or below our current level, and


Whereas we entered into a purchase agreement with Andrew and Sherilyn Burgdorf to facilitate the purchase in the timeline required by the sellers,

Be it resolved by the members of Zion Lutheran Church of Buffalo, Minnesota that the Church Council of such church are authorized and empowered to mortgage the following property in Wright County Minnesota:

PID# 202-000-323300 with the Legal Description: Sect-32  TWP 120 Range – 025  Unplatted Land Buffalo TWP, 30.03 Ac. LT1EXPRT to HWY

For the sum not to exceed $400,000 for a term not to exceed 30 years for the purpose of securing land for future Zion mission and ministry opportunities.

With the very favorable financing we are able to secure, Zion will purchase the entire parcel of land and then sell 15.015 acres to the Burgdorfs per our original agreement.

This is the land immediately south of the Zion building.

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

An opportunity to purchase the 30.3 acre parcel immediately south of Zion was presented exclusively to Zion on April 22, 2016 by the owners of the land. The Church Council was not convinced we needed quite that much land, so we had a conversation with Andy and Sherilyn Burgdorf, who own the property just to the south of the 30.03 acre parcel. They are interested in purchasing the land in conjunction with the church.

Zion will split the total cost of the land 50/50 with Andy and Sherilyn Burgdorf. The cost of the 30.03 acres is $399,900. Zion’s half will be $199,950.

As part of the agreement Zion will receive the 8 acres immediately adjacent to Zion’s current southern property line from Hwy 25 to Lake Mary, and an additional 7.015 acres, connected to the initial 8 acres, to be determined at a later date. This agreement has been reached and is agreeable to both the church leaders and the Burgdorfs so that we can comply with the sellers’ timeline. In addition, each acre may not be of equal value and so the additional 7.015 can be decided upon in a way that is as equitable as possible for both Zion and the Burgdorfs.


Original Resolution

Notice is hereby given that the members of Zion Lutheran Church, Buffalo, Minnesota will meet in a Congregational Meeting at 11:45am on Sunday, May 22, 2016 for the purpose of voting on the following resolution:

Be it resolved by the members of Zion Lutheran Church of Buffalo, Minnesota that the Church Council of such church are authorized and empowered to mortgage 15.015 acres of the following property in Wright County Minnesota:

PID# 202-000-323300 with the Legal Description: Sect-32  TWP 120 Range – 025  Unplatted Land Buffalo TWP, 30.03 Ac. LT1EXPRT to HWY

For the sum not to exceed $210,000 for a term not to exceed 30 years for the purpose of securing land for future Zion mission and ministry opportunities.

According to Zion’s constitution, voting members are confirmed members who have both communed at Zion, and made a contribution of record in the current or preceding calendar year. If you are unsure of your voting member status, please contact Angela in the church office.


The following pertain to the original resolution, and some of them no longer apply with the amended resolution passed by the congregation:

An LLC IS Formed To Purchase The Land

Zion will enter into a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) with the Burgdorfs in order to purchase the entire 30.03 acres. There are several reasons for this:

  • Zion is able to secure additional land for future ministry without needing to buy the entire 30.03 acres.
  • The sellers want to sell the entire piece at once, without dividing between separate buyers.
  • The sellers only need to deal with one entity in the transaction.
  • The land does not need to be divided before the sale can take place, which would include dealing with the township and/or city, which simply could not be done in the sellers’ timeline.
  • The land can stay as is (one undivided parcel) until either the church or the Burgdofs would like to move ahead.
  • The LLC can be terminated when needed.

How Will Zion Finance The Purchase?

This resolution suggests a conventional mortgage with a typical interest rate and term.

  • This could be added to our current mortgage with Thrivent.
  • It could be a new and separate loan with Thrivent or a different financial institution

There seem to be other options available … Zion could seek to raise enough funds immediately to either pay cash or a combination of cash and mortgage. Some designated gifts have already been received for that purpose!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do we need to have a Congregational Meeting?

A. Our Church Constitution (C10.03) requires an official Congregational Meeting to purchase land. Minnesota law (Minn. Stats 317) requires our congregation to notify the congregation of the meeting on 4 consecutive Sundays before the meeting. Like at any congregational meeting, once the meeting begins we can debate and discuss the motion and even amend the motion to express the wishes of the congregation that arise during the meeting. Eventually the motion will be decided on and the wishes of the congregation will be carried out.

Q. Is absentee voting allowed?

Our Church Constitution (C10.05) states that voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.

Q. What if I have no one to watch my children during the meeting?

Childcare will be available in the nursery / creation / playground area while you are attending the meeting (and a pizza lunch will be provided).

Q. Why did this purchase come up so fast and quietly?

A. The seller’s agent wanted to give us the first opportunity to purchase the land because we are right next door. If it seems like we are moving quickly, it is because the sellers have a short timeline and we have a required notice period (4 consecutive Sundays) to inform the membership before we can vote to purchase the land. We wanted to get the congregational meeting scheduled so we can begin discussions. We expect that four weeks of discussion should be enough time to come to a consensus on the decision to purchase the land.

Q. I read that we formed a Limited Liability Corporation,(LLC). What is an LLC and why do we need one now?

A. We needed to do it this way to meet the seller’s timeline. The LLC is simply the entity we created to purchase and own the land so that we did not have to go through the drawn out process of dividing the land before purchase. Once purchased, the land can be surveyed and divided into the Zion parcel and the Burgdorf parcel. At that time the LLC will be dissolved.

Q. Who is in the LLC?

A. The LLC is limited to the two adjacent landowners, Zion and Dr Andrew and Sherilyn Burgdorf.

Q. Have we signed a binding contract?

A. We have signed a purchase agreement which has a contingency that the Congregation has to approve the purchase at the meeting on May 22. If the congregation votes to purchase the land then it is binding. If the Congregation votes not to purchase the land then the agreement is voided.

Q. Do we need more land? Can you provide me a specific example of what we may do with the land in the future?

A. Purchasing this new piece of property is about securing opportunities for future ministry, ministry that we may not even be able to imagine today. We are fortunate that Zion is continuing to grow in members and mission and we want to have the additional property for greater growth in the future. How exactly the land will be used will be decided by the congregation when the time comes.

Q. Will this land purchase strain the finances of the church and limit our ability to fill our current missions? How will we pay for it?

A. As Zion continues to grow, we have faith in our members that they will continue to support the mission and ministry of our church with their financial gifts. We are exploring multiple options as to how we will pay for the land, all of which are affordable to us. We have already received some gifts to decrease the amount we will have to finance. It would be awesome if we received significant gifts towards the purchase of this property before the closing date. The motion allows us the flexibility to take out a mortgage for the entire amount if we want to.

Q. Will the city allow us to create another entrance if we purchased the land?

A. It is not city jurisdiction at this time, but that is certainly one of the great questions that we will explore along with all options for future use of the property.

Q. Will there be either taxes or income on the property?

A. Yes, both. Taxes are about $2700 per year. Rental income is about $1500 per year. Zion’s share of this net cost would be about $600 per year. Zion normally would not pay taxes because it is a church but since this land will be in the LLC, it would be taxed. But this amount seems to be less than it would cost to take it out of the LLC.

Q. What about easements, wells and septic systems and DNR jurisdiction?

A. A Disclosure Statement did accompany the Purchase Agreement. Other than the road right of way, we are not aware of any easements. We have received certification that the well was sealed correctly and understand that the septic system was removed correctly. Just like with our current property, the DNR will have jurisdiction over the shoreline.

Other Questions?

Open Forum Dates will be held in the Zion Library:

  • Sunday, May 8 at 9:45am
  • Sunday, May 15 at 9:45am and 11:45am
  • Wednesday, May 18 at 10am and 6pm
  • Sunday, May 22 at 9:45am


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