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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 11, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 08Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Needed Gilgal Funds Raised, But Purchase Snagged Over Boundaries
Salt Lake Tribune 8Jun00 A4
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Friends of Gilgal have finally raised all the funds needed to purchase the garden, and is ready to hand the funds to the national Trust for Public Lands, which will buy the garden and three nearby homes and turn them over to the city. But, a new snag in the deal has appeared because of misunderstandings over the property lines.

"Everybody assumed that the fence was what we're buying," said Assistant City Attorney Lynn Pace. "Turns out the fence isn't necessarily the property line. We need to resolve these boundary description problems." The boundary problems need to be resolved before the sale is scheduled to close June 19th.

In addition, the fund raising isn't entirely over. While the Friends have raised enough to complete the purchase, they still need another $50,000 for initial maintenance costs. The initial maintenance will include installing new fencing, lighting and a sprinkling system. And, on top of that, the friends think they need another $500,000 to $800,000 to restore the crumbling statues. None of this initial maintenance will change the city's plans to open the garden as a public park, just add to the things that need to be done for the garden.

The garden is the creation of LDS bishop Thomas Child, a stonemason and sculptor Maurice Brooks, who filled the garden with an eclectic group of sculptures and stoneworks, many of which reflect LDS themes. When Child died in 1963, the garden was purchased by Henry Fetzer, who's children are now trying to sell the garden because the liability and maintenance have become too much for the family.

The Friends of Gilgal started three years ago, persuading the Fetzer family to not sell the garden to a Canadian real estate company that wanted to build condominiums. Persuading the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Lands to intervene and buy an option on the property, they then started raising the money needed to make the purchase. The LDS Church pledged $100,000, as did the Eccles Foundation. Salt Lake County then pledged $400,000, nearly completing the purchase price.


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