Regents approve plan for Walz family to stay at U of M president’s home

Walz family to stay at U of M mansion

Walz family to stay at U of M mansion

Gov. Tim Walz and his family won’t end up living in Sunfish Lake for the next 18 months after all.

Monday afternoon, four weeks after the state confirmed the governor and his family will temporarily live in Sunfish Lake while the Governor’s Residence undergoes renovations, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a plan for the Walz family to live in the U of M president’s residence.

Current U of M President Joan Gabel, who was named the next chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh earlier this month, is expected to start her new position on July 1.

The agreement will now let Walz and his family live at Eastcliff, which was donated to the U of M in 1958 and has since served as the home of eight university presidents, in St. Paul.

RELATED: State to lease home in Sunfish Lake as Governor’s Residence undergoes renovations

As part of the agreement, the state will pay the university $4,400 in rent and also take care of utilities, snow removal and lawn care through at least September 2024, with the chance to run through the end of next year. The Sunfish Lake lease was slated to cost nearly $315,000 in total, or $17,326 per month.

The state will still have to pay three months of rent to get out of the Sunfish Lake lease, a Minnesota Department of Administration spokesperson confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

“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,” Myron Frans, the U of M’s senior vice president of finance and operations, said in a statement last week. “We’d be happy to welcome Governor Walz, the First Lady and their family.”

The university says it’d use the rent payments from the Walz family’s stay to cover remaining maintenance and operation costs during the lease.

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Administration previously told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a relocation was necessary “due to the extensive and disruptive nature of the work” on the 111-year-old Governor’s Residence.