The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) board Tuesday approved a $50,000 loan to Dean and Sheryl Adams as gap financing for their purchase of True Value “Lerum Hardware”.  The board also approved the cashing in of a CD set aside for the revolving fund for loans as the current loan fund balance was below the $50,000 request.  “Our cash available on the revolving loan fund was down to about $15,000. We had a CD that was dedicated to the revolving loan fund of about $250,000 that we’re going to cash in and make available,” said Executive Director Craig Hoiseth.  “The True Vale loan approved today was $50,000 and excited to see a business stay in the hands of a Crookston community partner. Really wanted to shout out our appreciation of the Lerum family, Fuji, his dad and the legacy they’ve left behind.”

The Adams had many discussions with Fuji Lerum over the past few years proceeding his death.  “We would start talking about it and he’d start feeling better and be like – no I’m going to be okay. And then time would go by and if he wasn’t feeling okay we’d talk a little more and that’s kind of the way the whole thing continued.  That gave us time to see if this was something we wanted to take on.”

With the $50,000 loan from CHEDA, the Adams’ goal is to take over the hardware store in May.  “The goal is we’re going to take it over May 1,” said Adams.  “It’s been a long process. We’ve been working on this since Fuji passed away.  We’re excited and going to expand the business with plumbing and electrical.  We’re really trying to look for stuff that is not in town to be able to sell.  I found a place down in the cities called Gift Mart and we’re going to expand a little into that because you can’t get many gift type items in town.  We’re going to do a little remodeling and update the lights.”

Adams said she really didn’t want to see the store go away and that the Adams want to honor Lerum’s memory by keeping the store going. “Part of the situation was we just absolutely didn’t want the hardware store not to be here,” said Adams.  “This is kind of a big step for us.  We’ve been remodeling houses for years and now we’re going to do less of that and more with the hardware store.  I just absolutely could not see the hardware store closing.  The thought of that was breaking my heart.  Truly wanted to keep it going in the memory of Fuji because was an incredible friend.  Truly missed by everyone.”