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Dakota County agrees to buy 13.6 acres for additional reserve area

Another 13.6 acres of property will be added to the Spring Lake Park Reserve. Part of that addition will be used for location of the Mississippi River Regional Trail (MRRT).

At its regular meeting this week, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners agreed to the purchase of the property owned by Thomas and Carrie Furlong in Nininger Township, about five miles west of Hastings.

The commissioners agreed to an amendment to change the Spring Lake Park Reserve boundary and to request Metropolitan Council approval of the amended boundary and for acquisition opportunity funds (AOF) for the acquisition.

To protect and preserve natural resources and open space and to provide for public recreation, Dakota County buys privately owned property from willing sellers, according to approved park and master plans. The Furlongs own approximately 34 acres adjacent to Spring Lake Park where several MRRT alignments are being considered.

The Furlongs are willing to sell 13.6 acres for $74,800, the appraised market value.

Terms of the agreement include the Furlongs being allowed to continue hunting as allowed by state law and to cultivate existing farmland until trail construction commences or for no longer than three years.

The total project cost is $81,000, including $6,200 for the appraisal, closing, payment in lieu of taxes, signage and initial natural resource stewardship. The Met Council has $1.8 million of AOF funding available to the county this biennium. Up to 75 percent of the acquisition cost or $60,750 would be available from the Met Council for this project with the remaining 25 percent, or $20,250, required as non-reimbursable county match.