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County says family wasn’t ready to sell land

Dakota County responded this week to claims by landowners near Spring Lake Park who say they’d agreed to sell a portion of their land for a bike trail.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office released a statement that contradicts statements made by the family and their lawyer.

The family of Richard Mauch told the Star Gazette last week that they’d agreed to sell 1.8 acres of their land for a bike trail. They said they were then “blindsided” when the county voted at a meeting on Nov. 5, 2013, to take their whole 10.4 acre parcel for Spring Lake Park.

The county’s statement, though, says there was no agreement in place to purchase the land for the trail.

The statement, reprinted in full, reads like this:

“On the eve of the County Board meeting of Nov. 5, 2013, there was no agreement between the Drews family and the county (through its staff) for  the purchase of either part of the Drews’ property or the whole of the property.  Prior to Nov. 5, the Drews family had rejected the possibility of selling to the county 1.8 acres of the property. Nor was there any pending offer on the parts of the Drews family to sell to the County any portion of their property. Accordingly, on Nov. 5, the County Board did not have before it a proposed purchase agreement with the Drews.

“Settlement discussions with the Drews family following commencement of the county’s condemnation action, if any, would be treated by the county as confidential and inadmissible in the court proceeding. 

“The properties to be acquired by the county in the condemnation action will be immediately added to Spring Lake Park Reserve for public use and enjoyment and to further the goals and vision of the Spring Lake Park Master Plan.”