County eyes $10 million for ‘Legacy’ land buysThree years after citizens approved the spending, Washington County commissioners soon may decide to tap $10 million for the Land and Water Legacy program.
By: Scott Wente, Woodbury Bulletin
Three years after citizens approved the spending, Washington County commissioners soon may decide to tap $10 million for the Land and Water Legacy program.
Washington County voters in 2006 approved a ballot measure allowing the county to borrow up to $20 million for land and water preservation. County commissioners said recently they are inclined to start by borrowing half of the limit. Final approval could come in December, but the borrowing may not occur until the latter half of 2010.
Two area projects could be among early funding recipients. The county is considering purchasing a conservation easement for land along Valley Creek Trail in Afton. Also, it is weighing a city of Woodbury request for help buying undeveloped land in the city’s northeast corner. The lots would become parkland.
“If the deals that we have come to fruition, we will need it,” Commissioner Myra Peterson of Cottage Grove said at a Nov. 10 meeting, referring to the $10 million.
Bonding would be repaid with property tax dollars.
The county board tentatively approved a 1-percent levy increase for 2010 to begin repaying the bonds.
Commissioners and county staff say it is not financially wise to borrow more money at one time than is needed for the program, because of interest payments.