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County seeks parkland sellers

Washington County officials are eyeing thousands of acres of private land for future park use, but few owners are looking back.

The county ranked over 122 private lots within five regional parks that it wants to make public property, but has encountered few eager sellers. Some are deterred by lower values because of the down real estate market, while others just are not ready to give up their land.

"That is really the challenge: Is somebody willing to sell?" Don Theisen, county public works director, said. "There's no incentive for somebody to jump off the diving board and sign a deal."

Five county parks contain more than 4,200 acres of public land, but the county has identified another 3,000 acres of land within planned park boundaries that it wants to purchase.

See the Nov. 11 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for the full story.