The Washington County Board of Commissioners has agreed to amend the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Project Plan for 2021. Part of the 2021 ARPA Project Plan includes a provision to address the public health needs of county residents and staff.
Under the provision of the program, council approved the increased use of $250,000 to $418,000 for improvements to Big Marine Lake Park Reserve.
“The proposed upgrades to Big Marine Park Reserve are intended to fill gaps in the existing maintenance facility,” said Sandy Breuer, director of parks with the Washington County Department of Public Works.
“It will provide maintenance staff with a separate, clean work area with running water and septic services. The current proposal includes the establishment of a modular building to provide office and workspaces, a rest area and sanitation services. Minor site grading will be required to support the new modular building. We also plan to replace the aging HVAC equipment in the existing facility. »
The planned schedule for this work includes site grading and utility installation this fall, with delivery of the building expected in spring 2023.
In addition to proposed improvements to Big Marine Park Reserve under the ARPA Project Plan for 2021, in June the Washington County Board approved an agreement with the Metropolitan to purchase land in May Township that will be added to Big Marine Park Reserve. .
The Metropolitan Council will reimburse Washington County up to $962,700 for the purchase of land in May Township.
“The grants we receive from the Metropolitan Council for the purchase of land for inclusion in the regional park system were established by the legislature for the preservation, protection, development and enhancement of regional recreational open space for public use. “, said Breuer.
Reimbursement is for the county’s Land and Water Legacy Program and is 75% of the cost of purchasing two parcels near the intersection of 170th Street (County Highway 4) and Manning Trail North (County Highway 15) in the township of May.
The cost of purchasing these parcels is $1,283,600, including registration fees and taxes. By accepting money from the Met Council, the county agrees to impose restrictions on the future use of the property.
Further, the property may not be used for any purpose other than regional recreational green space as defined by the metropolitan council unless the metropolitan council consents to the other use in writing designating the nature, extent and the duration of the use for which such consent is given.
“In consideration of receipt of such grant funds, it is agreed that the recipient of such grant will place a covenant upon the purchased property that no sale, lease, mortgage or other transfer, nor the creation of any easement, restriction or other encumbrance against the property without the written approval of the Metropolitan Council. Going forward,” Breuer explained, “we will look to the current Parks Master Plan to guide our decisions on trail system development in this region.
For more information on Washington County’s Land and Water Legacy Program, see page X (LWLP history)