Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway

Recent E-Group Postings

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack G. Conrad [mailto:jackgconrad @]
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 1:25 AM
Cc:; Ward, John
Subject: Update on Greenway Funding (from Dakota County) and Alum Dosing Proposal (A Call to Action)

Dear Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway,

This is a brief update on the Funding Status for the three main Eagan Core Greenway properties still in private hands:

  1. The Anderson Parcel (10 acres south of the main east entrance to Patrick Eagan Park);
  2. Caponi Art Park (60 acres on each side of Diffley Road between Lexington & Pilot Knob);
  3. McCarthy Farm (northeastern portion, 35 acres, north of Wescott Road and just west of Lexington Avenue).

Applications were submitted in October for each of these properties to Dakota County's Farmland and Natural Areas Project (which resulted from last Fall's successful bonding referendum). Applications for these properties had the following sponsors:

  1. The Anderson Parcel --- The Trust for Public Land (St. Paul regional office);
  2. Caponi Art Park --- The Trust for Public Land (St. Paul regional office); with support letter submitted by Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway);
  3. McCarthy Farm --- Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway; with support from Friends of the Mississippi River.

Results thus far from the Natural Areas portion of the program are described below:

Al Singer, new head of the program, said that applications were basically separated into two categories, the first for lower price-tag properties that do not require a lot of administration, surveys, appraisals, etc. before completion, the second for higher price-tag properties that are associated with more complex funding formulas.

  • The Anderson property made the cut for the first category, since all of the administration work has been completed. Total funding requested: ~$270,000 of $900,000;
  • Caponi Art Park made the cut for the second category. Total funding requested: $1,000,000;
  • McCarthy Farm also apparently made the cut for the second category, though payments for the land in question may be deferred until next a later funding cycle. Total funding for the McCarthy parcel would approach roughly $2,000,000.

Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas Project staffers, Al Singer and Kurt Chatfield, will be presenting their project working notes (on these finalists) to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners on January 20th (9:00 a.m.) at the County Office Bldg. in West St. Paul. Final funding decisions will ultimately rest with the Board of Commissioners.


Alum Dosing Proposal Status

On other fronts, the City Council is still trying to accumulate information about alum dosing (phosphate treatment) for water quality in Fish Lake and Black Hawk Lake. They hope to resolve the issue at a special Council meeting in January. It is no secret that Parks and Recreation Director, Ken Vraa, and City Water Resources Coordinator, Eric MacBeth, would like to have the City Council endorse their expensive, heavily engineered, chemical intensive holding tank + alum dosing proposal before Ken Vraa's retirement in March. That's one reason why they have yet to address any of the alternatives that both Barr Engineering and citizens like John Ward have brought to the attention of Council. What is troubling is that Eric MacBeth's proposal was developed before the recent State ban on phosphates, which would at least partially change the required treatment equation. Eric MacBeth seems more preoccupied with an expedient solution rather than the best long term solution in terms of cost, maintenance, environmental impact, and citizen acceptance.

For additional background, see the recent project report from John Ward (e-mailed to our list in early December) and "Recent News" (on the left-hand side) of our Web site ( --- scroll down to articles #38 and #39.

What You Can Do: it can make a substantial difference if City Council members hear from you on this subject. You may wish to emphasize that you would like them to more thoroughly consider alternative less chemically intrusive and less costly approaches to water quality for Fish Lake and Black Hawk Lake. Their phone numbers are included below.

Mayor Patrick Geagan: 330-1190

City Council Members:

Peggy Carlson: 686-7400
Cyndee Fields: 686-0351
Mike Maguire: 688-3519
Meg Tilley: 454-7819

Thank you for your concern for Eagan's remaining green space.

---Jack Conrad

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