From: Jack G. Conrad [mailto:jackgconrad @ earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 1:16 AM
Cc: Ward, John
Subject: Eagan Core Greenway Support---Eagan Hits Big Time
Dear Friends of Patrick Eagan Park, [Preview of upcoming FOPEP announcement]
It's now official. Minnesota's DNR has informed us that the administrators of the DNR's Office of Management and Budget Services---who administer the DNR's Natural and Scenic Area (NSA) Grant Program---have recommended funding for Eagan's Anderson Property (10 acres adjacent to the entrance of Patrick Eagan Park, on the south side) in the amount of just under $350,000 ($349,703).
This recommendation was contingent on the approval of the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR). The LCMR met on June 25th and endorsed the NSA's recommendation.
Wayne Sames of the DNR's Office of Management and Budget Services told Friends of Patrick Eagan Park last week that this is one of the largest grants ever awarded by the program. The application submitted by the City of Eagan represented a "very strong proposal," said Sames, who acknowledged that the Eagan Core Greenway is an exceptional corridor whose preservation merits assistance.
It was initially uncertain whether the funds would be awarded during the first fiscal year (July 1, 2003-June 30, 2004) or the second (July 1, 2004-June 30, 2005). This decision was made last week. Given that the State has mandated that greenway funds must be distributed in the first year, the choice was effectively already made for the Office of Management and Budget.
The award signifies that two-thirds of the funds needed for securing the Anderson parcel have now been earmarked. The County's portion still remains an open question, though the Anderson property "meets many if not most of the criteria" identified by Dakota County's Farmland and Natural Areas project, according to Dakota County Commissioner, Nancy Schouweiler. Funding for this project ($20 million over 10 years) was approved by Dakota County voters last November.
Perhaps the most important message arising from the NSA award is this: given that the State has now allocated funds for close to one-half of the total cost of the Anderson property (~$450,000 of $900,000), the DNR has clearly chosen to recognize the effective manner in which Eagan is leveraging its partnerships among both public and private sources. To date, the City has had to commit to only one-fifth of the total appraisal cost of the parcel and now has roughly one-year to complete the acquisition. This reality may offer the City some encouragement as it is currently holding discussions on how to secure and protect the larger and more complex Caponi Art Park.
Also worth mentioning is that the Trust for Public Land has played a key role in meditating with the Andersons in order to help ensure that the pieces of the acquisition come together in a manner consistent with their expectations.