Duluth can win thousands of acres of parkland to protect – InsuranceNewsNet

DULUTH – The city is set to take control of approximately 2,400 acres of parkland in a major land transfer with tax forfeiture by County of Saint-Louis.

While much of the land is already crossed by trails and other park amenities, the proposed deal would ensure that the plots are permanently protected as part of the city’s already large inventory of open space.

“Most residents are probably assuming, wrongly, that these are already protected parks,” said Jim Filby Williams, director of the city‘s parks, properties and libraries. “This will put in place the protections to ensure that the land they use so heavily and cherish so deeply will continue to be managed and preserved as a public park.”

Formally known as the “strategic land realignment,” the project would see the county transfer or sell thousands of taxable plots that it manages on behalf of the state throughout the city. The total value of the land is approximately $ 7.5 million, for which the city expects to pay $ 250,000, largely in real estate services and fees.

The city is also working with the county on the sale of developable land in Duluth, which could help the city attract new housing that is badly needed.

“What we are trying to do together is not only to permanently protect a significant amount of confiscated real estate, but more broadly to work together to optimize the ownership and use of confiscated real estate in order to make the best possible progress. the public good, ”Filby Williams mentioned.

First, however, the city and county must agree on which parcels will be transferred or sold. (Land set aside for environmental protection, as opposed to parks or trails, is typically sold for 20% of market price.)

“It’s a very specific process,” said Julie marinucci, St. Louis County director of lands and minerals. “It’s been a great working relationship, and it’s exciting to take the next steps.”

The county recently acquired over 4,300 acres of former PotlatchDeltic woodlands through a donation from the Minnesota Land Trust and the Conservation fund, which helps offset the area the county could cede to Duluth.

Some of the land has been under tax status for over a century, said Filby Williams, and placing it under city ownership will provide a “one-agency natural resource management plan that is site-specific.” He compared the city’s efforts to the ongoing consolidation of long held land into a property chess board around the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness.

“Numerous plans and studies have shown the great value that residents of Duluth place in restoring and protecting these lands,” he said. “We fully expect the county to choose not to consent to some of the plots we wish to acquire for permanent protection. And that is normal and perfectly correct. We hope to reach agreement on the vast majority of cases. “

Marinucci said the multi-year process the city and county followed gave “good insight into how this land should be managed and developed.”

The first suite of properties the city has identified represents more than half of the 4,000 acres it is ultimately seeking to reclaim:

• 650 acres in the Piedmont district.

• approximately 637 hectares Mission Creek.

• 493 acres in the Lester River area.

• 272 acres in the Woodland neighborhood.

• 345 acres along the Saint-Louis River.

The Saint-Louis river the land will be purchased with part of a $ 900,000 The EPA grant the city has received and will help protect the massive investment already made by the state and federal government to clean up the estuary, said Filby Williams.

Before any land swap, several public awareness sessions starting next week will end with votes by several municipal commissions, the municipal Council and the St. Louis County Council of Commissioners.

Brooks johnson • 218-491-6496

© 2021 StarTribune. Visit startribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source link

Comments are closed.