A recent Pioneer Press article provides a glimpse into Dakota County’s plan to transform what is an area full of natural beauty into a county park which will offer many amenities which some members of the public wanted.
From the article:
The area has rolling forested hills with a small lake and wetlands. The master plan calls for a visitor center, trails, picnic and event areas, camping cabins, an off-leash dog park and a disc-golf course.
The $5.2 million first phase of the project will include a gravel road, paved parking, water and electricity, a picnic shelter, trails, boardwalks, restrooms and other improvements.
Total cost of the project is estimated at $26 million. The park is expected to open next year.
It would appear that one of the biggest reasons Dakota County plans to put so much money into the park is that there are projections (5-1) that by 2030 this 400+ acre plot will play host to 1/2 a million visitors a year (more than the 2600+ acre and centrally located Lebanon Hills which had less than 460,000 visits in 2010).
With Dakota County raising taxes because of the cuts made at the state level, do you think that it’s a wise decision to plan on spending $5+ million dollars is a good idea at this time? Can you think of anything else which Dakota County should instead put its money into instead? What are your thoughts on the visitor projections for 2030 for this park for its size and location? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.