The Minnesota Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) today awarded a $1.25 million grant to help purchase nearly a mile of St. Croix shoreline just north of downtown Stillwater.
As previously reported, Elayne Aiple is interested in selling the land to the public. The city of Stillwater and Washington County have been working together since January to secure the land.
Earlier this year, the Stillwater city council expressed their support. “It’s an opportunity for the city to significantly expand its riverfront,” Mayor Ken Harycki said. “Even if not for today, for future generations. I don’t really think we have a burning need for it today, but to have that available—especially as the (Brown’s Creek) trail evolves—it will be important to do something with that piece of land.”
The property is sandwiched between the new Brown’s Creek State Trail, which should be open by the end of 2014, and the St. Croix River. In addition to 4,000 feet of riverfront, it comprises 16 acres. The property has been previously estimated to be worth $1.056 million. It includes a house, pool and trout pond. Washington County commissioners approved a grant request in May for up to $2.5 million, to be adjusted depending on the results of an appraisal.
Previous discussions have included the possibility the site would be left in a more natural condition than other manicured parks along the river in Stillwater, and that it could provide opportunities for shore fishing. The city of Stillwater will own and manage the park.
The LCCMR grant is funds from the Minnesota State Lottery. The Aiple property grant is one of 72 awarded today, totalling more than $28 million. Visit the LCCMR website for more information.