The Free Press, Mankato, MN

St. Peter news

November 22, 2013

St. Peter snags 75 acres for future park

ST. PETER — New sports fields are on the way for St. Peter with the recent purchase agreement of 75 acres of land on the western side of town.

The land was purchased for roughly $622,500 by the city of St. Peter on Oct. 29 because the land matched needs outlined in the city's 2005 Master Parks Plan. City Administrator Todd Prafke said the city is interested in keeping the amount of park space available in the city at pace with local population growth.

The purchase will be funded by reserves from various city funds: $219,000 from the city's tornado funds, $110,000 from the parkland dedication fund and $254,000 from the Nicollet Meadows construction fund. All additional costs, such as closing costs when the transaction is completed in December, will be covered by the general fund.

Located near Gustavus Adolphus College at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Fort Road, the land will be used exclusively for establishing a larger number of sports fields. The exact layout and types of sports fields will depend on the needs identified by St. Peter commissions next month and in the coming year.

Prafke said he is hopeful some fields will be constructed in 2014. But he said the possibility will heavily depend on how quickly the city can cultivate the land. He said the land received chemical treatment when it was used as a corn field this season. He said the land must be given time to remove any material and allow grass to grow. He said that if the process takes longer than anticipated, the construction of the initial parks will be bumped to 2015.

He said that no major buildings structures are planned for the land. He said this could change if needs are identified during the design of the park, such a restroom facilities.

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