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County board pursues land purchase

August 22, 2012
By Jason Raiche - staff writer ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - The Delta County Board of Commissioners came to an agreement to pay $7,500 toward acquisition of two acres of land at Sac Bay Park, if needed.

The action came during Tuesday's county board meeting.

Sac Bay is a Delta County park located in the southern portion of the Garden Peninsula, fronted by Big Bay de Noc. However, according to Delta Conservation District Executive Director Rory Mattson, there is two acres of property right in the center of the park they wish to acquire.

He noted the acquisition process for this piece of land has been ongoing over the past few years through applying for a grant.

"We applied a good two years ago to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and we got approved for $90,000 through that," explained Mattson. "Basically, that's what they'll give us to purchase that (the property)."

According to the DNR's website, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program is used to provide a source of funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and public outdoor recreation.

During the process, the property needed to be appraised by a DNR-certified appraiser, which ultimately deemed the piece of property is worth $110,000.

Mattson came to the board saying ultimately there is a difference of $7,500 needed to be paid toward acquiring the property. He asked the board if they would be willing to spend that money to purchase the land - if the current landowner decides not to pick up that cost.

"It's a piece, for that low amount, I would think that the county would want," Mattson said.

The board unanimously agreed to spend the $7,500 to purchase the two acres if needed. Commissioner Dave Moyle was not present during the meeting.

"It's a nice piece of property," said Commissioner Dave Rivard. "We're improving our parks and it costs to do that."

Commissioner Mary Harrington acknowledged the long time frame involved in this process, saying it's time to finish it up.

"It's time that we get done with this," she said. "The people in Garden are looking forward to having some improvements there and they deserve it, and I think it's high time that they get it."

In other park-related business, Mattson informed the board of a desire to create some park ordinances that he hopes can be accomplished by the spring.

"The park and recreation committee met a couple weeks ago and spent a lot of time on this issue," said Mattson. "And then, of course, they kicked that up to the conservation district board, and then the board passed a motion in favor of pursuing the parks ordinances."

He noted most of the ordinances they are looking to create involve animal issues that aren't big problems right now but could be in the future.

Harrington noted most of the ordinances they wish to put in place are designed to be "common courtesy" and that, if not addressed, could result in someone being hurt or bitten.



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