Editorial: County park sale worth exploringWhy we don’t necessarily like the idea of selling off park land, it seems like a good idea in Nobles County’s case.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Why we don’t necessarily like the idea of selling off park land, it seems like a good idea in Nobles County’s case.
And we don’t mean just any park, mind you. For example, Maka-Oicu and Fury’s Island, both located within Graham Lakes Township, have long proven to be popular for such activities as camping and picnicking, and are not being — and should not be — considered for sale (though contracting with an outside party for their operation may be on the table).
Larkin Township’s Midway Park is an entirely different matter. The park consists of 45 undeveloped acres, and according to the Nobles County website “is located on an old gravel pit and provides for a natural habitat setting.”
The setting may be nice, but that doesn’t mean the park is being used — at least as intended. During Nobles County commissioners’ strategic planning session on Tuesday, Commissioner Vern Leistico noted that Midway Park isn’t used at all. Another commissioner, Diane Thier, said it’s used for beer parties.
Not only does the park have no picnic tables, shelters or restrooms, but there are potential liability issues because of the property’s former use as a gravel pit. There is one potential solution, as Commissioner Bob Demuth Jr. suggested: give the land to Pheasants Forever, with that organization in turn selling it to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and, as a result, Nobles County earning tax revenues.
Also discussed at the session was the possible sale of the 22-acre Sunrise Prairie County Park, located in Little Rock Township, That park, however, is home to a cemetery that the county must maintain, which would likely make the property a tough sell.
We recommend the county explore any opportunities there are for selling Midway Park.