Council member Justin Olsen recently shared comments on the Mississippi Dunes property in which he sought to correct a “poorly written article in the Pioneer Press.” We reproduce council member …
Council member Justin Olsen recently shared comments on the Mississippi Dunes property in which he sought to correct a “poorly written article in the Pioneer Press.” We reproduce council member Olsen’s comments, here, for the record: CG & surrounding area friends, I’ve recently received some questions & comments regarding the former Mississippi Dunes Golf Course area due to a poorly written article in the Pioneer Press. I’m responding publicly in hopes of correcting some of the misinformation being spread as a result.
First, the parcel is privately held by an owner who took the financial and legal risk to purchase the property when the former owner was dealing with financial challenges. Any individual or non-profit could have purchased the property if they had a vision for future use. The current owner actually did it, which entitles him to certain rights by law. Next, the city has been working closely with all interested stakeholders on how best to direct future use of this privately held property. Those stakeholders include the owner, Washington County, MN DNR, city staff, CG Parks Commission, the non-profit group Friends of the Mississippi, and state elected officials. As of this moment, there is no firm development proposal in front of the council for our consideration or approval.
Conversations have been ongoing regarding the potential for park space, river access, and other amenities which could be part of a final agreement. The entire council has indicated a strong desire to see significant park acreage along the river. Meanwhile, any interested person or group can certainly negotiate a sale with the property own at any time if they have the financial ability to make that happen.
Finally, as elected officials we are here to accurately inform the public. If you or anyone you know has questions, I would strongly recommend respectfully reaching out to a council member or city staff to get accurate information before turning to social media. Our contact information is readily available on the city’s website. We are here to serve all of the people who call Cottage Grove their home. We live here, we pay taxes here, and we have a vested interest in ensuring our community is the very best place it can be for all residents and visitors – now and into the future. Our process is transparent and open to the public, with the Dunes planning and development process being no exception. Thank you!” Justin Olsen