Washington County will add a 33.5-acre parcel of land to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve after the County Board approved the purchase July 28.
The transaction for the property, 10112 10th St. in Lake Elmo, was initiated by the owners — the Hammes family — who told the county they were interested in selling.
The county hopes to close the acquisition in September.
The $930,000 cost will be funded with voter-approved Land and Water Legacy money, but the Metropolitan Council will reimburse the Legacy fund for 75 percent of the cost, or $697,500.
The land, now mostly used for farming, is on the northeast corner of the intersection of 10th Street with the county park entrance. A house near the intersection will remain private property, but an adjacent empty farmhouse and outbuildings sit on land included in the purchase, said Sharon Price, the county’s property manager.
In June, the county amended its park reserve master plan to include the eastern 18.2 acres of the 33.5 acres the county is buying. Amending the park boundary allowed for additional trails and habitat restoration, Parks Director John Elholm told commissioners.
Commissioners go to NACO conference
Washington County commissioners Lisa Weik and Karla Bigham joined more than 2,500 elected and appointed officials at the 80th National Association of Counties (NACO) annual conference, where attendees adopted positions on federal policies affecting counties.
The conference was held July 10-13 in Mecklenburg County, N.C.
The county budgeted $4,346 for the five-day conference, paying for food, lodging, airfare and registration. The money comes out of a fund set aside annually for commissioners’ expenses.
Weik serves on the organization’s transportation committee, and Bigham serves on the justice and public safety committee.
Several workshops and meetings addressed counties’ role in maintaining transportation. Counties build and maintain 45 percent of the nation’s roads, 40 percent of bridges and a third of transit and airport infrastructure.
Workshop topics included the pros and cons of body cameras in law enforcement, how automated vehicles and mobile technology affect transportation patterns, and medical and recreational marijuana policy influences on counties.
For more information, see www.naco.org/conferencedaily.
Eastwood promoted to lead Canvas Health
The Canvas Health board of directors has appointed Matthew Eastwood as the new chief executive, effective Sept. 1. He succeeds Mark Kuppe, who led the organization for eight years.
Eastwood had been chief operating officer for Canvas Health and held director-level positions with HealthPartners Medical Group and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He has been a licensed mental health professional in Minnesota since 1992.
Canvas Health programs serve more than 8,500 people challenged with mental illness, chemical misuse, aging, and physical and sexual abuse.
Met Council helps fund trail easements
Washington County will receive $288,172 from the Metropolitan Council to help pay for easements for the St. Croix Valley Regional Trail in Denmark Township.
In April, the County Board approved acquiring certain property rights, including conservation, trail, trailhead, parking and highway easements from the Thomas E. and Edna D. Carpenter Foundation for $3.5 million.
The Met Council grant partly reimburses the county’s Land and Water Legacy funds used to buy easements.
Hudson Road closed through summer
Hudson Road from Radio Drive to Spring Hill Drive in Woodbury will remain closed for about two months for construction of City Place Phase II at the old State Farm headquarters site.
In other road construction projects, Settlers Ridge Parkway has reopened from Eastview Road to Hudson Road, Valley Creek Road from Dancing Waters Parkway/Woodcrest Drive to Settlers Ridge Parkway, and Woodbury Lakes Road
Minor restoration and paving of remaining trails will be completed in August.
For further information, including detour maps, contact the city’s engineering division at 651-714-3593.
Emily Johnson joins Youth Service Bureau
Emily Johnson has joined the Youth Service Bureau in Stillwater as a youth and family therapist. She previously worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities and at St. Joseph’s Home for Children.
Johnson is seeing clients Monday through Friday, with evening appointments available.