Preserving Land to Save Money

Voters in suburban Minnesota will vote on whether to invest $10 million to preserve a closed golf course. Or they could save the $10 million and allow a developer to build houses. But many say it will be cheaper in the long term to buy now.

"If voters say yes, they'll pay more in property taxes so the city can turn the 120-acre golf course into a public park, or campground or put some government buildings there."

"If voters say no, the land will go to a developer who wants to put up nearly 500 units of housing."

"Eagan resident Neil Charpentier lives about a block away from the golf course. He says the city should buy the land."

"It may sound counter-intuitive that a self-professed fiscal conservative would vote for a measure that will raise his property taxes AND take land that could be earning tax revenue off the rolls. But Charpentier says taxpayers will pay more in the long run if homes are built on the land. He says that's because the city services required to reach the residents that will occupy all the new housing, will cost more than the tax revenue coming in."

"Some conservationists agree with that assessment."

Full Story: How much is suburban green space worth?

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