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Falk Announces Option on Key Ice Age Trail and Highway 12 Lands

For more information contact:

Sharyn Winiewski, 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/17/2001

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced that the County has negotiated an option to purchase 143 acres of land in the Town of Roxbury critical to both the Ice Age Trail and Highway 12 projects. This is the County’s first purchase in connection with the Highway 12 project.

The proposed purchase of the LaVern Meyer property, in the picturesque Springfield Hill area, will achieve a major acquisition in a key zone of County interest along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail north of Festge and Indian Lake County Parks. The property, which straddles the existing and proposed Highway 12 corridors, is well-known for its historic cabin and scenic beauty in a glacially significant sector of the County.

“I was thrilled when Mr. Meyer personally wrote to me suggesting that we work together to make this happen,” said County Executive Falk. “It’s clear that he has a deep love for this property and a keen appreciation for its recreational and natural resource significance to Dane County. For this I am truly grateful.”

A resolution will be introduced at the January 18th Dane County Board meeting to approve the $50,000 option fee which will be applied toward the $500,500 purchase price if exercised. The option period will enable the County to work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on lands needed for highway purposes and to assemble the financial package for the purchase.

A significant portion of the funding is expected to come from state and federal sources outlined in the Highway 12 agreement. The purchase is contingent on Meyer retaining two building sites on approximately 10 acres of the farm property, one for the existing farmstead. In accordance with the goals of the Highway 12 agreement, much of the land currently being cultivated is expected to remain in active farming.

“This is an exciting opportunity to fulfill the goals of two major Dane County initiatives -- our Parks and Open Space Plan and the Highway 12 project -- in one transaction,” said Falk.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a cooperative venture of the National Park Service, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation which has been incorporated as a major component of the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan. The Highway 12 agreement was signed in 1999 by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, the National Park Service, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy and Governor Tommy Thompson.
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