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Lake Elmo Park Reserve To Get New Ski Trailhead

The Washington County Board approved a plan to construct a new building for the cross country ski trail.

It may be hot outside right now, but Washington County officials have winter on their minds.

The Washington County Board on July 26 unanimously approved a new building for the Lake Elmo Park Reserve Winter Recreation Project.

Approved is a new building to serve as the trailhead in the park. It replaces the previously approved plan to remodel an old barn along the trail. Greg Wood, building services director, told board members that original plan wasn’t feasible since the barn was built for agriculture, not to serve as a trailhead. So a new building will be constructed instead.

Some of the features include large windows for warmth and lighting, a year-round restroom facility, a gathering area and a small sledding hill for young children. A gravel path and parking lot are also part of the plan.

The new building will be adjacent to the existing entrance road, which will nix the cost and environmental impacts that a long road to the barn would have created.

The modified location and elimination of a long road keeps the scope of the project within the original budget. Funding for the new building will not change as the plan was designed to fit within the same parameters as the approved plan.

The project was funded by two Metropolitan Council grant agreements for $716,000 and $350,000 and is not affected by the amended plans. An additional grant of $275,000 brings the total revenue project to $1.3 million.

Commissioner Gary Kriesel said he was excited to see the change as the ski trails are well traveled.

“Cross country skiing trails have (received) great comments from the public,” he said. “They’re very popular out there.”

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