Report: State Sweetened Vermilion Park Deal

The Minneapolis StarTribune is reporting, HERE, that the State of Minnesota has tried to sweeten the deal for U.S. Steel to sell its land for a state park on Lake Vermilion.

While the state was unable to meet U.S. Steel’s asking price of $20 million — it’s limited by the legislature to offering roughly $15.7 million in cash — the story claims the state has at least considered enticing the steel giant with pledges of assistance in procuring taconite leases, by offering it free biomass fuels, and by agreeing to the “turning over” of thousands of acres of wetlands to the company.

The comprehensive story by investigative reporter Mark Brunswick questions whether the actions of the Department of Natural Resources, which is negotiating the purchase, has skirted laws to procure land for the park strongly supported by Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The story also looks into whether the state sought to help U.S. Steel get its pricier land appraisal figures certified.

MinnPost also summarized the StarTribune story in it’s Daily Glean column, HERE.

Proposed Lake Vermilion State Park is outlined in black. The existing Soudan Mine State Park is outlined in green. (Map courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

Check out a clickable map of the proposed park.

More at the Minnesota DNR >

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