UMore Park plans keep moving forward

Sand and gravel mining could start in July 2010.

by Taryn Wobbema

The University of Minnesota is taking more steps forward in the development of its 5,000-acre plot of land called UMore Park. After approving the first nine members of the UMore Park Limited Liability Company Board of Governors âÄî five from outside the University and four administrators tasked with overseeing the development of UMore Park âÄî the University Board of Regents heard an update on current progress on Friday. Sand and gravel mining on UMore Park, located 25 miles southeast of Minneapolis in Rosemount, Minn., is scheduled to begin once the proper permits are secured and an environmental impact study is completed. Charles Muscoplat, vice president of statewide strategic resource development, said the permit process is expected to last until July 2010. Muscoplat said UMore Park has about 380 million tons of gravel. Though a portion of UMore was recently sold to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system âÄî land MnSCU has used under a lease for a while âÄî regents have stressed the desire to maintain the entire 5,000 acres and to avoid selling it off in bits and pieces. According to a UMore Park financial report Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter presented to a regents committee Thursday, the University will have spent $9.3 million by the end of fiscal year 2010 on the land. The funds were used to assess the land and plan its development. Significant revenue streams over the next three years, including a projected $3.3 million in 2010, will allow the UMore Park LLC to repay loans, fund its operations and establish the Legacy Fund. The Legacy Fund will be used by the University to supplement research and academic endeavors but will not replace current funding. Plans to develop UMore Park began in 2006 after the Board found that both the land and the money made after developing a portion of it would be an opportunity for the University to further its research and fulfill its role as a public land grant institution.