Dexter Township’s Open Space and Land Preservation pilot project

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Discussion and planning are becoming more of a reality for Dexter Township’s Open Space and Land Preservation initiative, as it nears completion of its pilot project.

At its Dec. 20 meeting, the Dexter Township Board approved expenditures of nearly $30,000 to purchase a conservation easement on the Monier-Van Gorder property, as recommended by the Open Space and Land Preservation committee.

To learn more about this decision and what it means, the Sun Time News connected with township consultant Barry Lonik, who is an expert in Washtenaw County on open space and land preservation.

Lonik said “This is Dexter Township's pilot project for land preservation, on a property adjacent to, and highly visible from, the county West Lake Preserve on Waterloo Road.”

Dexter Township’s expenditure, along with a few important other ones, helps to complete the funding for the appraised value purchase price of $544,000, Lonik said.

“Of that, $245,000 (45%) is being provided by a grant from the State of Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund, $240,100 (44%) from the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and about $30,000 (5.5%) from the Washtenaw County Natural Area Preservation Program,” said Lonik.

He added, “To have a first project funded with 95% coming from outside sources is extraordinary.”

The next steps will be the final stages of due diligence with the township expecting the purchase to close in the first half of 2023.

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