ST. PAUL-The City of St. Paul nixed financial participation in an effort by residents of the Highwood area to buy a parcel of Mississippi River bluff land and to keep it from being developed.

The group is trying to raise $1.8 million by Oct. 24 to buy 12 to 15 acres in the southeastern corner of the city that they call “Henry Park.” The director of the city’s Parks Department says it did not have the resources to participate in the purchase effort. The group may still ask the St. Paul City Council for a $350,000 loan to help it make the purchase, despite the administration’s decision. The group has applied for a variety of grants and loans to help with the purchase.

The group was planning to seek authorization next week from the city council to help with gap financing for the acquisition while a series of grant applications are processed, and may still seek a council vote on the issue despite the administration’s position.

The developer, James R. Hill, says he would sell the land to the city or the Highwood group for $1.8 million if they could raise the funds by Oct. 24.

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