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Lonsdale adds Rezac Nature Preserve to park list
A large body of water with a long family history was approved by the Lonsdale City Council to be called Rezac Nature Preserve at a rescheduled meeting held Monday, Nov. 25. City Planner Benjamin Baker told the council that the nine acre pond had been in the Havlicek-Rezac family for over 100 years before it was purchased by the city with the land for the Lonsdale Business Park at the intersection of St. Hwy. 19 and Garfield Ave.
The pond is home to a variety of nature life, including frogs –– something the Rezacs made into an asset. Through the years they sold the leopard frogs for use by schools for biology dissection and medical facilities for cataract/eye disorders. The family harvested over 250,000 frogs and were one of only a few Minnesotan properties to be granted a frogging license.
Baker continued by telling the council how many years ago ice had also been harvested from the pond and then stored in an old chicken coop under a thick layer of sawdust as insulation. The blocks were then be used all year round for residents and businesses in Lonsdale.
Other uses of the pond over the years were for ice hockey and ice skating in the winter, and fishing for pan fish, bullheads, crappies, rock bass, sunfish and even pike in the summer. Benjamin and Patricia Rezac attended the meeting and included details about the pond. Ben said he would use windmill aeration in the winter for the fish and frogs. And about 40 years ago, the family planted over 3,000 trees around the pond area, many of which are still there today.
In the plan for the business park, the large pond is located near Outlet F, the area that will be an archery range and soccer fields.
Mayor Tim Rud thanked the park board for their work on designating the park, and the Rezacs for attending. He reminded the audience that all parks in Lonsdale are funded through land development and earnings at the Lonsdale Liquor Store, not with tax dollars.
Upon recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission, the council approved the naming of the park as Rezac Nature Preserve.
The council also approved:
• Project application for payment No. 1 to Heselton Construction, LLC, in the amount of$333,261. Josh Pope of I & S Group told the council that Phase 1 of the business park was nearly complete and moving along well, with good results from Heselton. He added that they were hoping to have all the underground work completed in just over a week, before the weather halted their work.
• Transferring $30,000 from the Liquor Fund to the Sewer Fund. To construct the liquor store, $710,000 was borrowed from the Sewer Fund. With this payment, City Administrator Joel Erickson explained, $372,000, or 52 percent, would be paid back.
“The liquor store has been great for the community,” Rud commented. “We’re way over a half million dollars ahead with this entity, with the goal being to use profits to give back to the community.”