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Commission to determine Legacy spending on greater Minnesota parks meets for the first time

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The group charged with recommending how Legacy Amendment money should be spent on parks in greater Minnesota meets for the first time today.

The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission was set up by the Legislature to improve the process of allocating the Legacy parks money.

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed local officials and citizens from outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area to the commission. They'll work on a master plan and will give the Legislature recommendations on which greater Minnesota parks and trails should receive grant money.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers agreed parks in greater Minnesota should receive 20 percent of the parks funds. The other 80 percent is split evenly between Twin Cities area parks and the state park system, managed by the Department of Natural Resources.

Voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008. Parks and trails receive about 14 percent of the sales tax money.