For her part, Knutson doesn't worry about the pollution. If the land is converted into a park, she says, some topsoil could be removed or new fill added.
In that, if nothing else, Knutson may have something in common with the prospective developers. In a previous attempt to buy the property four years ago, developer Steve Minn--who partnered with John Wall---told neighborhood residents that it did not appear that the site was seriously contaminated. But Minn promised that any required remediation would be paid for by the developer, not the city, the MPCA, or the park board. And that--along with the temptation of what would surely be a multimillion-dollar sale price--may well determine what the cash-strapped Park Board decides to do with the long-forgotten plot.