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County goes after Clean Water Act funds


Fri, Oct 17th, 2003
Posted in Features

Donna Rasmussen, Soil & Water Conservation District, was before the County Board on Tuesday to request a letter of support for the Clean Water Act Section 319 Program from the board. The grant would provide funds for technical assistance for feedlot programs. The total grant request is $300,000 for a period of three years. A 1:1 cash or in-kind pledge is required in order to participate with the county’s total responsibility at $9,000. The request will be sent to the SE MN Water Resources Board.Anne Spanbauer provides technical assistance for the program, which focuses on manure runoff management. Low-cost fixes may include such procedures as adding roof gutters that help direct runoff elsewhere, and putting in contour buffers that prevent direct runoff. County cost share grants are available that cover 50% of the cost up to $1,000. State share grants can be applied for on larger projects.Setting up an appointment with Spanbauer or the county’s Feedlot Officer, Michael Frauenkron, to review the site in question is the first step in correcting runoff problems. The average cost of these management practices is about $3,600. The county’s contribution knocks off $1,000 leaving the balance more manageable for property owners. Since this runoff project has started, 30 feedlot corrections have been completed with several more pending. "This relieves a bottleneck in the system", sited Rasmussen as she described the value of the 319 grant. Farmers are receiving guidance faster and correcting problems at a reasonable cost.ExtensionOver the past several months, the University of Minnesota Extension Office has been in the process of regrouping its resources due to state budget cuts. Policy Coordinator Karen Brown requested direction as to an .8 FTE secretary post, as the county can no longer maintain the position. Jerry Tesmer, County Extension Director of Fillmore & Mower, noted the department was under budget and would like to have that individual help with the relocation of the Zoning Department within the Extension Office while the courthouse is under construction. Tesmer also pointed out the .8 position was primarily responsible for the 4-H workload pertaining to enrollment, which has a November 15 deadline for incoming applications.The board approved an ending date of November 26, 2003 for the position which they felt would give adequate notice to the employee and help in the completion of 4-H enrollment and the movement of Zoning.Other business•The sale of the county farm was discussed briefly. It was decided to keep some land around the Resource Recovery Center, near the creek, and up to Hwy 52. The retained land will act as a buffer for the existing buildings and allow for possible growth with the Highway Department. The parcel will be surveyed.The county board also approved a resolution showing support for the DNR in the possible purchase of the farm. This does not, however, tie the county into any legal obligations. Without this sign of support, the DNR would not be able to bid on the available land. Chairman Marc Prestby stated his long held view that the land should go to the highest bidder, not necessarily to the DNR. •Accepted the resignation of Carl Sattler, PC/Network Technician Assistant, effective Oct. 10. Other counties will be asked if they have someone that would be willing to split time between the two counties. If not, the position will be offered to In-House candidates next before offering the job being opened to the public.•Approved the hiring of temporary help for Information Systems Dept. at Grade. •Approved payment of $126,735.60 to Reilly Construction for taxiway work.•Adopted 911 system resolution pertaining to the updating of equipment and services that will allow a quicker response to emergency calls.•Held a closed session to discuss strategy for LELS Local #85 Law Enforcement 2004 labor contract.

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