4/4/2013 1:47:00 PM Watershed managers finalize capital projects, set hiring process to replace administrator
Stormwater retrofit sites are outlined in black in lower Sunrise River assessment done by the Watershed District.
BY DENISE MARTIN
The Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District Board of Managers last week heard an update on the successful progress of more than a dozen shoreline restoration projects done in the last two years.
This “Best Management Practices” program allows for residential parcels to get native plantings, rain gardens and erosion controls put in on lakeshores and stream sides, in the watershed district, with the goal of a certain quantity of phosphorus reduction. The Board then approved moving forward on two major projects; one involving a horse stable south of Chisago City and the other is a stormwater system enhancement at Target, in Forest Lake. The Target retrofit is expected to remove 11 pounds of phosphorus from the watershed annually.
Work on 12th Street and at the Target lot could start fall of 2013, but the grant funding is good through 2014 and it’s possible it may not start until next year. Julie Penshorn, owner of Sunborn Stables, is going to construct a manure management and phosphorus (nutrient) reduction project through a cost-sharing program with the Watershed District. The district share is $17,511 which managers unanimously approved. The landowner agrees to maintain the system for 25 years and have periodic site visits by engineers. Board member Jackie Anderson commented “its great” having Penshorn’s participation and the Board looks forward to learn from this innovative project that includes an iron particle filtration pit and rock pre-treatment berm on-site.
Watershed District Administrator Doug Thomas explained that area soil and water conservation personnel may be taking the lead on oversight of the projects while a transition to a new administrator is underway. Thomas has accepted a state Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR) job and his last day running the Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District is April 15. There have been about 20 applicants. Board members closed the application process March 29, and expect to be interviewing finalists in the middle of this month, with the goal to have a new administrator on board as soon as practicable.
The managers also unanimously approved a contract with Steve McComas of Blue Water Science, to provide data, plant management plans and photographic work on Bone Lake and Forest Lake. The 2013 expenses are not to exceed $14,770. District managers also held a closed session to discuss negotiations for purchase of two parcels from Archie DuCharme, who has low land near the Forest Lake to Comfort Lake outlet channel.