WALKER -- Craig Gilbertson, Cass County environmental services deputy director, reported Tuesday to the county board the city of Federal Dam will not receive a $100,000 Minnesota PCA grant to complete the community sewer system.
This is because that grant is directed toward multiple systems rather than a single system like Federal Dam's where one pipe distributes sewage from several sources, Gilbertson explained.
He obtained county board approval Tuesday to re-apply for the same grant, but specifying three other uses for the money.
A portion would be used for the Upper Boy River Watershed, beginning at Ten Mile Lake, according to John Alden, Ten Mile Lake Association and watershed project manager.
An assessment would be made of the Upper Boy River watershed, evaluating wetlands, uplands and ground water, Alden said. A well head protection plan would be developed for the city of Hackensack.
Educational programs at Deep Portage Conservation reserve for aquatic biology studies would be offered. This assessment would be integrated with the U.S. Forest Service Watershed assessment program.
Water testing data in the assessment would include a trend analysis of non-point pollutants, according to Alden.
Eleanor Burkett, extension educator, explained plans for a second portion of the grant if approved. Shoreland restoration classes would be held, with additional training offered to neighboring counties.
Under a Mississippi Headwaters Board-sponsored Riverwatch, school students would test water before and after shoreland restoration planting to determine whether there is an improvement in water quality, Burkett said.
A third project proposed if the grant is approved would enable four lake associations in the Mississippi watershed and a section of Mississippi river front property owners to test private water front sewer systems.
Information will be compiled based on the age and type of the system, soils and operation of the system. Home owners with a system found to be failing will be required to update their system.
In related action Tuesday, the county board approved participating in a $79,000 Minnesota Department of Agriculture low interest loan program to offer 3 percent loans to people who need to replace a failing private sewer system.
Property owners involved in the study areas will have first access to the loan fund if the study grant is approved.
Funds for the loan program will be channeled through Region 5. Borrowers would have to repay the loans over five years. It will be a revolving loan fund for the next 20 years.
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