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Dunn County applies for $200,000 lake management grant

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board has authorized applying for a $200,000 lake management and protection grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for participating in the Farmer Led Watershed Project.

The grant would cover a two-year period and would support an innovative partnership among four counties: Dunn, St. Croix, Pierce and Polk, said Tom Quinn, county board supervisor from Downing, at the Dunn County Board’s April 17 meeting.

The money would reimburse each county’s Land Conservation Department staff and would require a 25 percent local match from each county, he said.

The Farmer Led Watershed Councils in each county will have farmers design water protection, conservation and monitoring programs, Quinn said.

Farmer Led Watershed Councils have been active for the past five or six years in Iowa in smaller watersheds and have been very successful, he said.

“It is an innovative way to get at a difficult problem of water quality in lakes and streams,” Quinn said.

Dunn County would be the managing entity for the grant, and the other counties would participate and request reimbursement from Dunn County.

In Dunn County, Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin have been declared impaired waters because of the toxic algae blooms every summer.

The Dunn County Board unanimously approved the resolution to apply for a lake management and protection grant from the DNR.

If the grant is awarded, each county would receive $25,000 of reimbursement each year after expending $33,333 on grant-eligible activities.

Other business

In other business, the Dunn County Board of Supervisors:

• Learned that Dunn County Emergency Management had received $220,000 in reimbursement in 2012 from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund for damages that occurred during the severe rainstorm in August of 2010. New construction on county Highway Q between Knapp and Downing suffered significant damage from the heavy rain. Road shoulders were washed out in various locations around the county a well.

• Learned that emergency management had received $500,000 in grant money in 2012.

• Learned that the Dunn County Highway Department has a deficit of $275,000 in the winter maintenance budget. “And we still have to cover October, November and December,” said Jerome (Pete) Prochnow, chair of the highway committee. “We still have some salt-sand left for one more (winter) storm,” he added.

• Approved a resolution amending the lease agreement with the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association for renting the commercial building at the Dunn County Recreation Park. The original lease had included the stipulation that MYHA must have substantially completed an artificial ice facility by November 1, 2013, said Scott Cox, Dunn County Corporation Counsel. The amended lease eliminates the requirement but allows MYHA to build a facility at the group’s discretion. The amended lease also changes the initial term of the lease agreement from 25 years to 33 years, followed by a 25-year renewal option. The lease agreement covers the years from 2005 to 2038.

• Approved a resolution recognizing aging services program volunteers, who performed the following services in 2012: transportation to 130 individuals, driving 81,572 miles and providing 3,654 hours of service; delivered 21,429 meals to 348 individuals; put in over 7,700 hours at senior nutrition program sites, packing and serving meals; all together provided 11,371 hours of service valued at $210,363.