Boundary changes for the Brown’s Creek Watershed District will affect 39 “orphan parcels” along the district’s boundary with the Rice Creek Watershed District. The County Board authorized the changes last week before sending the issue to the Board of Water and Soil Resources.
The parcels, in Grant and Hugo, either are not within a watershed district at all, or are bisected by a boundary line. Minnesota law states that all areas within the seven-county metro area must be covered by a watershed organization. New topographic information allows for the designation of these parcels to the proper watershed district.
Commissioner Fran Miron said he wanted to make sure that owners of the parcels knew that they will see a levy from the watershed districts on their tax statements, and Commissioner Gary Kriesel concurred.
“I don’t see it as a tax increase as much as sharing of the tax burden,” Kriesel said.
No residents speak at water hearings
The Washington County Board tried twice, but no residents spoke at either public hearing seeking comment on the county’s proposed groundwater plan for 2014-2024. The public hearing was first opened March 4, but because nobody appeared, it was extended to last week.
All of the county’s drinking water is from groundwater, and the plan identifies problems that affect its quality and quantity.
Commissioners voted to submit the plan to the Metropolitan Council, state agencies, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources for review. The county must adopt the plan and implement it within 120 days of the water board’s approval.
The plan is available on the county website at www.co.washington.mn.us/documentcenter/view/4462.
PR firm to promote Gateway Corridor
A public relations firm in Crystal has been awarded $110,000 to promote the Gateway Corridor, a proposed transitway, over the next year. The money approved by the County Board last week, which pays for services through February 2015, is in addition to $100,000 paid to the firm last year.
Money paid to Jeff Dehler Public Relations will be spent on video presentations, legislative services, media and community relations, and matters such as “ongoing strategy consultation.” County commissioners, under the umbrella of the Washington County Regional Rail Authority, voted 5-0 last week to approve the contract.
The Gateway Corridor stretches from downtown St. Paul to the St. Croix River along Interstate 94.
Township elections hold few surprises
Elections were held Tuesday in three townships, each including a supervisor candidate running without opposition.
Re-elected were John Hall in Baytown Township, John Adams in May Township and Stepehen Ebner in West Lakeland Township. In Baytown Township, 90 percent of the voters also favored moving the township election to November.