The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has picked a new leader.

The district’s board of managers offered the district administrator job Wednesday to Lars Erdahl, who works at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.

The board’s 4-3 vote did not reflect upon the four finalists, but instead reflected worries by board members over selecting a leader before the board itself is finalized in March, said board manager Brian Shekleton.

Erdahl, the special project assistant to the director and interim grants officer at the arboretum since 2013, previously worked at the Minnesota Zoo in several roles. He has degrees from St. Olaf College, the University of St. Thomas and the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

He will oversee management of water resources, from flooding to the spread of invasive species in a 181-square-mile area of Minneapolis and 26 western suburbs — from Minnehaha Falls and Lake Minnetonka to Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes. The district has a $14 million budget.

A contract will be negotiated; the salary will be between $83,585 and $125,377.

The watershed’s board has gone through a contentious eight months since a 4-3 vote to fire district administrator Eric Evenson-Marden. Two board spots are now up for reappointment; the deadline to apply is Feb. 19.

KELLY SMITH