Fountain Lake Restoration Moves Forward

For More Information Contact:
Brett Behnke

The Shell Rock River Watershed District approved an important step in moving ahead with the Fountain Lake Restoration Project when the Board of Managers accepted a Barr Engineering proposal for Phase 1 Engineering Services.

“Phase 1 Engineering will be used to undertake data gathering and stakeholder and permitting agency communications to complete a preliminary engineering report that identifies lake restoration objectives and will aid with permitting and environmental review requirements,” said Brett Behnke, District Administrator. This phase will provide the project with enough detail that it can move forward into the detailed design, environmental review and permitting phase. Phase 1 work is to be concluded by December 1, 2013.

The Board also learned legislation (SF271/HF200) was introduced in January to provide $7.5 million in state funds for the project. “We are grateful to Rep. Shannon Savick and Sen. Dan Sparks for taking leadership to secure these funds,” said Behnke.

SF271 was co-authored by Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Thief River Falls), Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) and Sen. Tom Sauxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids). HF200 was co-authored by Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul), Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-S.St.Paul), Rep. Bob Gunther, (R-Fairmont), Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) and Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin). “The support of our legislators and these co-authors positions us well in the very competitive capital bonding arena,” Behnke said.

The Fountain Lake Restoration Project is a high priority for the Watershed District, the city of Albert Lea and the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. Lake restoration projects are complex and multi-year efforts requiring many partnerships.

 “We are pleased with the progress taken today and will continue to look to the community for input and support as we move forward,” said Clayton Petersen, Board Chair.

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007