Watershed District Requests Action on Sales Tax

Watershed District Requests Action on Sales Tax

 For Immediate Release:  

March 28, 2016                                                                                                                                               

For More Information Contact:

Brett Behnke: (507)-377-5785

 

 Albert Lea, MN—On Tuesday, February 9, the Shell Rock River Watershed District Board of Managers passed a resolution formally requesting the support of the City of Albert Lea for a 15-year extension of Albert Lea’s .5% local-option sales tax. The sales tax proceeds are required to be spent on water quality improvements set forth in the District’s Watershed Management Plan. Since that time, the City of Albert Lea has taken no action on the sales tax extension.

 According to District Administrator Brett Behnke, “The District has made great strides in moving forward on the Fountain Lake Restoration Project. Most recently, we entered into purchase agreements for the dredge material storage sites and taken further steps on detailing the dredging details. The momentum on dredging is here now! The community expects us to keep moving forward – I just want this process to proceed so that we can keep the focus on cleaning up our lakes”

 Through funding from the existing sales tax, the Shell Rock River Watershed District has leveraged over $25 million from outside funds for projects to improve water quality and clarity in the lakes of Albert Lea. Projects include the ongoing Fountain Lake restoration, the completed Albert Lea Lake Dam and Fish Barrier, and the South Industrial Storm water Retention Project. Other efforts have included significant stream bank stabilization projects, upgrading nearly 700 failing septic systems, and managing the rough fish in upstream lakes and streams. Behnke added, “Our working relationship with all levels of government has allowed us to lead the State in improving water quality in our area. We are proud of the hard work that has been done and intend to continue down this road, regardless of what action the City finally decides upon.”

 

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