Fountain Lake Restoration Project Included in House Bonding Bill

For Immediate Release: May 12, 2020 Contact: Andy Henschel 

507-391-2795

St. Paul, MN. “We are very pleased the full $7.5 million for the Fountain Lake Restoration Project is included in HF2529, the House Capital Investment Package,” said Andy Henschel, Administrator for the Shell Rock River Watershed District. 

“This is great news for our community. The project is the result of decades of community work to restore and enhance water quality in Fountain Lake, and we appreciate the support of community leaders. The lake is in the heart of Albert Lea. Our historic downtown showcases the lake and it is the center of many community events.”

For years, Fountain Lake has been hampered by a large internal phosphorus load, land use, and stream bank erosion. The Shell Rock River Watershed District and its partners have been aggressively addressing this issue with systematic, multi-faceted efforts. The restoration project is a multi-phased project. Active dredging began in 2018, utilizing a previous bonding appropriation of $7.5 million and local option sales tax funds of $9.5 million. The additional funds the District requested are needed to complete the final phase of the project successfully.

This month the District began the second phase of dredging that includes Main Bay and Dane’s Bay. The third and final phase will complete the project and include Main Bay (East Basin), Bancroft Channel and parts of Bancroft Bay. The additional $7.5 million in state funding will complete the third and final phase of the project. This phase is in the heart of downtown Albert Lea. 

“We appreciate the support of Rep. Peggy Bennett and Sen. Dan Sparks this year and are hopeful the legislature will be able to pass a final bonding package by the end of the regular session.” Henschel said. “We are looking forward to the next step toward improving water quality of Fountain Lake to sustain and restore the business and tourism economy of southern Minnesota.”

 

 

 

 

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