A proposed project that would result in the removal of three dams on the Cottonwood River in Redwood County is getting close to becoming a reality.
Discussions began to remove the aging infrastructure and replace it with a more natural process at river locations along the river at Kuhar Park near Lamberton, at the Sanborn golf course and Sanborn municipal park, and a funding request was made to help cover the expense of the project.
With those funds secured, Lucas Youngsma, a hydrologist working for the DNR out of its Marshall office, met with the Redwood County board this past Tuesday afternoon to propose an agreement to move ahead with the project.
Youngsma and Scott Wold, Redwood County Environmental Office director, presented an agreement that would secure $870,000 in grant dollars for the project with the county serving as the fiscal host for the project.
The funds would become available in 2018, and with approval of the agreement from the board, the process now moves into the planning and design stage with the plan to hire someone to do that work in conjunction with the work already been done by the DNR.
According to Wold, the county will serve as the fiscal host for the grant dollars, adding it will cover the costs of the project as it moves forward and will then be reimbursed.
“The county is not on the hook for any of the costs for the project,” said Wold, adding once the project is completed future maintenance and upkeep will be the responsibility of those entities that currently own and maintain the dams.
Youngsma said the funding request that was submitted for this project was based on estimated costs for the work being proposed, adding he is confident there is enough funding available to ensure the work can be completed.
He also said what would be installed ideally would not require much in terms of future maintenance.
Youngsma said the plan would be to start the work as soon as is possible, adding the actual work on the project would likely not start until next year.
He also said the funds are available for this project through 2021.
In other action during its meeting, the county board:
• Adopted a resolution officially indicating the county will take on the role of enforcement of the state buffer law. The resolution, which was required by the state, confirms what the county board had already approved in its buffer ordinance.
• Approved a conditional use permit for Brady Hagert to erect a 3,300 unit swine barn located in Redwood Falls Township.
• Adopted a resolution that turns over a two-mile stretch of Duncan Avenue to the county from North Hero Township. A similar resolution was also adopted turning over a three-mile stretch of County Road 52 from the county to North Hero Township.
• Accepted an Otto Bremer Trust grant in the amount of $40,000 for the child advocacy center. Those funds will be used to hire a part-time forensic interviewer for the program. The board also approved a job description for that forensic interviewer position and authorized posting for the hiring of that position.