6.8 Capital Improvement Program

The capital improvement program identified below includes projects that will progress the District toward achieving subwatershed goals, as well as some watershed-wide activities such as undertaking or updating special studies.  This program is not a comprehensive list of all capital needs or potential projects within the subwatershed, and is limited by available financial resources and staff capacity to manage projects.  Among the purposes of these priority projects are to:

  • Achieve nutrient load reductions in lakes to prevent future listing as Impaired Waters that require TMDL studies.
  • Stabilize and restore stream reaches with the highest concentration of erosion issues and to improve biotic integrity.
  • Conserve and enhance green infrastructure through Land Conservation and restoration efforts to proactively address water quality, runoff management, and other water resources issues.
  • Begin addressing the historic loss of wetlands in the watershed through restoration of degraded or drained wetlands.
  • Mitigate the impacts of future development on downstream resources.

These proposed projects emphasize the achievement of multiple objectives.  For example, stream restorations would not only stabilize streambanks and prevent further erosion, they would provide an opportunity to improve in-stream and buffer habitat, conserve existing high-value resources, and reduce sediment and nutrient transport downstream.  Wetland restorations would not only restore degraded or drained wetlands, they would provide an opportunity to increase infiltration, improve habitat, and conserve existing high-value resources.

The District’s Capital Improvement Program includes a more detailed description and analysis of the top tier of highest priority projects.  The ranking of priority projects reflects the District’s Citizen Advisory Committee recommendations, the status of projects initially developed in the District’s 1997 Plan, opportunities for project partnerships or collaboration, designation of impaired water bodies, and public recreational values.

The inclusion of a project in the capital improvement program is not a determination that the project will be implemented.  Before that occurs, the District will perform a feasibility study or assessment and the Board of Managers, after a public hearing, will determine whether the project should be ordered.  In addition to requirements contained in MS 103B.251, prior to the watershed District ordering a major capital improvement project (projects greater than $300,000) it will:

  • Seek a resolution of support from the LGU(s) where the project is located.
  • Prior to approval of final design the MWCD will notice property owners within 600 feet of the proposed project and host at least one public information meeting at a location near the project site;
  • Provide a press release and hearing notice on the proposed project to a local newspaper
  • Provide a printed notice to property owners within 600 feet of the proposed project with the time and location of the public hearing and the name and contact information of the project manager.

Each year, as a part of its budgeting process, the District will review the status of all capital projects and their priority for budget and levy purposes and allocate funds for the following year accordingly.  The District further intends to review its capital improvement program and its capital project priorities, on a District-wide and a sub-watershed basis, more comprehensively as needed on a two -year cycle.  No later than the third Friday in June of each year, the MCWD will mail (or e-mail) revised copies of it 10 year CIP to Hennepin and Carver Counties and all of the cities within the District for a 30 day review and comment.  No later than the third Friday in August of each year the MCWD will mail Hennepin and Carver Counties a copy of any comments from cities and the District response.  At the County(ies’) pleasure, but no later than the first Friday in November, the MCWD will meet with the County Board(s) to discuss the District’s CIP and annual budget and levy.  Any comments received from the County Board will be considered by the MCWD Board and any decreases or increases to the levy will be provided to the County Auditors prior to the date they certify the county levy to the State.

See Attachment for Tables.