Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Amends Proposed 2013 Budget
Creek Watershed District Amends Proposed 2013 Budget
Includes Additional Funds to Fight Aquatic Invasive Species
Deephaven, Minn. – In response to considerable public input, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) Board of Managers amended the District’s preliminary 2013 budget to include an additional $250,000 for enhanced stop-gap measures to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in 2013. The amendment was approved at the MCWD Board meeting on Thursday, August 23 and is contingent on final Board approval by December.
The extra funds will allow the District’s AIS Task Force to continue working on a long-term AIS management plan and supports a stronger 2013 stop gap plan pending final approval later this year. The MCWD’s current stop-gap measures include cost-share funding for inspectors, educational materials and public awareness activities.
The residents and stakeholders in the District have been vocal in their desire to prevent the spread of AIS. One local group presented an aggressive, $2.4 million AIS management proposal for 2013 at a recent Board workshop meeting. No action was taken on the proposal. However, the Board recognized the concerns that without adequate funding in 2013, AIS could spread to un-infested water bodies in the District.
“The public interest in protecting our lakes and streams from AIS was heard loud and clear at that meeting and in the days following,” said MCWD Board President James Calkins. “The District is committed to doing whatever it can to both prevent the spread of AIS and preserve access to these precious resources for all to enjoy.”
The 2013 recommended levy is $7,992,006. For a median value home in Hennepin County ($247,900) the levy equates to approximately $3/month. The MCWD’s original budget represented a zero percent property tax levy increase and would have been the fourth year in which the Board maintained a flat District’s levy. The additional $250,000 to protect waterbodies from AIS will increase the levy by approximately three percent.
A public hearing on the District’s preliminary 2013 budget and tax levy is planned at 6:45 p.m., Thursday, September 6, 2012 in the lower level board room of the MCWD offices, 18202 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven. The MCWD Board of Managers is expected vote on the 2013 budget and set the levy at its meeting on September 13. View the 2013 budget summary here.
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District covers approximately 181 square miles, including Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Falls. The District is charged by state law to protect, improve and manage water resources. It does so through scientific research and monitoring, public education, cost share grant programs, permitting and collaborative efforts with the 27 cities, two townships and two counties (Hennepin and Carver) that are in the District. For more information, visit www.minnehahacreek.org.