Loan from reserve funds to update Recycling and Energy Center

Washington County will receive $160,509 to be used to protect water resources, after the County Board approved an agreement with the Board of Water and Soil Resources during its meeting on Nov. 19.

The money will be used for projects from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2022.

The Natural Resources Block Grant is a composite of grants available to counties to assist programs that protect and improve water resources. Individual programs under this grant include Comprehensive Local Water Management, the Wetland Conservation Act, the Department of Natural Resources Shoreland Management Program, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Program.

To be eligible for the NRBG, a county must have a locally-adopted and Board of Water and Soil Resources approved comprehensive local water management plan, which is the county’s groundwater plan, and submit an annual report.

The funding for each program area is as follows:

· Comprehensive local water management, $16,188

· Wetland Conservation Act, $83,102, which will be passed through to the Washington Conservation District for 2020 and 2021

· Shoreland management program, $5,230

· Septic treatment systems, $18,600, for 2020

· Septic treatment systems upgrade, $37,389, for 2020

The Washington County Board of Commissioners also approved work with Ramsey County to loan the joint Recycling & Energy Board $5 million to make improvements to the Recycling and Energy Center in Newport. To finance the renovation, the counties will change the requirements of their R&E reserve funds and loan the reserve funds to the joint board for the renovations. 

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