Small Business Permit
Gayle and Gary Olson sought an interim use permit for an equine assistance business at 14323 Ostrum Trail. The business, therapeutic horseback riding, will be affiliated with River Valley Riders of Afton. The business will operate Tuesday evenings, 5 to 9 pm, for up to eight riders.
Provisions of the interim use permit require that the applicants be on site for all riding sessions, that no more than 37 visitors may be on site during hours of operation, and that operations and parking be located in the areas identified in the application. The Board of Supervisors approved the permit request.
In-Person, Zoom or Hybrid Meetings in Future
The Supervisors discussed when to return to in-person Board of Supervisors meetings. The city attorney reported that most municipalities are holding hybrid meetings. Hugo is now holding in-person town meetings with no mask required; Grant township continues to meet remotely via Zoom. The attorney said that what is most important is predictability for when, where and how meetings are held.
The city administrator, Linda Tibbetts, reported that the May Township town hall could not accommodate hybrid meetings. Supervisor Adams asked her to research the cost of technology retrofits to be able to host hybrid meetings. The July Board of Supervisors meeting will be held via Zoom.
Watershed District reports on
updates to its 10-year plan
Mike Isensee, administrator for the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD), came before the Board to report on the direction of the Watershed’s 10-year management plan. The full Watershed plan will be available for public review and comment starting July 29.
Isensee said the District has measurable improvement goals for half of the area’s springs and lakes. The District will continue to work on algae and clarity concerns on Big Marine and Big Carnelian Lakes, as well as clarity issues with Square Lake and Clear Lake. The Watershed District has a goal for improving water quality on Arcola and Spring streams within the next decade.
A significant determiner of the biological health of a lake is chloride that has collected and concentrated at the bottom of a lake. The Watershed District plans to establish baselines for chloride concentrations in area lakes. Also of concern are degraded wetlands that may be discharging excess phosphorus and coliform bacteria directly into lakes. The Watershed District wants to establish a wetland monitoring program.
Ten lakes in the Watershed District are on the state Impaired Waters list, including East Boot Lake, but water quality improvements on East Boot may allow it to be delisted in the next few years.
The Watershed has completed gathering baseline data on lake health but has not measured stream health. It will be working with the Washington Conservation District on a volunteer stream monitoring program. It will continue to collect data on lake health, rotating lakes under review on a 3-year cycle over a ten-year period.
A public survey revealed that most respondents wanted to see more consistent application of the rules that govern the 31 lakes, 21 streams and 18 miles of St. Croix River managed by the CMSCWD. These rules come not only from the Watershed District, but also from municipalities, the DNR, and others. The Watershed District plan includes provision of grants to communities to help eliminate conflicts between local rules and watershed rules.
While the Watershed District will continue to provide technical assistance and cost sharing to landowners working on water protection projects, it proposes to do direct marketing to landowners in high-potential zones.
High priority May Township projects in the 10-year plan include the Panorama/133rd St stormwater basin, Willow Brook/Highway 95 stormwater treatment and Willow Brook stream buffer restoration, and Big Marine east launch stormwater improvement. The Watershed District has developed a maintenance plan and a savings plan to ensure capital reserves are in place to maintain or repair the Big Marine outlet channel and pipe.
Norell Avenue/CSAH3 Road Project
Supervisor Adams reported that public comment received during the second public engagement period supported the second design alternative in which very little change is made to Norell Avenue.
No Parking Area Extended
With the addition of No Parking signs along County 11 north and south of the DNR boat landing, cars have now begun parking along Ozark and 127th Street. The Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to extend the No Parking zone 500 feet east of Otchipwe Ave on Ozark, and 500 feet west of Otchipwe Ave on 127th St.
Commercial insurance Renewal
Mark Lenz reported on renewal of the township’s insurance policy, which increased $53 from the prior year. The insurer had not, however, inspected township property since improvements were made to the town hall. Supervisors accepted the policy with the understanding that an updated appraisal of the value of the town hall might result in a premium increase.