The Pope Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is hosting an Urban Stormwater Project Workshop on July 24th starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Room at the Courthouse. The workshop is being held to highlight information in the Stormwater Quality Assessment Project completed and provide information about urban stormwater projects that can be completed by individual property owners. Presentations will be given by Larry VanHout from Widseth Smith and Nolting, Joe Lewis from Houston Engineering, and Holly Kovarik and Jessica Oldakowski from Pope SWCD. Topics include: City Street Project Overview, Stormwater Quality Assessment Project, Project Implementation Opportunities, and the Grant Program Opportunity.
The Pope SWCD has been working on a project funded by a State of Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources’ Clean Water Fund Grant to model the city’s stormwater conveyances and target potential water quality project locations. This project was funded in 2015 by a grant application submitted by the Pope SWCD. This project was completed to assess water quality of the contributing stormwater runoff from within the city to Lake Minnewaska. This comprehensive watershed analysis was critical to identify and predict water quality load reductions from projects based on location. The goal of the project is to improve water quality within Lake Minnewaska by reducing the concentrations of sediment and nutrients originating from within the City of Glenwood. The secondary goal of the project is to assess the capacity of the stormwater conveyance system within the study area. The study has been completed and the report findings will be shared. The study was funded by the Clean Water Land and Legacy Fund which was a 3/8 of a percent sales tax increase that started in 2008. Pope SWCD had to competitively apply for the funding in order to do this project and the project must have an emphasis on improving water quality to be funded. That is the primary focus of this project but the Pope SWCD also recognizes that there are secondary benefits of flooding reduction that can also be looked at as well. This was kept in mind during the analysis conducted and coordinated with the city.
The City of Glenwood has been coordinating other work with the street reconstruction project. They will provide an update on the progress of this effort. This street reconstruction project will begin in 2018 and will have impact on Highway 28 and 104 that go through downtown. This is a separate project from the work the Pope SWCD has been working on. Most of the areas identified for retention and detention are in the upper part of the watershed. These are the areas where we will gain more benefit for volume of water retained and greater reductions in pollutants.
The Pope SWCD works in private lands conservation projects and will enter into projects with interested individual landowners. We have identified in this study projects in certain parts of the city on city property but also on private property that might be well suited for a project. It is our intent to gain feedback from landowners interested in implementing some of these urban stormwater projects to improve water quality in Lake Minnewaska. Some examples include raingardens, rain barrels, adjustments to rain gutters, tree trenches, retention or detention ponds, pervious pavers, and grit chambers. Not all project locations will be suited to construct some of these projects. A site investigation will be necessary to determine if the soil types, utilities, and location will work to allow the project to function as designed.
The Pope SWCD intends to apply for grant funding through the Board of Water and Soil Resources to attain Clean Water Funds to provide cost share up to 75% to implement these stormwater projects. The Pope SWCD does not currently have funding and this effort is to attain information from interested and motivated landowners to implement one or more of these projects. This information will strengthen the grant application and increase the likelihood of receiving additional grant funds. The Pope SWCD will know in early 2018 if they are funded and then will begin work on planning, designing, and implementing these projects in 2018-2021. If the application is not successful the SWCD will likely reapply in the fall of 2018. If you are interested in learning more please attend this workshop or you may call Holly or Jessica at 320-634-5327.