Watershed district board to write first rules

Published 6:23 am Friday, January 22, 2010

The Cedar River Watershed District Board of Managers plans to write the district’s first rules by September of 2010.

The board discussed what to include in its 2010 work plan Wednesday night at its monthly meeting. The board will finalize the work plan at the Feb. 17 meeting.

A key part of the work plan is to adopt rules for the Cedar River Watershed District. As a new entity, the watershed district is required by the state to adopt rules.

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One potential rule would create restrictions in the flood plain, meaning people would need permits before filling in land, said administrator Bev Nordby. Another rule could limit the size of new culverts, she said.

The board also plans to apply for funds through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to start flood reduction projects and complete two feasibility studies.

The board plans to apply for funding in the fall to implement the watershed district’s 10-year plan.

Funding from the Healthy Watershed Initiative will be used by the board to regularly monitor and test eight sites. The 2009 monitoring results will be released during the February meeting.

Dobbins Creek will be an area of focus for the board in 2010, as it hopes to apply for the Ag Watershed Restoration Grant to implement conservation practices and form flood reduction areas.

Other goals for 2010 include developing a cost share program and working with the Soil and Water Conservation District to apply for $2 million for wetland restoration.

While it’s not part of their 2010 work plan, Mower County has asked the board for help installing a rain garden at Fourth Street Northwest at 18th Avenue Northwest as part of the Fourth Street Improvement Project.

Rain gardens are often landscaped with sand, rock and plants, causing water to soak into the soil. Rain gardens often prevent runoff from reaching streets or buildings.