NEW ULM - Brown County commissioners approved a proposed Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks Legacy Grant and reviewed a proposed Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Tuesday.
A $63,645 proposed grant application with $5,000 in county matching funds to maintain proposed facilities at 340-acre Mound Creek County Park, would be funded by the DNR Parks and Trails Fund.
The proposal includes installing trailhead kiosks, interpretive exhibits, trail directional signs, disc golf course updating and expansion, drilling a well, installing water lines, running electricity to park shelters, adding a new park entrance sign and continual prairie management.
Mound Creek is unique in Minnesota. It includes quartzite outcroppings and miles of trails. Other amenities include 3.5 miles of horseback or hiking trails, a disc golf course, handicap-accessible fishing pier, boat landings, swimming beach, picnic areas, water falls and shelters.
Knisley said a successful prescribed burn at the park is helping native species thrive and will provide more recreational and educational experiences to visitors.
The proposal has the support of the Brown County Park Commission, Friends of Mound Creek County Park, the Southwestern Minnesota Disc Golf Association, and the Prairie Enthusiasts, the RBA stated.
Spring Creek Watershed
Commissioners also approved a proposal to submit a grant application for a DNR Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant for Spring Creek Watershed, Home Township, on both sides of State Highway 4 about 1 1/2 miles south of the Minnesota River.
For the past 18 months, meetings have been held with a group formed by Home Township landowner Jim Losleben. The group included representatives from the DNR, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Brown Soil & Water Conservation District, US. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Purpose of the proposed grant is to create a stream bank stabilization program in the designated trout stream portion of the creek, and to begin a broader educational effort in the larger watershed that feeds Spring Creek.
"The stream is stocked with brook trout by the DNR but has no public access," said Losleben.
Lee Sundmark, DNR Fisheries Supervisor, said the group is working with willing landowners to save money and create a sustainable trout population.
"The people I've talked about the project to tell me we have a good chance at a grant because much of the Legacy Grant money has already gone to Twin Cities and northern Minnesota projects," Losleben said.
Sundmark said the MPCA will do more watershed assessments in 2013.
"I'd like to get ahead of that and show people what we can do before a government agency comes in and tells us what to do," Losleben said.
Sundmark said Losleben is paying a grant writer to write the grant estimated at $150,000 to $200,000, according to Wenck Engineering.
The program requires a 10 percent, non-state match, which would come from engineering work costs and some in-kind staff time Brown County could provide.
In addition, up to 7.5 percent of grant funds, (up to $15,000), could be allocated to Brown County, as fiscal agent, for administration of grant-related work in addition to in-kind staff time.
Commissioners will consider participating in the grant application at their Tuesday, Sept. 25 board meeting. They also approved:
In other action, the board approved a resolution to remove a $13,800 line item for the purchase of scuba dry suits, surface-supplied air, air tanks, regulators, and vest diving equipment for Brown County Sheriff's Office search and rescue operations.
Joining a regional grant application to develop health information exchange and allow Public Health to submit a letter of support for the project. The project will develop exchange of information over organizational and vendor boundaries to enhance continuity of care in the community via exchange of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) with other region providers.
Healthcare providers must be "data exchangeable" by 2014 and 2015, according to federal and state requirements, the RBA stated.
Buying a $234,446.34 John Deere 772G all-wheel-drive, standard hydraulic control motor grader for the highway department.
Awarding a CSAH 7 bridge repair contract, four miles south of Cobden, to the low bidder, Structural Specialties Inc. for $78,875.80. A new diaphragm will be built to restrain abutment movement.
Awarding the re-monumentation of Cottonwood Township to low bidder Madsen Land Surveying, Inc. $15,950.
A $35,000 grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety/Crime Victim Services to continue serving general crime victims in 2013.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).