3/18/2014 1:37:00 PM Dodge County Commissioners
Commissioners nix more deputies
By Gretta Becay
Could Minnesota counties and municipalities manage their watersheds as partners more effectively than as individual entities?
Water Program Manager Dean Schrandt and Environmental Services Director Mark Gamm talked about the idea to the Dodge County Commissioners at their committee of the whole meeting March 11, 2014.
There are 280 water management plans in the state and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) would like to reduce that number to 81; the number of watersheds in the state.
The Zumbro River watershed straddles the counties of Goodhue, Wabasha, and Olmsted as well as Dodge County and if the four counties agree to the partnership, BWSR has $500,000 for a pilot study for three watersheds in the state to study the idea. All four counties appear to be committed to the idea, said the men.
The Cedar River Watershed District is partially located in Dodge County also and is one of the other entities competing against the Zumbro Watershed for the pilot study dollars.
The Cedar River District was formed several years ago to mitigate flooding in the city of Austin.
In other business, at the regular meeting, the commissioners denied a request from Sheriff Jim Jensen - made late last year and tabled until now - to replace three part-time deputy positions with three full-time positions. The vote was a close one with three commissioners, Rod Peterson, John Allen, and Tim Tjosaas voting against while David Erickson and Steve Gray voted for approval.
Jensen had also notified city officials that he would not be filling the chief deputy position left vacant by the January dismissal of the former deputy.
The commissioners heard a presentation by Tim Pratt, a consultant explaining a proposed bottle bill to constituents around the state. Pratt explained that the bill will not be considered this year but educating the public is starting now.
The bill is designed to encourage more recycling of drink containers. "Recycling aluminum uses about 5 per cent of the energy required to create aluminum from bauxite and recycling one ton of plastic PET [#1 drink bottles] saves 53.4 million BTU's of energy," he explained.
In Minnesota, about 45 per cent of beverage containers are now recycled.
Consumers would pay 10 cents for containers when they are purchased and then would receive the 10 cents back when the container is recycled at a redemption center.