Minnesota’s Shadow Government Strikes Again

September 14, 2012 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

Well our property taxes are just not high enough! This time the Basset Creek Watershed group wants to hit us! From the Sun Post;

The Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission has requested a 2013 special levy of nearly $1 million from Hennepin County for water quality improvements in Plymouth and New Hope. The stream channel in Plymouth that runs along Pilgrim Lane near the Four Seasons Mall is said to be eroding from excessive drainage, causing high amounts of phosphorus and affecting the water quality in Northwood Lake in New Hope.

Phosphorus is commonly found in agricultural fertilizers, manure and organic wastes in sewage and industrial effluent. Too much of it in the water can reduce dissolved oxygen in rivers and lakes. The process in restoring the stream channel, and attempting to improve Northwood, involves building at least one new storm water treatment pond and taking measures such as installing riffles in the stream.

Riffles are a short, relatively shallow and coarse-bedded length of stream over which the stream flows at higher velocity and higher turbulence than it normally does in comparison to a pool.

“The neighborhood that will be draining into the [new] pond does not have a lot of water quality protection,” said Derek Asche, Water Resource Manager for Plymouth. “It was developed at a time where they didn’t consider things like this. The goal is to kind of retro-fit some of that storm water, so it isn’t so dirty when it goes to Northwood Lake.”

Because the stream channel is old, it cannot withstand the level of runoff it’s receiving from things like driveways, streets and houses. Building storm water treatment ponds will alleviate the strain that’s causing the stream to deteriorate.

“This little meandering stream, that once maybe went through a pasture, became a raging torrent after rain events,” said Plymouth City Council member Ginny Black. “This is due to all the increased runoff that causes this erosion.”

One pond could be built on city property in the area, and a second pond is proposed to be located on property owned by the Four Seasons Mall (owned by Wal-Mart), but an agreement has yet to be reached. Each pond will be about three-quarters of an acre.

The cost of the project be assessed to households within the Bassett Creek Watershed, which includes the cities of Crystal, Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, Minnetonka, New Hope, Plymouth, Robbinsdale and St. Louis Park.

Plymouth drafted a feasibility report for the project in the spring, and if things keep moving forward, design will begin this winter. The project could begin construction phases in the fall or winter of 2013.

And how much was the “feasibility” study?

Northwood Lake has seen a decline in water quality and is listed as impaired by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Based on a 2007 assessment by the agency, the impairment is caused by nutrient and eutrophication biological indicators.  A lake is declared impaired when it fails to meet one or more water quality standards, and one of the biggest problems at Northwood is the high phosphorus level.

“Aesthetically, the lake is not very pleasing,” said New Hope Public Works Operations Manager Paul Coone. “You really can’t swim in it, and as far a fishing goes, it’s really all bullheads.” Neighbor New Hope is looking at making improvements to the lake itself in the distant future.

“It’s going to take some time to see improvements,” said Coone. “At some point we’ll be doing some storm water treatment in the neighborhoods around the lake.”

The MPCA says its monitoring suggests around 40 percent of Minnesota’s lakes and streams are impaired.  The problem in not unusual, but it requires corrective action. “In order to see any improvement at all, we need to start doing projects like this,” said Black. “And there are other things that need to be done. It’s basically a never-ending process.”

In other words, look for more and more and more! And where is our representation on this watershed? When is the public hearing? What if we don’t want to pay this? As usual, it’s Minnesota’s shadow government at work!


Entry filed under: Crystal, Golden Valley, Hennepin, Mayor, New Hope, Plymouth.

The Localist Papers Part 6- Problem: Big Control The Localist Papers Part 7- Problem: Taxation

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