County notes

Two named to BCWD board

Gerald Johnson of Stillwater and Rick Vanzwol were reappointed Tuesday to the Brown’s Creek Watershed Board by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Johnson and Vanzwol will both serve three-year terms the expire Oct. 21, 2015.

Watershed district are set up by state law and responsible for handling water-related issues and protecting district groundwater.

 County receives victim-witness grant

Washington County will receive $68,000 to offset expenses managing the county’s victim-witness staff after the Board of Commissioners accepted a grant Tuesday.

The county’s victim-witness staff work with Washington County Attorney’s Office prosecutors to ensure crime victims’ rights granted by the state are provided to those who express an interest in the case.

The county has received state funds for more than 20 years to help offset victim-witness coordinator salaries in the County Attorney’s Office.

The cities of Woodbury and Cottage Grove will receive county funds to support the cities’ recycling efforts after the Washington County Board of Commissioners approve grants Tuesday.

Woodbury is eligible to receive up to $146,829 and Cottage Grove is eligible for up to $106,300 over the two-year grant cycles.

The funds come through the county’s recycling grants program funded by the combination of a metropolitan landfill surcharge; Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment money; a state solid waste tax, and the county’s environmental charge.

Septic system inventory grant sought


Washington County will submit an application to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for a 2013 grant to fund creation of a county septic system inventory after the Board of Commissioners authorized the application Tuesday.

The county and cities of Lakeland and Lakeland Shores and the Middle St. Croix Watershed Management group are developing the grant proposal. The two cities border the St. Croix River, which is impaired for phosphorus. Failed septic systems account for a percentage of phosphorus introduced into surface water.

The grant funds would fund a licensed compliance inspector to inspect septic systems without county permits. Homeowners would be notified by letter telling them the county has no record of their septic system and the inspector would determine compliance status of that system.

Officials from the county, cities and watershed district are trying to determine the best way to get homeowner participation. Incentives considered include waiving permit fees, low-interest loans or cost sharing of replacement systems for low-income households.

The grant being sought is a $27,000, two-year award requiring a 25 percent in-kind or cash match, or $6,750 worth of Department of Public Health and Environment staff time. DPHE would administer the grant and act as fiscal agent.