Watershed groups’ budgets, projects subjects of workshop

Washington County’s watershed management groups and conservation district present their proposed 2013 budgets to the Board of Commissioners during a workshop Tuesday.

The budget session is one of two workshops on the board’s agenda. The second will review the proposed Red Rock Gateway redevelopment plan.

The two workshops follow the board’s regular meeting that features a light agenda. County Administrator Molly O’Rourke will discuss the county’s 2013 legislative agenda with commissioners.

The budget workshop with officials from the Washington Conservation District and watershed management groups will go over the agencies’ 2013 budget and discuss various projects done by the watershed groups.

The WCD proposes a $2 million estimated 2013 budget, with 57 percent of funds coming through local watershed agreements, 23 percent from state programs and grants and the remaining 20 percent from county service agreements.

The WCD provides the county with technical assistance to multiple departments and divisions; support meeting regulatory requirements; monitor and track water quality trends; obtain state and federal grants; facilitate collaboration between governments, and respond to residents.

Officials with the county’s eight watershed management groups will present their agencies’ proposed 2013 budgets. They range from more than $7.1 million for the Ramsey-Washington Metro WMO to $566,700 for the Carnelian-Marine on St. Croix WMO.

Along with discussing some of the WMO’s major 2012 projects, WMO officials will outline the agencies’ 2013 goals that include continued work on a groundwater plan update and addressing both groundwater and surface water issues.

The second workshop will go over the Red Rock Gateway redevelopment plan in Newport recently commissioned by the city and the county’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The area studied is in northern Newport at the intersection of Interstate 494 and U.S. Highway 61. The location includes a variety of aging and isolated industrial and commercial uses and vacant sites.

The redevelopment plan’s purpose is offering initial guidance for coordinated redevelopment fostering transit-oriented development around the new transit station.

During their regular meeting, commissioners will discuss the county’s 2013 legislative agenda that includes local property taxpayer protections, the Gateway Corridor and metro-area transit governance, a trail link from the Hastings Bridge to the Point Douglas trail, a Manning Avenue crossing for the Brown’s Creek Trail and regional parks funding from the Legacy Amendment.

The board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the fifth-floor board room at the county Government Center in Stillwater.