County Notes

Board approves contract with WCD

The Washington Conservation District will continue providing state-mandated wetland preservation in the county after the Board of Commissioners approved agreements with the agency Tuesday.

One agreement with the WCD puts the county in compliance with the Wetland Conservation Act. It is paid for with a $41,551 natural resources block grant from the state Board of Water and Soil Resources and an $18,000 county matching grant from the county’s environmental charge.

Another county contract has the WCD provide the county with technical help and education services to promote and apply soil and water conservation practices. The $220,000 agreement partially funds WCD administrative activities, local water management services, land and water treatment, public education and funds for the East Metro Water Resource Education program.

Sheriff’s office receives program funds

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will receive $130,000 in two grants from state Department of Public Safety offices to help pay some personnel costs and purchase equipment after the Board of Commissioners approved the grants Tuesday.

The WCSO will get $95,000 to reimburse personnel costs for the sheriff’s office Narcotics Task Force in 2013 from a state Commissioner of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs grant. The board’s action extends the grant agreement through Dec. 31, 2013.

The WCSO will also receive a $35,000 state DPS Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division to buy night vision, GPS and sonar equipment to make night and reduced visibility navigation safer and provide more effective surveillance.

The county will use its 2010 purchase of a patrol boat as its $11,667 match for the second grant.

MDH honors DeLaVergne

Longtime Stillwater resident Ann DeLaVergne was honored recently by the Minnesota Department of Health at the annual Community Health Conference for her commitment to healthy food for the community.

DeLaVergne’s work has supported a number of healthy food initiatives for Washington County residents. The Fresh Green Bucks (FGB$) pilot program, which currently runs in three county grocery stores, allows shoppers to purchase coupons that translate to fresh fruit and vegetables for local food shelves.

The volunteer-run Our Community Kitchen in Stillwater serves healthy breakfasts Tuesday and Thursday mornings, regardless of guest’s ability to pay, and uses locally grown and produced foods to feed 30 to 80 people each day.

DeLaVergne also helped support the establishment of six community gardens in and around Washington and Ramsey counties, including gardens in the Landfall and Cimarron mobile home parks, and at three schools, Carver Elementary, Cowern Elementary, and Harmony school.