Council “green infrastructure” grants support local water initiatives

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Metropolitan Council voted Wednesday to award $1 million to five metro cities looking to improve water quality and encourage conservation. The awards are part of a pilot project to support local efforts to address issues in their communities related to water quality, quantity, and wastewater treatment.

Green Infrastructure Grants were awarded to the cities of Crystal, New Hope, Roseville, South St. Paul and West St. Paul. The grants will contribute to local efforts to:

  • conserve water

  • improve management of stormwater runoff

  • improve water quality

  • prevent the “Inflow and Infiltration,” of stormwater and groundwater into the sanitary sewer, using up sewer capacity and undergoing unnecessary wastewater treatment.

“Communities across Minnesota face serious water quality challenges,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Last spring, I worked with the Minnesota Legislature to establish grants that help cities afford to make important water quality improvements. These grants will help communities across the Twin Cities Metro Area provide the clean and affordable drinking water their residents need and deserve.”

Projects were reviewed for their integrated problem-solving approaches, and their ability to achieve multiple benefits and measurable outcomes. The Council received 30 requests for funding totaling $7.2 million.

“The number of applications for these grants gives me confidence that there’s a local desire to address issues facing our water resources,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “I believe communities recognize that all water is connected, and want to work together on integrated and comprehensive approaches to preserving the water resources that are such great assets to our region.”

Council officials say the grants help promote the concept of “One Water,” meaning all water is part of the same natural cycle. Whether it’s surface water, groundwater, wastewater, drinking water, or rain water; whether it’s recycled, reused, consumed or contaminated.  It’s all one water, and must be given its due to continue to support life and livability

Projects awarded funding

  • One Water Grant Program, South St. Paul -- $300,000 toward initiatives to improve water conservation efforts and reduce the city’s water use, reduce the volume of stormwater runoff that is polluting water resources, and reduce the amount of stormwater and groundwater that seeps into the sanitary sewer system.

  • Evergreen Stormwater Reuse System, Roseville -- $300,000 toward building an underground stormwater storage facility in or next to one of the city parks to relieve flooding in a downstream storm sewer. The facility would reduce sediment and phosphorus in the stormwater, providing an opportunity for a reuse system that would supply water for irrigation and reduce demand on drinking water supply.

  • Crystal Becker Park Infiltration Project, Crystal -- $200,000 toward an infiltration facility beneath a recreation area in Becker Park. The facility would filter runoff from a 147-acre watershed and reduce the amount of phosphorus and suspended solids being released into Upper Twin Lake.

  • Northwood Inflow/Infiltration Study, New Hope -- $50,000 towards a study to better understand some of the issues the city is experiencing with stormwater and groundwater making its way into the sanitary sewer system and needed improvements to public and private infrastructure.

  • Inflow and Infiltration Private Property Compliance Program, West St. Paul-- $150,000 to help reduce the amount of stormwater and groundwater from private properties that gets into the city’s sanitary sewer system.

25 by 25

These grants and other Council initiatives will help make progress towards the Governor’s goal of improving water quality 25 percent by 2025. The Council is participating in a series of town hall meetings the Governor is holding across the state.

The sessions began July 31 in Greater Minnesota. The last two sessions will take place in the metro area Oct. 4 and Oct 5 in Burnsville and Stillwater. Council Chair Tchourumoff will participate in both those events.

Burnsville – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, October 4 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Diamondhead Education, 200 W Burnsville Pkwy.

Stillwater – Water Quality Town Hall
Thursday, October 5 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Stillwater High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd N.

See more information on the Governor’s Water Quality Town Hall meetings.


Posted In: Communities, Planning, Wastewater & Water

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