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County Executive Falk Announces Funding Available to Improve Stormwater Drains

April 07, 2005
Sue Jones (267-0118)
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced funding available to municipalities for improving the quality of urban stormwater entering Lakes Mendota, Monona, and Wingra. In the 2005 Dane County capital budget, $49,000 was allocated for a pilot cost-sharing program to improve the old storm drain outlets that dump untreated stormwater and litter into the Yahara Lakes. The county funds are to be matched with municipal matching expenditures. “I am eager to partner with cities and villages to retrofit storm water outfalls in need of improvement,” said Falk. “This initiative was part of a Clean Water Fund proposed by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission to support several pilot projects for lake and stream improvement,” said Lakes and Watershed Commission Chairman Brett Hulsey. An analysis completed for the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed Project showed that several stormwater outfalls contributed very high loads of sediment and phosphorus to the lake: up to 89 tons/year of sediment and 363 lbs/year of phosphorus. Just for comparison, 89 tons of sediment would fill about eight dump trucks. And, for every pound of phosphorus added, 500 pounds of wet algae can be produced. The Dane County Land Conservation Committee and Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission recently approved criteria for the pilot program. Financial assistance is available up to 50% of the total cost of construction of best management practices (not to exceed $24,500) that will provide efficient, cost-effective treatment of urban runoff. In order to be considered for funding, practices must be constructed and fully functional by the end of 2005; located at an existing stormwater outfall; and drain directly to Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, or Lake Wingra. Additional funding for urban catchment basins (70% state cost share) may be available under the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed Program. “There are 162 uncontrolled stormwater outfalls that empty into Lake Mendota alone,” said Hulsey. ”Many people don’t know that this water is untreated. Our County pilot program and the Lake Mendota project can help ensure that cleaner water flows from these outfalls into our lakes.” Municipal officials in eligible watersheds were mailed copies of the complete eligibility criteria last week. Additional copies of the funding criteria and application information are available from Jeremy Balousek in the Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources, at 224-3747. # # #
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