Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Urban Storm Water Grants to ‘Trap the Trash’ Available to Eligible Dane County Municipalities

February 28, 2007
Sue Jones, Dane County Land & Water Resources Department, (608) 224-3764 Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Municipalities wanting to improve their urban storm water drains to snag garbage and sediment before flowing into local lakes may apply for county grants under the new Land and Water Legacy Fund, Dane County leaders announced today. “Our lakes, rivers and streams need to be protected from garbage. These grants will help fund local efforts to clean storm water drains to accomplish this,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “Trap the trash but let the water in.” Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission Chair Brett Hulsey and Dane County Land Conservation Committee Chair Jerry Jensen joined in the announcement under the annual grant program expanded by $100,000 this year under the newly created Legacy Fund. Since 2005, Dane County has made available $150,000 to municipalities for a cost-sharing program to improve storm drain outlets that dump untreated storm water and litter into county lakes, rivers, and streams. The county funds are to be matched with municipal matching expenditures. In 2007, Falk expanded the program with an additional $100,000 folded into her Land and Water Legacy Fund initiative. The Legacy Fund is designed to build upon the successes of the Conservation Fund by supporting efforts to keep the county lands green and the county waters blue. The Legacy Fund is supported by $1.5 million in bonding in the 2007 budget. "This is a valuable partnership the county has with local municipalities to protect our waters by re-tooling the aging storm water drains,” Falk said. Hulsey echoed Falk’s comments and called the program an effective and efficient use of funds. "One of the best ways to clean up our lakes is to clean up the hundreds of uncontrolled storm sewers that dump pollution into our lakes," Hulsey said. "Dane County is happy to work with local governments to clean up this pollution source to make our beaches safer for swimming and cut algae growth in our lakes." Jensen added: “Many people don’t know that water coming from storm water outfalls is untreated. This program can help ensure that cleaner water flows from these outfalls into our lakes and streams.” Falk, Hulsey and Jensen said an analysis completed for the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed Project showed several storm water 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. Eighty-nine tons of sediment would fill about eight dump trucks. For every pound of phosphorus added, 500 pounds of wet algae can be produced. Financial assistance is available up to 50% of the total cost of construction of best management practices (not to exceed $35,000) 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 2007. Additional funding for urban catch basins (70% state cost share) may be available under the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed Program. The initial deadline for project submittals is April 2. Funding criteria and application information are available online at:, and from Jeremy Balousek in the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 608/224-3747. # # #
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