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Spicer Council supports stormwater bill

SPICER -- Spicer City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that supports legislation for a stormwater management pilot program that could preserve the water quality of Green Lake.

As a member of Green Lake's Inlet Partnership, the City Council approved the drafting of a bill that will fund a program designed to prevent sediments from getting into Minnesota lakes.

Kandiyohi County, the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Green Lake Property Owners Association are all members of the partnership. Spicer partnered with the different entities in September when more concerns about Eurasian Milfoil and sediments in the lake were discussed with the City Council at its Sept. 11 meeting.

According to Mayor Denny Baker, Green Lake has 48 inlets that allow stormwater and other foreign substances to enter the lake.

Baker said the partnership recently met with its local representatives to discuss the issue. Prior to the meeting, he said, state legislators were drafting bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate to fund a pilot program for researching stormwater management for lakes and finding resolutions to the environmental problem.

According to previous reports, Green Lake has encountered sediment problems since 2000 when Eurasian Milfoil was discovered in the lake. According to the state DNR Web site, Eurasian Milfoil is a foreign aquatic plant that builds on the water's surface, limits recreational use of a lake, crowds out essential native plants of lakes and alters ecosystems.

In September, Terry Frazee, executive secretary of the Green Lake Property Owners Association, told the City Council a sediments test was completed near the shore of the Park Lane Resort on Green Lake and a rate of 835 parts per billion of phosphorus was found in the water. The preferred or safe level for a lake, he said, is 18 parts per billion of phosphorus.

The partnership plans to meet with the legislators Thursday in St. Paul to further discuss the drafts, Baker said. The bill is "an aggressive plan" that will "need lots of dollars to carry it out," he said.

The Council passed the supportive resolution 4 to 0 with Councilman Robert Lindahl absent.

In other business:

- The City Council said Spicer hasn't reached a severance agreement with City Administrator Andrea Aukrust. Regarding the city's recent advertising for the position, Interim Administrator Wayne Thompson said the city has received more than 15 resumes for the city job.

- The City Council appointed Baker and Councilman Jerry Reierson to a committee for discussing a possible settlement proposal with a former financial advisor to the city. Spicer is discussing whether to seek damages from the advisor after the city had to decertify a tax-increment financing district in December 2007 after the state auditor informed the city the form of TIF district used was illegal. The city created the district on the recommendation of its financial advisor.