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County applies for grant

By Staff | Oct 23, 2011

John Roper

The Faribault County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to apply for a $205,000 grant aimed at improving infrastructure at county parks.

Michele Wigern of the Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District introduced the Parks and Trails Legacy Grant offered by the Minnesota DNR to the board.

Grant money will be directed to Woods Lake Park in Elmore and Pihls Park in Wells.

“We have two wonderful assets,” Commissioner John Roper says. “This is something the county needs to do.”

Faribault County will be responsible for providing a 10 percent match to the $205,000 grant in order to be eligible.

Funds will specifically be used for up grades to electrical panel hookups, native grass planting and recycling improvements in the parks.

The largest project would be installing 30-amp electrical hookups to meet the needs of larger campers.

Currently, Pihls Park offers 30 electrical sites and Woods Lake Park offers 20 electrical sites.

“With the 20-amp hookups we have right now you can’t run your air conditioning and TV at the same time,” Commissioner Tom Warmka says. “If we have facilities improved, we can ask for a higher rate.”

To reserve an electrical hookup at either park in 2011, the cost was $20 per night.

“This opportunity would allow us to see if we can bring in revenue to lower the red costs,” Loveall says after announcing the two county parks do not make a profit. “And we can try it on the DNR’s dime.”

The DNR generates grant money through fishing license fees and fines collected throughout the year.

The application to apply for the grant is due by Oct. 31 and the county will find out if they will receive the grant in January or February.

If Faribault County receives the grant, they must use funds given to them within two years.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Voted to enter into a development agreement with Big Blue Wind Farm LLC.

County Engineer John McDonald says the agreement helps ensure the protection of county roads and infrastructure during construction.

• Approved a conditional use permit for David Martin in Barber Township.

Martin plans on immediately building a new feedlot accommodating more than 1,000 hogs.

• Hired Mark Wallin from Alden to work for the Public Works Department.

Wallin will work out of the Wells garage in a maintenance position.