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County wells a concern

By Staff | Apr 8, 2012

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners used the regular meeting April 3 to learn about the state’s wellhead protection program from Terry Bovee of Minnesota Department of Health.

Michele Wigern, SWCD Urban Outreach Specialist, introduced Bovee to the board to help understand what work is being done in Faribault County.

“Our end goal is to prevent aquifers from becoming contaminated,”?Bovee explains. “It is much cheaper than trying to clean one that has already been contaminated.”

Essentially, Bovee states, the main concern is making sure Faribault County has safe drinking water for its residents.

“We are still in the early stages of the project,” Bovee says.

He presented the board with maps of each area being researched and described the procedures they will be takng in each area.

“We not only look at the cities, we go miles out around each city,”?Bovee says.

Well-logs are researched and static water levels are recorded.

“This means a lot of what we’re looking at is outside of city boundaries,”?Bovee says. “We have a cooperative effort between city and township.”

Information for Elmore, Minnesota Lake and Kiester have been gathered.

It is Bovee’s hope to have all of the plans completed and approved by the end of the year.

County Commissioner Tom Warmka brought up the idea of the county offering the service to issue passports at the Faribault County Courthouse.

The idea has been mentioned and pursued in the past and is still being looked into.

“There is revenue tied to a service like this,”?Warmka says.

The board was open to discussing the idea, acknowledging it would be a beneficial service.

“It would be a service to the public here,” Warmka says.

From past discussions, board members did agree that there wouldn’t be a need to add extra offices or bring on new staff to get this service off the ground.

The idea had been pursued previously to the point of receiving applications to begin the process. However, not many answers have been received past that step.

In other news:

Brenda Ripley, Central Services Director, came to the board for approval to hire Patricia Gehring to the position of Secretary Probation Officer.

County Sheriff Mike Gormley received approval on the agreement between the county and the state concerning their update to the new radio system.

“It’s just basically saying we will maintain our equipment and they will maintain theirs,”?Gormley explains.