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MCWD Cost Share Programs

Upcoming Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Cost Share Grant Programs
Beginning in the first quarter of 2011, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) will launch several new cost share grant programs for residents and municipalities within the District to help protect and improve the quality of area lakes, streams and other natural resources.  Cost share grants will be available for stormwater best management practices (BMPs), shoreline and streambank stabilization, and sub-surface sewage treatment system (SSTS) improvements. Grants funds are also available to local government units interested in conducting a Street Sweeping/Sump Analysis study.
The District is currently developing specific application requirements, criteria, etc. and would like your feedback on the following program concepts, as well as what has worked well (or not so well) with similar programs offered in the metro area. We will be announcing the cost share grant programs to the general public early in February so please get us your comments by January 1, 2011.  Continue to watch for more information in this e-newsletter and on the District’s website (
Stormwater Best Management Cost-Share Program
This program will provide cost-share funding (partial payment) and technical help for installation of raingardens, pervious pavement systems, rainwater capture and reuse systems and other clean water practices on private lands. Projects will be funded on a competitive basis at approximately 50% of the cost, with a cap reflecting reasonable costs for an average project. The following will likely be key indicators in ranking project merit:
·         Water Quality Improvement
·         Benefits to Wetlands, Lakes, or Streams
·         Soil Erosion Control
·         Wildlife Habitat Improvement
·         Innovative Applications
·         Collaboration
·         Public Outreach
Cost-share funding for typical stormwater BMPs is as follows:
·         Underground rainwater capture and reuse systems: $2,000 per 500 gallon chamber
·         Raingardens: 50% of labor and materials cost
·         Pervious pavement systems (replacement of existing hardcover only): 50% of labor and materials cost, up to $9 per square foot
Shoreline & Streambank Stabilization Cost-Share Program
This program will promote plant-based approaches to shoreline stabilization with cost-share funding for public entities and private property owners. Eligible projects include replacing hard armor (e.g. riprap) with deep-rooted plants that hold shorelines in place and provide critical habitat. Funds will be available on a competitive basis. The following will likely be key indicators in ranking project merit:
·         Water Quality Improvement
·         Benefits to Wetlands, Lakes, or Streams
·         Soil Erosion Control
·         Wildlife Habitat Improvement
·         Innovative Applications
·         Collaboration
·         Public Outreach
Projects will be funded on a competitive basis at 50-75% of project cost, with a cap reflecting reasonable costs for an average project. Funding will vary according to the following table:

Project Type Project Specifications Grant Amount Maximum Grant
Full Shoreline Improvement
The project must include the entire length of the shoreline/streambank with the exception of an access corridor as defined in MCWD rules. The project must extend at least 20 feet inland from the ordinary high water level (OHW) on average.
75% of eligible expenses
Partial Shoreline Improvement Partial improvements include less than the entire length of the shoreline/streambank or extend less than 20 feet inland from the OHW. 50% of eligible expenses $10,000
Sub-surface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS) Cost-Share Program
This program aims to expand on the Carver County Water Management Organization’s (CCWMO) existing, successful SSTS replacement program by providing additional funds for District residents living in Carver and Hennepin counties. This voluntary program gives grants to landowners to replace failing sub-surface sewage treatment (septic) systems (SSTS). Property owners can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 toward system replacement, which covers approximately 20-25% of the cost. MCWD will work with both Hennepin and Carver counties, as well as local municipalities, to identify and target SSTS that are likely failing, based on construction dates and other recorded details.
Street Sweeping/Sump Analysis Grant Program
MCWD will provide grant funding to local government units that perform street sweeping to determine the concentration of pollutants removed through the use of this BMP.  Multiple sweepings throughout the year will expand the existing data set and will provide insight into the variation in seasonal pollutants that may be making their way into area lakes and streams. Grant funds will be used according to the following methodology:
  1. Determine the total amount of material removed from the street sweeper or sump catch basin.  Samples shall be collected during the spring, summer and fall to measure and identify material differences throughout the year (sand/fines in spring vs. leaves/organics in fall).  Samples to be tested should be collected as a vertical composite of the swept material pile (e.g. a portion of the sample should come from the top, middle and bottom of the pile).  Swept material piles and corresponding samples should be divided geographically to determine differences in pollutant loading based on the areas being swept.  To obtain statistically significant data, 3 samples from each sump or swept pile should be tested.
  2. Determine which portion of the material from #1 is Total Suspended Solids.  The total reported in #1 represents the gross amount of material swept from the streets.  However only a fraction of this load contributes to the Total Suspended Solids once discharged to a waterbody.
  3. Determine the particle size distribution of sump or swept materials for each sample. 
  4. Analyze the Total Phosphorus content of the 120-micron and smaller particles as a proportion of mg TP/Kg TSS.  For additional cost, the samples could be analyzed for copper, arsenic and PAHs.
The MCWD will notify you via this newsletter and the website when applications are available. In the meantime, please contact Aldis Kurmis at or (952) 641-4523 with questions or comments regarding the new grant programs.

Breakfast Meetings
MCWD will be hosting the first Breakfast Meeting on December 15th at 9:00 am. We will plan on meeting at the District office for about an hour or as long as people have questions. This will be an opportunity to address concerns about the permit process and for staff to assist with difficulties that have arisen. Let me know if there are specific topics that you would like to cover. The District will provide refreshments. Please contact me if you plan on attending. Following the holidays, we will likely move to a more regular schedule.

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