The LMPA board recently found out about a 40% reduction in the amount of money Carver County has budgeted to fund incoming watercraft Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspections at their Lake Minnewashta Regional Park public boat launch. These inspections are funded by a cost sharing agreement between Carver County (using money granted to the County by Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid) and the MCWD. We asked the county commissioners and the MCWD directors to help fill this funding gap. Many of you joined the LMPA board by sending emails to the county commissioners and the watershed district board asking for action to address their shortfall. With the approval of the vast majority of last year’s donors who responded to our survey, we offered up to $10,000 of the $14,000 needed for 2019 in the event that these two entities would not step up and help completely.
Well, the watershed district board rejected our request for help, saying they have turned their attention away from this kind of work and instead are focusing on large scale capital projects to improve water quality. The County commissioners gave our plight a one month reprieve and at last week’s board meeting, appeared to agree that it was not fair for homeowners to have to provide funding for their work. In the end, however, they voted 3 to 2 to take our money. Our commissioner Tom Workman and fellow commissioner Randy Maluchnick voted in our favor. We thanked them for their votes and suggest you do the same.
The bad news is that $10,000 of our money will be redirected to bail out the County. This money had been donated to reduce the level of invasive weeds and maintain a reserve fund for rapid response to a new AIS discovery. The good news is that the County will implement the same AIS inspection plan as we had in 2018. They will need to come up with $4,000 from somewhere but they have several months before that bill is due. We will keep the pressure on them to make sure that they are doing whatever is necessary to protect our lake. Scot Lacek, LMPA vice president, has even offered several innovative ideas for them to pursue.
The sad truth is that, now more than ever, we need your donations to fund our 2019 efforts. Although 2018 was our best year ever in terms of the number of donors, only 90 of you donated despite there being over 150 homes directly on the lake and many, many more off the lake with access to it. For those who choose not to donate, aren’t you interested in preserving your investment by keeping the lake at a high quality level? If you disagree with chemical treatment of the lake’s invasive weeds, why not direct your donation specifically to incoming inspections or AIS rapid response reserves?
Please send your tax deductible check to: LMPA, PO Box 304, Excelsior, MN 55331, or contribute using Paypal at www.lakeminnewashta.org. Please take advantage of matching funds from your employer. The LMPA is a 501c3 organization and your donations are tax deductible. Smokey the Bear used to say “only you can prevent forest fires”. The same might be said for preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species into Lake MInnewashta. Won’t you help?