Carver County Commissioners Approve Continued AIS Inspections for Lake Minnewashta in 2013

On February 26th 2013, Marty Walsh, Carver County Parks Director, appeared before the Carver County Board of commissioners with an update on the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program. He pointed out the previous work session held with the Board and the request for additional information. He explained grants have been applied for and the delegation agreement has been signed to conduct inspections. Walsh highlighted inspection programs other organizations have been doing. He reviewed two options for inspections, the levels of services to be provided, proposed funding sources and advantages and disadvantages for each option

Walsh stated the Park Commission and staff were recommending Option B. He indicated this would maximize funding and provide a higher level of service. He stated the program would hire 20 temporary inspectors and significantly add to the work they do. He added expectations will be high and scheduling can be difficult. Walsh indicated their next step would be to report back to the Board when funding is secured and to define the inspection programs.

Maluchnik moved, Workman seconded, to approve the 2013 County AIS program and authorize County staff to implement Option B as the program of choice.The Board voiced their support for the 2013 program, the success of last year’s program, the need to raise this issue with their legislators, the need to continue education and the need to find a long term solution. On vote taken on above motion, all voted aye.

David Hemze, County Administrator, inquired if the Board was interested in directing staff to pursue centralized Christmas Lake inspections at Lake Minnewashta. He stated there would be numerous levels of government they would need to deal with and they may need to start adding resources for assistance. He stated it would be good for staff to know if they were interested in doing a pilot program. Hemze indicated the City of Shorewood Administrator contacted him and was working on a program. He questioned if the Board was interested in looking at centralized inspections broadly or as a pilot program. Walsh stated he was doubtful they could produce an agreement among the different agencies by the fishing opener. The Board recognized this may take some time.

Maluchnik moved, Workman seconded, to direct staff to pursue alternative solutions to centralized Christmas Lake inspections at Lake Minnewashta. Motion carried unanimously.

Hemze clarified this did not mean that the program will happen but asks staff to move as quickly as possible to come up with alternative solutions with other governments. He stated once viable alternatives are determined, they could move into the agreement phase.

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