HJ/EDJune 26, 2006

Howard Lake water quality called 'cleanest in years'

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Curt Forst of the Howard Lake Watershed Alliance presented an update to the Howard Lake City Council on the current status of the lake Tuesday evening, stating the water this spring was the clearest he has seen since the flood of July 2002.

However, he added the pondweed is worse this year than in the past, and that milfoil was slowly spreading – except in areas the alliance has treated. He said the most important thing is to control the amount of phosphorus that enters the lake.

Forst asked the council if it would contribute some funding toward weed control, as it had done in the past.

“We don’t like to always go to the same pot,” Forst said about asking the council for funds. “We’re a bit uncomfortable asking for money for a problem that isn’t going away. We can control it, but it won’t go away.”

Mayor Terry Ostgulen said there is already a line item in the budget for the funds. The council approved dedicating $3,500 toward weed control.

It was also noted the some of the grates on the storm drains in town are in need of repainting. Several years back, a local group worked with the city to have fish and words stating that the drains run to the lake, in efforts to encourage people to think before they dump.

Sale of bonds to fund street/sewer repairs

The council approved the sale of bonds to fund its most recent street and sewer repair project at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The city will issue $1,605,000 general obligation sewer and water revenue bonds to finance the 2006 improvement project, which includes reconstruction of sewer, water, and streets for parts of 9th and 7th Streets, and 11th and 12th Avenues.

The bonds will be paid off over 20 years, starting in 2007, noted Monte Eastvold of Northland Securities. He said the interest rate, on average, will be 4.48 to 4.5 percent, meaning the city will pay approximately $125,000 to $126,000 per year.

At Eastvold’s recommendation, the council also hired Sound Capital Management of Eden Prairie to do an advisory opinion on the bond issue at a cost of $1,200.

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