Albert Lea Lake plan to include dredging, drawdown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

The county board approved the Albert Lea Lake management plan Tuesday.

The plan had been discussed in a seven-member committee for months to submit to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. It includes partial dredging and a drawdown as main tools to improve the water quality. It also proposes to restore aquatic plants and make an aquatic nursery in existing farmland ponds to provide the plants.

Recreational use of the lake is the other focus of the plan.

Email newsletter signup

According to it, the west portion of the lake is designated as an unlimited recreation zone except for a no-wake zone within 300 feet of the shore, while on the central basin and north basins a 25 to 5 mph speed limit will be imposed.

A survey in 1995 showed that about a third of 376 respondents consider recreation be the primary emphasis for the future use of the lake. And the plan reflects the mixture of recreation and conservation objectives.

Committee member Mike Kelly spoke at the meeting, criticizing the plan as skewed to accommodate the recreational use.

The board also Tuesday approved the amendment of the zoning ordinance to accommodate regulations on wind turbines.

According to the new ordinance, wind turbines are prohibited in urban expansion districts, within 1,000 feet of a residential dwelling, and within a half-mile of all municipalities excluding the City of Albert Lea.

It also says wind turbines need to be placed no less than their total height away from a property line, unless an easement is obtained from the adjacent landowner.