Watershed seeks help with aerators

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 21, 2005

By Jennifer Rogers , Tribune staff writer

To prevent another winter fish kill on Albert Lea Lake, the Shell Rock River Watershed District will ask the city for use of an electrical hookup at the waste water plant and money to cover the cost of operating an aerator during emergencies.

&8220;The aerators will be installed when oxygen levels get to the point where they are killing fish,&8221; said Simonsen. &8220;They won’t be running all the time, they will only be used in case of an emergency.&8221;

Email newsletter signup

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued an aeration permit to the watershed district to install the aerators.

&8220;The district will be purchasing two aerator units at a cost of $12,800 and will be responsible for installing the units, placing safety signs and carrying liability insurance,&8221; said City Manager Victoria Simonsen, at Thursday night’s pre-agenda meeting.

The city council will take action on the request at Monday’s 7 p.m. council meeting at the City Center.

The DNR defined an emergency as &8220;dissolved oxygen levels six parts per million or lower and periods of low/limited flow from Fountain Lake.&8221;

The last winter fish kill in the spring of 2004 killed approximately 75,000 pounds of fish in the channel and Albert Lea Lake.

In other agenda notes:

There will be a public hearing on the storm water and public lighting utilities.

Ordean Oyer will request permission from the council to rent the city’s tractors and trailers for the 2005 sludge hauling season. Oyer Trucking has previously rented the trucks and trailers. There will be conditions to renting.

&8220;City staff has no objection to renting the equipment to Oyer Trucking at a cost of $75 per day for each tractor and $75 per day for each trailer used,&8221; said Simonsen.

– A request will be made for permanent stop signs at Johnson and North Shore, near the skate part and city beach. This request comes after a neighborhood meeting hosted by the Albert Lea Police Department and Park and Recreation Department. One of the requests at the meeting was to install stop signs in this area.

&8220;The Engineering Department has identified that pedestrian traffic in this area is still significant throughout the year,&8221; said Simonsen. &8220;Therefore, there is no objection from city staff to leaving the sign up year round if the council chooses to approve this request.&8221;

– Alice Englin, facilitator of Freeborn County Family Services Collaborative, will give the council an update on the collaborative’s programs.

(Contact Jennifer Rogers at jennifer.rogers@albertleatribune.com or at 379-3439.)