Council approves sales tax extension

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday unanimously authorized extending the Shell Rock River Watershed District’s half-cent sales tax.

The sales tax is being extended for either 15 years or until a total of $30 million is collected from the tax.

Watershed District Administrator Brett Behnke thanked the council for supporting the sales tax.

Email newsletter signup

A large majority of funding from the sales tax is expected to go toward the reclamation of Fountain and Albert Lea lakes, with the remaining balance expected to be used to improve upstream waters and lower tributaries.

The dredging of Fountain Lake is expected to begin no later than June 1, 2018, Behnke said. The first phase of the dredging project would remove 550,000 to 690,000 cubic yards of sediment from Edgewater Bay. The district is working to secure the final permit needed for the project.

“We’re nearing the final stretches of getting the dredge in the water, and we’re excited about the start of the Fountain Lake restoration,” Behnke said.

The vote came after the Minnesota Legislature approved the extension earlier this year.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam