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You Ask, We Answer: City building a rain garden, pond

Question: What is happening on the southwest side of the municipal parking lot at the intersection of West Main Street and St. Mary Avenue?


Answer: The city is building a rain garden/stormwater pond.

The project came about because of the Albert Lea City Council’s priorities for water quality and reducing flooding, according to Albert Lea Public Works Director Steven Jahnke.

In the developed areas of Albert Lea, these types of projects are difficult to fit in, and the city identified this as an opportunity to improve water quality and provide limited flood control improvements, Jahnke said.

The pond is expected to remove approximately 1 to 2 pounds a year of phosphorous and approximately 50 pounds a year of suspended solids.

It will catch sand from the parking lot that would otherwise end up in the storm sewer, along with garbage and trash, he said. It should also have small benefits for flash flooding reduction.

Jahnke said the pond is designed to be dry the majority of the time. It will fill up during rain events, and the water will filter through the soil into a drain tile system, allowing it to drain fairly quickly.

It is expected to be completed in the next month.

In addition to the rain garden/stormwater pond at this location, the city is proposing three smaller ones this year at the following locations:

• The eastern boulevard on Newton Avenue south of the new fire station.

• Giles Place near Valley Avenue

• Sheridan Street near Valley Avenue.

These ponds are slated to be finished late fall.


Question: How much money has been raised for the Fourth of July fireworks by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and KATE Radio? Does any more money still need to be raised?

Answer: About $15,208 has been raised so far for the fireworks, leaving about $3,792 that still needs to be raised out of the $19,000 cost, according to Chamber Executive Director Rhonda Jordal.

People still wishing to contribute can mail or drop off donations at 1725 W. Main St. in Albert Lea.


To submit a question, send an email or letter to Managing Editor Sarah Stultz at sarah.stultz@albertleatribune.com or 808 W. Front St., Albert Lea, MN 56007. Names will not be printed with the questions.