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Watershed district approves budgets, levies for 2021

The Shell Rock River Watershed District board of managers on Monday approved its levies and budgets for 2021.

The board set the district’s general and administrative levy at $250,000, which goes to support $97,600 in personnel expenses, $11,950 in travel-related expenses, $14,250 in personnel training, $40,700 in office expenses, $45,000 in professional services, $9,500 in capital expenses, $1,000 in public affairs and $30,000 for the district’s reserves. 

District Administrator Andy Henschel said this levy has been the same since the district was established in the early 2000s. 

The board also approved a bond fund levy of $168,000, which goes toward bonding for projects. 

The project budget includes about $6.67 million in budgeted income, including grant funds through the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, the bond fund levy, the local sales tax, other income and about $900,000 carried over from 2019.

Expenditures for 2021 include about $2.57 million toward dredging in 2021, about $1.9 million for erosion and water control projects, $222,000 in subwatershed projects, about $38,000 in water monitoring costs and about $1.77 million in project cash and grant reserves. 

The budget and levies had to be certified to Freeborn County by Tuesday.