Crailsheim pond moves forward with $237,500 engineering agreement
“(Houston) proved they were listening to us and the school board by including the cleanout of the whole ditch and installation of a new crossing,” administrator says
WORTHINGTON — The Crailsheim water quality pond project drew one step closer to reality Tuesday when the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District Board of Managers approved a $237,500 proposal for engineering services from Houston Engineering.
The pond, which will be located on District 518 land near the Intermediate School, could prevent about 300 pounds of phosphorus and 120 tons of sediment from reaching Lake Okabena each year. Excess phosphorus fuels algae blooms, harming water quality.
The project’s secondary goals, according to Houston’s proposal, include providing flood mitigation for downstream residents and accommodating District 518’s property needs, as the school has tentative future plans to build ball fields on other parts of the property.
“(Houston) proved they were listening to us and the school board by including the cleanout of the whole ditch and installation of a new crossing,” Dan Livdahl, administrator of the watershed, wrote about the agreement.
In its own meetings, the District 518 Board of Education requested that the drainage area on its property leading to the pond be cleaned up as well. The school board also wanted any excavation material from building the pond to be used as fill, building up flat surfaces for potential future ball fields — rather than having to bring in material from off-site at a higher cost.
Rolf Mahlberg, president of the watershed board, said Houston had been listening and responding to District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard as well, so the school would not be surprised by anything in the engineering agreement.
The watershed board also discussed the permanent easement from District 518 that will allow the building and maintenance of the pond on school property. While the easement is essentially complete, it will not be presented for signing until a legal description of the property can be created — likely after the snow melts, making measurements easier.
The school board has also requested the watershed test the water in multiple locations to monitor the pond’s effectiveness, and the watershed board is still considering the best way to do that, given how much water flow can vary seasonally and with rain events.
In other news Tuesday, the watershed board:
- Discussed the recent fish kills on various lakes, how much water is flowing throughout the watershed, both in tiles and on the surface.
- Agreed to keep its current slate of officers: Mahlberg as president, Casey Ingenthron as vice president, Jeff Rogers as secretary and Jay Milbrandt as treasurer.