In December, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) voted to recommend 68 projects for funding to the 2019 Minnesota Legislature, including several projects in MESERB member cities:
- Fairmont: $175,000 to build experimental treatment system to reduce nitrates in its source water
- Morris: $150,000 to develop a model community for energy and environmental stewardship
- Fergus Falls: $600,000 to build a trail and crossing along the river
- Virginia: $550,000 to reconstruct a trail and build a fishing pier
- Babbitt: $350,000 for a campground
In addition, many of the funding recommendations have the potential to benefit cities across the state:
- $3 million to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for local parks and trails grants
- $3.5 million to the DNR for scientific and natural areas
- $1.5 million to the Public Facilities Authority for the Water Infrastructure Fund
- $500,000 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to optimize wastewater treatment plants
- $325,000 to the University of Minnesota to research how to improve nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment ponds
- $250,000 to the MPCA to work on reducing municipal wastewater mercury pollution to Lake Superior
- $162,000 to the University of Minnesota Duluth to evaluate locally sourced alternative abrasive materials to replace and/or lower road salt use
The funding from these projects will come from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund which in turn is funded by the state lottery. The Legislature typically adopts the LCCMR’s recommendations, but it may make minor changes as the bill moves forward.
If your community is interested in seeking funding from the LCCMR for a project that would benefit water, wildlife or outdoor experiences, the request for proposals is typically issued in January with a deadline in April.