Sep 27, 2010

In City Council Notes

8/25/2010: The City Administrator reported that the spraying of lily pads in West Savage Lake has begun pursuant to the permit issued by the DNR. The Administrator commented on the process in obtaining the permit and the fact that five of the twelve abutting property owners were denied permits since the DNR indicated there was no evidence of recreational use of the lake by these residents. One of the denials has since been rescinded, and the four other property owners receiving denial may appeal. The Administrator reported that the process has been frustrating, and he has sought the help of the City’s State Representative in this matter. However, he was not sure that the matter would be resolved in time to spray this year given the small window that the DNR allows for the spraying to be done.

[Note: I received the following email from Joel Hanson, City Manager in reply to my inquiry about making an earlier application for next season's permit.]

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Hanson []
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:02 PM
To: T.W. Day
Subject: RE: [Savage Lake, Little Canada, Minnesota] Bits of the Mission Accomplished


Thanks for the updated pictures. I drove by the area last week and could definitely tell you had applied some chemical.

I did discuss this with the Council at our Workshop on Monday. They approved paying for the permit for one more year and I'll get it applied for later this fall.

The Council did indicate that any future permits (after 2011) will be the responsibility of the land owners, but they felt is warranted to pick up the cost for another year.



Anonymous said...

Gotta say that while I appreciate the fact that the city will apply for and pay for the permits for one more year, the original responsibility for the problem lies squarely with the Watershed District, the City and the DNR, who took unilateral action that changed the nature of the lake, on our side at least. I am not of a mind to allow them to wriggle out of on-going responsibility for addressing the long-term consequences of their actions.

I know, I sound all brave, but I clearly do not know what holding them accountable might entail. Just need to vent and see if there is anyone else out there with a similar thought.
--Cam Oyen

T.W. Day said...


As best I can tell, the Watershed District and the DNR are entities with a variety of authorities and no identifiable responsibilities. I don't think the city had much input into the original drainage screw-up, but I have been less than impressed with the city authorities' willingness to take on the Watershed District's "experts" or the DNR's authority. I was a little depressed with the lack of a response from the DNR to Bev Scalze's letter. If that bureaucracy doesn't feel any responsibility to a state representative, I wonder if anything short of a class action lawsuit would get their attention?

The DOT's use of the lake as a drainage in the freeway design seems like a blatant abuse of authority and disregard for law and decency. I, too, would be interested in seeing the "DNR permit granted for the [freeway] expansion," for a couple of reasons. First, the drainage plan had to have been barely considered, if at all. Second, the noise estimates for the freeway expansion was totally falsified. The "expert" used for that report was almost perfectly clueless about noise transmission and noise measurement. Couple all that with the fact that the Watershed District employees were unable to make a simple water level measurement before they hosed up the original drain plan and you have to wonder what our tax money buys us.

If you have a plan, count me in. When government is this unresponsive it doesn't serve a useful purpose.