On June 4, Bridgewater Township invites the public to a feedback session on next steps to improve and protect Rice Creek (Spring Brook). The session will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 500 Railway Street South, Dundas.
Rice Creek is the only trout stream in Rice County, but its health is threatened. The session will give you an opportunity to learn about the stream and provide input on plans to improve it. To spark your ideas, researchers will share findings from a two-year study of local brook trout, their habits and habitat.
How healthy is the trout population? Does their habitat need improvement? Where and when are pollutant levels highest? What is the source of cold water that trout prefer? What actions should we take and in what order? We will discuss these questions and more.
The Rice Creek Assessment Project is sponsored by Bridgewater Township, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Saint Olaf College, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Trout Unlimited. The project received a Clean Water Partnership grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The Rice Creek Concerned Citizens Group, Rice County, and other groups and volunteers are participating.
Waterford Township Supervisor Liz Messner and Bridgewater Township Clerk Janalee Cooper stopped by my morning corner office at Goodbye Blue Monday yesterday. They’re spreading the word about how the Waterford Iron Bridge is in the running for a portion of $1 million from Partners in Preservation. They’ve teamed up on their promotion efforts with Dakota County Historical Society and are encouraging people to vote one day for the Waterford Iron Bridge (Facebook page) and the next day for Historic Pilot Knob (PDF).
I’m conflicted. I grew up a mile from Historic Pilot Knob and have Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota ancestors. See my 2008 blog post when the site was purchased by the city of Mendota Heights, saving it from development.
But my affection is now for the Waterford Iron Bridge because I regularly visit there, biking and walking across it as it’s adjacent to the Carleton Arb. It was one year ago this weekend when the flood nearly washed it away.
Northfielder Paul Hager has produced this gorgeous Waterford Iron Bridge video:
The Waterford Iron Bridge from Paul Hager on Vimeo.
So 1) get your butt over to the Partners in Preservation Facebook page, 2) Like the page, 3) authorize their app so you can vote, and then 4) vote every day till Oct. 12.
You can also vote via your smartphone. Scan their QR code to make it easy.
See these links for local Waterford Iron Bridge media coverage:
Bridgewater Township supervisor Bruce Morlan has a column in this week’s Northfield News titled Turbulance over wind turbines.
Bridgewater will be holding public hearings about changes in the wind turbine portions of the zoning codes. That process includes engaging interested citizens in a dialogue as we educate each other on this issue. The three things I think will drive the discussion include how high we can build these turbines, how noisy and how distracting will they be.
I expect to hear engineering evidence showing that the efficiency of the turbine is improved by making it taller, that there is no medical evidence suggesting that the low frequency sound emitted by the blades causes health problems, and that the flicker from the blades is an issue mostly for road traffic. But more, I also expect to hear that people in the country are fiercely protective of their property rights and their right to install these turbines.
Earlier this week, the Strib reprinted this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker bill puts $500 million in wind turbine investment at risk; 1,800-foot setback requirement would halt most projects.
About $500 million in investment in renewable energy over the next two years could be at risk if lawmakers approve Gov. Scott Walker’s wind turbine siting bill… Walker’s bill, proposed as part of a regulatory reform package, would mandate minimum setbacks of 1,800 feet between a wind turbine and the nearest property line. That compares with a setback of 1,250 feet from a neighboring residence approved by the Public Service Commission in a rule adopted last year and set to take effect this year.
Spring Brook (also known as Rice Creek) “is the only trout stream in Rice County, and is an uncommon resource type in southern Minnesota” according to the Northfield Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) commissioned by the City of Northfield in 2005.
Kathleen Doran-Norton, member of the Bridgewater Township Board of Supervisors, forwarded the email below and photo (above) to me yesterday. She didn’t say so but I’m guessing she’s got Thursday’s Business and Industrial Park planning open house in mind since Spring Brook/Rice Creek flows through the southern edge of the “south site” on West Armstrong Rd. in Bridgewater Township. Kathleen wrote:
Continue reading A Spring Brook treasure photographed; good timing
Now that Leif Knecht has copious amounts of idle time on his hands, he’s ramping up his efforts to create what he’s calling the Lower Heath Creek Bicycle Pedestrian Trail in Bridgewater Township.
As the map below shows, the trail would loop around Heath Creek south of Old Dutch Road and north of Armstrong Road, adjacent to the Gill-Prawer property that’s currently in annexation negotiations for the development of the West Armstrong Business Park:
Continue reading The Lower Heath Creek Bicycle Pedestrian Trail: coming soon to Bridgewater Township?
Ross was AWOL yesterday so Tracy put on her PC-ZBA hat and I pretended to be interested, asking her about the latest with the annexations in Greenvale and Bridgewater townships as well as the Land Development Code. We introduced the show with lots of fun fluff, natch.
Continue reading Podcast: 2/3 Triumvirate, PC oriented
P. 13 of this week’s EDA packet has a summary of “formal annexation requests to the City of Northfield” from Robert Gill and Ken Prawer for 456 acres in Bridgewater Township. See the PDF of the West Armstrong Business and Industrial Area Concept Plan. This is likely to be controversial because of the current (1999) annexation agreement between the township and Northfield, as well as the park’s location between Heath Creek and Spring Brook (Rice) Creek. (continued)
Continue reading Annexation process begins for West Armstrong Business Park