Feed lot report, Legacy Grant approved by county board

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners approved the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Feedlot Program 2012 Annual County Feedlot Officer and Performance Credit Report on Tuesday.

Brown County Solid Waste Officer Laine Sletta said 41 feedlots were inspected last year, most of them new construction. He said several manure application complaints were received last year, and they were investigated and appropriately dealt with.

According to the report, there are 418 registered feedlots in the county, 56 under 300 acres in shore land, 239 outside shore land, 78 greater than 300 acres, 63 with 10 acres or more in shore land.

Eight feedlots were inspected and found not in compliance with water quality discharge standards. One was inspected as a result of a complaint.

Thirty-four notifications were received from feedlot owners claiming air quality exemptions. Thirteen warning letters were issued, one violation notice was issued and one court action commenced.

Legacy Grant

The board approved a $321,972 Conservation Partners Legacy Grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for Spring Creek Trout Stream Restoration.

Stream bank stabilization projects and stream corridor restoration in designated trout stream portions of the creek in a public easement will take place, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA). Brown County will serve as grant administrator and fiscal agent until the grant term ends June 30, 2016.

The State is in need of habitat work on public lands to improve fish, game and wildlife habitat as well as public recreational opportunities, according to the grant worksheet. The County will match $33,178 in non-state cash or in-kind services for project costs that include permanent easements, according to the agreement.

Sletta said $8,000 in cash will go to the Brown County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office, $24,000 for administrative costs and $280,000 for on the ground (project) engineering.

“We have to pay prevailing state wages, so the money won’t go as far as we thought,” said Commissioner Andrew Lochner.

Public Health report

Public Health Director Karen Moritz said her office helped vaccinate homebound persons as it was asked, among other duties, and that seasonal influenza is still active in Brown County and South Central Minnesota, mostly for people age 65 and older.

“It is still very real. The public needs to continue to be aware of symptoms, cover their cough, wash their hands and get vaccinated. It’s not too late to get the flu shot,” Moritz reported. “There is some misunderstanding about how effective flu shots are. Ninety-one percent match the A strain, 72 percent match the B strain of the flu.”

Brown County had just one confirmed Pertussis case last year while there were nearly 4,500 in Minnesota. Moritz said clinics reported increased vaccination, which she felt helped decrease county incidence.

She reported Brown County Public Health received 200 short-term radon test kits at no charge and some remain available at New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield county offices.

“Now is the time to radon test,” Moritz said.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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