The City of Cottage Grove has several projects included in the Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan set to be completed in May as part of the State of Minnesota Natural Resources Damage lawsuit …
The City of Cottage Grove has several projects included in the Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan set to be completed in May as part of the State of Minnesota Natural Resources Damage lawsuit against the 3M Company.
That lawsuit was settled three years ago for $850 million, with $720 million of that left to finance drinking water and natural resource projects in the East Metro area.
At its meeting last Wednesday night, the Cottage Grove City council passed a resolution to allow for City Administrator Jennifer Levitt to execute grant agreements to fund projects.
Levitt wrote in a memo to the City council, “The Co-Trustees (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) since the beginning have intended to present a plan for providing safe and sustainable drinking water to the 14 communities affected by the PFAS contamination. (PFAS – Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances -PFAS – are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries.) The plan that will be the guiding document for expenditure of the settlement funds is the Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan. The Co-Trustees have used this document to develop strategies and projects to address the priority one objectives of the 3M Settlement. Priority One is the top priority for the grant money to enhance the quality, quantity and sustainability of drinking water in the East Metro.”
A public hearing will be held upon Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan competition in May. “The city of cottage Grove has a number of projects outlined in the plan, such as water treatment plants, new wells, watermain extensions, raw watermain connections, abandonment of wells, removal of temporary water treatment plants, etc.,” said Levitt. “The Co-Trustees have been working with cottage Grove and other communities identified in the plan to start working on many of these elements that have substantial lead times related to land acquisition, survey, soil borings and preliminary designs.” Also included in the plan is “grand agreements for the ongoing maintenance and operation of our existing treatment plans,” she said. “In addition, they for general engineering consultant services in order to not burden the city financially for work related to PFAS or 3M Settlement activities.”
The council was asked to grant authority to Levitt to execute agreements because “the number of grant agreements and amendments will be numerous and time sensitive,” she said.