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Town to seek water-quality grant

Cost to apply grant to be about $3,500.

Feb. 19, 2013

Town of Lisbon - Town supervisors had to do a little persuading recently to convince Town Chairman Matt Gehrke to go along with spending $3,500 to apply for a stormwater-control planning grant.

Gehrke said he was concerned such a grant application - prepared by Strand Associates engineering firm of Milwaukee and Madison - might not be needed because state orfederal authorities may relax existing standards on storm water quality.

But Supervisors Joe Osterman and Ryan Lippert, along with Town Clerk/Administrator Jeff Musche, convinced the chairman the study would be needed regardless of whether state or federal authorities delayed implementation of new standards.

Musche explained that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to reduce the phosphorous and suspended solid pollutants in the Rock River Basin, which includes the Bark River and the Town of Lisbon, by 80 percent.

Communities in the river basin are expected to have a local plan for reducing the pollution in place by the end of 2014 and ready to implement in 2015.

The grant application would seek state and federal dollars for the town to study what steps it would need to meet the stormwater runoff criteria. The criteria for municipalities within the basin would vary, according to Musche, depending on thelocation of the municipality and the size and number of pollution sources along the river within the community

"Is this something we feel is truly needed?" asked Gehrke.

"We have seen before where the state or federal government will insist on planning for some new standard and then put off implementing the plans," Gehrke continued.

Musche does not thinkfederal authorities will delay implementation of the standards, and he suggested the study paid for by the grant would be needed even if implementation of the standards is delayed a year or two.

Musche said if the town did not apply for the grant in 2013, there might not be a secondopportunity, and the town might have to pay for the study with its own funds.

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