Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Local Leaders, Lake Property Owners Dedicate New Storm Sewer Clean Up Facility

March 26, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

25 Projects Completed with County Program to Clean Up Lakes, Beaches

With spring here, local leaders dedicated the 25th storm sewer outfall clean up installation as a result of the Dane County Land and Water Legacy Fund. 

"We appreciate the efforts of our county supervisors, the County Executive, and other leaders who are moving ahead with the Land and Water Legacy Fund.  This program not only pays for sewer clean ups like this, but also funds wetland restoration.  That's what we need to store stormwater  and protect our homes from flooding,” said Stuart Brandes of Belle Isle in Monona.

The Land and Water Legacy Fund created by the County in 2005 included the Urban Stormwater Grant Program where the county pays for up to half of the storm sewer treatment costs.

"This is a great example of Dane County, Monona and Madison working together to protect our lakes and beaches," said Supervisor Robin Schmidt of Monona. "This progress is what Dane County citizens expect and deserve, and I'm proud to represent the District where this started and to support efforts that improve our water quality."

These clean up facilities are in the cities of Madison, Monona, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Villages of McFarland, Shorewood Hills, DeForest, Maple Bluff and Mount Horeb.  

“This is just one of the many ways county government helps local communities.  Through this initiative, Dane County has provided nearly $700,000 to assist our cities, villages, and towns clean up our lakes and beaches,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

Monona and Madison paid for $35,000 of the Lake Edge cleanup since the property is in Monona but much of the watershed is in Madison and the county paid $35,000.

“Madison was happy to work with the County and City of Monona to clean up this storm sewer outfall and help clean up our lakes,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “We are committed to cleaning up our lakes and beaches, and will work together on more storm sewer cleanup projects in the future.”

“This shows that local governments and the county can work together to clean our lakes and take care of business,” said Monona Mayor Robb Kahl.

The 25 stormwater facilities remove 325,533 pounds of sediment per year that pollutes our lakes and beaches, about 50% of the sediment pollution in those areas.

“This is a great way to protect our lakes and all of us who enjoy swimming, boating, and living near them,” said Supervisor Brett Hulsey who started the Land and Water Legacy Fund with Falk and the County Board in 2005. “Reducing 325,000 pounds of sediment and pollution into our lakes is major progress to clean them up.”

Dane County taxpayers have invested $696,867 and local governments have invested $1,613,037.00, $2.30 dollars match. This also creates jobs.

“This creates jobs for the construction trades who need them the most,” said Supervisor Elaine de Smidt, a supporter on the Personnel and Finance Committee. “Even in tough times we need to invest in good jobs and to clean up our lakes.”

This investment also creates job. The $2.3 million created about 46 jobs.

“We need jobs in Dane County and cleaning up our lakes too,” said Supervisor Dave de Felice. “We have to grow our economy and these clean water projects help.”

“The sewer clean up grants are part of our county’s Green Jobs strategy to create good paying jobs and clean up our lakes,” said Supervisor Patrick Miles of McFarland, chair of the county Economic Development Committee. “This program and the Clean Energy, Clean Lakes treatment plants will create lots of good jobs and cleaner water.”

County leaders scaled back the Land and Water Legacy Fund in this budget but continued the fund to help flood victims, restore wetlands, cleans up beaches, and help farmer with land conservation.

“We hope to include more outfall cleanup in our Yahara CLEAN plans to clean up the lakes,” said Melissa Malott, Chair of the Lakes and Watershed Commission.

Yahara CLEAN is a public planning effort by the County, City and State to offer options to clean up the lakes and make out beaches safe for swimming.

For more on what you can do to protect our lakes, go to www.DaneWaters.Com.