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Background - Annexation
The Tri-Lakes Sanitary Sewer Project is a proposed project to construct a wastewater collection system for the residents adjacent to Madison Lake, Duck Lake, and Lake Ballantyne. In June, 2009, at the request of residents of the Tri-Lakes Area, a petition was filed with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requesting annexation of the Tri-Lakes Area to the Lake Washington Sanitary District (LWSD). Once approved, the annexation would enable the District to construct, operate, and maintain a wastewater collection system for the Tri-Lakes Area.
Informational meetings were held on the annexation, and on May 31, 2011, the MPCA published the Notice of Intent to approve the annexation petition. The public notice period lasted for 30 days and ended June 30, 2011. By the end of the public notice period the MPCA received 51 requests for a contested case hearing on the matter. The contested case hearing was held in June 2012, before an administrative law judge. In August 2012, the judge issued his Findings of Fact and Conclusions and recommended that the MPCA approve the petition for annexation.
On October 3, 2012, the MPCA notified the affected parties to the contested case hearing that the record was closed, and allowed interested parties the opportunity to file exceptions and comments. They received one comment at this time, and on November 6, 2012, the MPCA published their Findings of Fact, Conclusions, and Order in the State Register.
On February 8, 2013, MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine signed the Commissioner’s Order approving the annexation. The annexation process is now complete.
You may recall that Blue Earth County agreed to temporarily fund a portion of the costs of a regional lift station, upsizing of the force main from Madison Lake to the City of Mankato wastewater treatment facility to serve the Tri-Lakes Area, and a portion of the costs associated with the annexation. Over the next several months, the LWSD will begin the process to reimburse the County for costs incurred by the County. Those costs will be assessed to the benefitted properties in the Tri-Lakes Area.
Interim County Standards
With the annexation process complete, the expectation is that all properties within the Tri-Lakes Area will have wastewater collection service within the next two years. In view of this, Blue Earth County has established interim standards for the Tri-Lakes Area that may allow some projects that were previously on hold to proceed. A copy of the interim standards is posted below.
Duck Lake Annexation to the City of Madison Lake
The City of Madison Lake has been in discussion with property owners in portions of the Tri-Lakes Area regarding the option of annexing certain properties to the City of Madison Lake. The LWSD and the City have made an agreement that LWSD will not impede annexation of those properties into the City of Madison Lake. At this time, it appears that all properties on Duck Lake, and Nutmeg Lane properties on Lake Ballantyne, have chosen to pursue annexation to the City of Madison Lake. As of April 1, 2013, the City and Jamestown Township have reached agreement on an orderly annexation of these properties. Final approvals are expected to follow in the upcoming weeks. Properties annexing to the City of Madison Lake will remain responsible for costs related to regionalization, and for costs related to the annexation to LWSD. However, if annexation to the City is completed, the City of Madison Lake will provide all utility services to these properties in the future.
Final Design for the Collection System
At the direction of the Lake Washington Sanitary District, SEH is proceeding with the final design of the Madison and Ballantyne Lakes wastewater collection system. Engineers will contact you throughout the final design process to obtain information specific to your property. There will also be public hearings held as part of the process, and you will receive notices of these hearings in your mail. We expect final design to be completed in late 2013, with construction to begin 2014.
Madison and Ballantyne Lakes Wastewater Collection System
As the project moves forward, project information, updates, and meeting notices will be posted at on the Madison and Ballantyne Lakes Wastewater Collection System project page. Madison Lake and Lake Ballantyne residents may contact Chuck Vermeersch at 507.388.1989, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions regarding wastewater collection service to their properties.