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Stopping invasive species at Lake Byllesby is a community wide effort.

The Goodhue County Board met Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, to discuss federal funding, aquatic invasive species inspection lanes and more.

Here is what you need to know:

1. American Rescue Plan Act funding

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law to combat COVID-19 public health and economic impact.

Goodhue County was granted $9,001,002 and received half of it on June 10 from the U.S. Treasury. County staff has created an ARPA program to determine how the funds will be spent.

The following is a allocation breakdown of roughly $4,000,000:

  • 30% or $2.75 million toward being accepted into the state’s Closed Landfill Program

  • 18% or $1.6 million toward new and upgraded broadband infrastructure projects

  • 15% or $1.367 million toward county cyber security and upgraded mobile communications for the Sheriff’s Office

  • 8% or $690,000 toward housing assistance and new housing starts

  • 7.5% or $675,000 toward mental health and COVID clinics

  • 4.5% or $420,000 toward business and nonprofit assistance

  • 17% or $1.5 million toward payroll reimbursement, communications and other administrative programs allowed by ARPA guidance

The county will receive the second half of the ARPA funding within 12 months.

2. Aquatic invasive species inspection lanes

Goodhue County Public Works will be using up to $60,000 of the aquatic invasive species funds to develop five inspection lanes at the Lake Byllesby boat launch.

Three lanes will be used as temporary parking for boats undergoing inspections before entering the water on the east side of the parking lot. The other two lanes will be installed on the west side of the parking lot as an area for boats to remove any invasive species after leaving the lake.

The goal is to stop transmission of invasives such as Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels.

Construction is set to be completed in 2022.

3. County Ditch 1 viewer replacement

A previously appointed viewer through H2Over, who determined benefits and damages of county ditch 1, will be replaced by Aaron Goeman. 

Goeman will be a viewer for the improvement of lateral B.

Goodhue County is upgrading its only official ditch, which is in the Kenyon region, and having a viewer is part of the process.

4. CARES Act funding for housing

The county received $5,644,262 in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020. Most of the funds have either been spent or carried over to pay for previously allocated programs. However, after receiving additional funding for COVID clinics, the county has an extra $300,000 to reallocate.

The board approved the funds to go to the New Housing Permit Reimbursement program as requested by staff, which will help entice the construction of another 215 housing units.

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