MENOMONIE — Talk isn’t cheap; it’s vital to start resolving the algae bloom in local lakes, according to a UW-Stout professor and LAKES REU director.
Nels Paulson told the Dunn County Board on Wednesday night that a clean lake could have a $36.6 million impact on the local economy. The impact would be from about 3,000 more UW-Stout students choosing to stay in Menomonie over the summer.
That is according to research from Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates or LAKES REU. It is work done by students during the summer researching algae blooms and phosphorus pollution impacts on Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin. It is part of a three-year project funded by a $282,000 National Science Foundation grant. This is the final year of the project.
“What really matters is people start to think of ways of moving forward,” Paulson said. “Technologically we know how to solve this problem.”
No till farming, cover crops, grass waterways and good manure management can help prevent phosphorus runoff. However, everyone needs to be willing to make changes, Paulson said.
Some ideas to increase communication include having more farmer led councils to learn about best management practices, more education for children, community education, a county-funded cover crop program and repairing erosion sites in the county.
The board approved salary increases for the county clerk, county treasurer and register of deeds positions.
The positions will be paid $61,600 in 2017, $62,500 in 2018, $63,400 in 2019 and $64,400 in 2020.
In other matters, the board:
• Recognized retiring sheriff’s Chief Deputy Paul Gunness. Gunness has been employed by the county for about 31 years as a deputy, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He also has been president of the Wisconsin Sheriffs & Deputy Sheriffs Association. An appreciation party is planned March 11. Marshall Multhauf will succeed Gunness as chief deputy.
• Passed a resolution stating a desire to be the hub county for a UW-Extension area consisting of Dunn, Eau Claire and Chippewa counties. The reorganization is after $3.6 million in budget cuts.
Dunn County has adequate facilities in the Community Services Building for such a hub.
“We need to show Dunn County is indeed interested in this, otherwise we will be forgotten, and it will go to Eau Claire or Chippewa county,” said Supervisor Jim Anderson of Menomonie.
Supervisor Jim Tripp of Menomonie said the people making decisions need to be aware how committed Dunn County is to UW-Extension.
“We are going to suffer some loss of service I think that is inevitable,” he said. “The more we articulate our support of Extension, the better off we’ll be.”
Contact: 715-556-9018, firstname.lastname@example.org, @Menomonie Bureau on Twitter