PO Box 342
Webster, WI54893


County hoping for aquatic invasives grant
October 15, 2008

Nothing is for sure yet, but Burnett County may be getting help with its aquatic invasive species control.

The Department of Natural Resources has a $155,000 grant available for the creation of an aquatic invasive species (AIS) coordinator position for the county. The position would work to help protect the waters of Burnett County and to provide assistance, support lake associations and other AIS concerns.

The grant is competitive so Burnett County is not the only organization seeking funds. The grant also calls for the county to contribute 25 percent of the grant total.

"The invasive specie work the National Park Service has done on the parts of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers within Burnett County borders could count toward the match," Dave Ferris explained to the county's natural resources committee last week.

Ferris is the county conservationist.

Ferris has talked with various townships who have agreed to fund a portion of the county's match, plus Ferris will supply desk space, vehicle use and other 'in-kind' services which will count toward the match.

"There will be no real cash outlay," he added.

Supervisor Maury Miller suggested Ferris talk to the 40-some lake associations throughout the county as far as getting some funding help from them.

Ferris liked that idea.

"The more match we can get, the longer we can stretch this thing out," he said.

The grant is to fund the AIS coordinator position for four years, but if the county exceeds its 25 percent match, any excess funds can go toward prolonging the position to perhaps a fifth year.

Ferris said he hopes to have further information and possible confirmation of the grant at the November meeting.