By: Sheila Craig, Southern Community Facilitator, January 2, 2018
Turtle Creek 2 is an area west of the City of Austin, comprised of 41 homes. They received a Technical Assistance Grant in 2013 to study the area and obtain a Community Assessment Report. After learning about the various options to receive new sewage treatment, the residents decided to petition the City of Austin for annexation which was granted January 1, 2016.
Since that time the City of Austin has been challenged in receiving grant funding for this project. It is still the hope that a Point Source Implementation Grant will be received from the Public Facilities Authority from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Funding.
They score in the funding range on the State Project Priority List with 53 points. However, in 2016 the State of Minnesota did not pass a bonding bill so no funds were available for sewer projects. In 2017 a bonding bill was passed and while it actually increased the Point Source Implementation Grant funds to 80%, not enough money was allocated to cover all of the projects carried over from 2016 and new ones added in 2017. Also the rules changed a bit and projects had to be certified in order to receive money. The City of Austin had been waiting to design the project until it looked more feasible that the project would go forward and the City would not have to hold those costs so long before the state grant reimbursement would be available.
Ultimately, they were not funded with 2018 money. The City is now working on the design and to get the project certified so when 2018-2019 money becomes available from the Legislature, the project will be ready to proceed.