Minnesota River Board to Disband 17 Dec 13

Nearly 20 years after a citizens advisory committee urged that a basin-wide board lead efforts to clean up the Minnesota River, the board that took on that role is disbanding.

The West Central Tribune reports the remaining 18 dues-paying counties comprising the Minnesota River Board voted 11 to 6, with one abstaining, to disband by April the entity that has represented 37 counties in the Minnesota River basin.

The vote on Monday morning in Olivia came with a recommendation only that the state look at creating a new entity with a stable funding source to replace it. The recommendation provided no specifics, and by the action to disband the board, it may not have a voice in the development of a successor.

While he felt that it was the right decision to disband, Harlan Madsen, Kandiyohi County commissioner, described the action as “very, very painful.” Madsen had been active with the board since its start in 1995. He emphasized that the role of working to improve water quality remained as critical as ever.