County has more AIS grant requests than funds

After allowing groups to apply for grants to treat aquatic invasive species (AIS), Morrison County has seen more requests than it annually budgets.

This year, groups requested $74,971 for the grants while the county has $66,903 budgeted.

The requests include:

• Sullivan Lake Association and Lake Improvement District — $15,000 for treatment and its ambassador program. It received $13,656;

• The Quad Lakes group (Alexander, Crookneck, Fishtrap and Shamineau) — $50,928 for AIS detection, chemical treatment and an ambassador program. It received $45,548;

• Green Prairie Fish Lake Association — $5,000 for chemical treatment and educational materials. It received $3,656; and

• Pine-Cedar Lake Association — $4,043 for educational materials, detection,surveys and settling plates.

“We tried to recommend the total amount for non-treatment projects and for the remainder we just split that up for people that requested treatment,” Shoreland Specialist Galen Gruber said.

The county realizes that these amounts will not be enough for full treatment which is why it decided to split the remainder equally, Land Services Director Amy Kowalzek said.

Commissioner Jeffrey Jelinski asked what the ambassador programs are for.

The groups provide advice and help to individuals going into the lake regarding invasive species, Gruber said.

For Sullivan, this is the second year of the program and they do more than just look for AIS, he said.

“They’re kind of the face of their lake. They’ve got things to help people out just in general,” Gruber said.

While they are not inspectors and cannot stop people from entering the lake, they are trained by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Kowalzek said.

The Board approved the grants recommended unanimously.

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