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Woodbury, county at odds over watershed district boundaries

The city of Woodbury and Washington County are butting heads over proposed boundaries of a watershed district change.

Last month, the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a resolution petitioning the state Board of Water and Soil Resources to dissolve the Lower St. Croix Watershed Management Organization and incorporate the area into the existing South Washington and Valley Branch watershed districts.

The county's proposal includes boundaries changes that would mean the South Washington Watershed District, which includes most of Woodbury and Cottage Grove, would absorb all of Denmark Township.

The Woodbury City Council voted Wednesday, April 8 on a resolution that opposes the county's requested boundaries for the changes, citing among several reasons that the boundaries should be based on existing hydrological conditions and not political lines.

The city of Woodbury resolution states the new boundaries between the Valley Branch and South Washington watershed districts should be along the naturally occurring hydrological divide between the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, which would put Denmark Township in both watershed districts.

"We just feel like it is much more logical split," said Woodbury environment planner Steve Kernik.

The state Board of Water and Soil Resources will hold a public hearing on the issue April 22 and is expected to officially approve the dissolution of the Lower St. Croix Watershed Management Organization along with the new boundaries for the neighboring watershed districts later in May.

For more on this story, see the April 15 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin.

For a look at the current Valley Branch Watershed District boundaries go to: http://www.vbwd.org/

For a look at the current South Washington Watershed District boundaries go to: http://www.swwdmn.org/

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