Lawsuit Over Environmental Fund Leaves Projects on Hold
LITTLE FALLS (AP) -- Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka felt relieved when he learned that his central Minnesota city would get millions of dollars to help pay for a new sewage treatment plant.
Reports say the city's wastewater plant is releasing too much phosphorus. But a lawsuit has put that project and others like it on hold, leaving officials uncertain.
Lawmakers last session approved a measure allowing the state to issue up to $98 million in appropriation bonds for sewer improvements and other projects using money from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to pay annual debt service.
Conservation groups sued in October, saying that's not what the fund was intended to cover. But Republican Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, co-chairman of the legislative-citizen panel that oversees the fund, says he doesn't think the use is unconstitutional.