The City placed their newest municipal wells in the southwestern part of the City where development was expected to happen in the mid 1990's. The area around the wells were selected as the site of Ramsey Town Center (RTC) in the early 2000's. The state required development of a wellhead protection plan for the wells in the mid 2000's. The City acquired the foreclosed RTC properties in 2009 and began marketing the properties, as The COR.
The City is part of the Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization (LRRWMO), which is tasked with maintaining water quality through regulating stormwater discharges. The LRRWMO Third Generation Plan was adopted in 2012, and must be updated every 10 years just like the City Comprehensive Plan. The Third Generation Plan required infiltration of the first inch of runoff from all impervious surfaces (generally roofs and paving) on new projects. The infiltration guidelines discourage or prohibit infiltration in wellhead protection areas. The Third Generation Plan has a provision that projects can pay into an infiltration mitigation fund if they cannot infiltrate on site. Most of The COR area to be developed is in the area where infiltration is not permitted. All projects developed in The COR since 2015 has paid into the infiltration mitigation fund. LRRWMO permits were approved for these projects with the condition that the City develop an infiltration basin in an area where infiltration is permitted. The City was first required to have the infiltration basin in place by July 1, 2018. The LRRWMO Board later extended this requirement to September 30, 2019.
On April 9, 2018, the Ramsey City Council approved the Feasibility Report and ordered the City Engineer to prepare plans and specifications for constructing the Regional Infiltration Basin in The COR. On April 23, 2019, the City acquired title to Part of Outlot A, Ramsey Town Center 13th Addition, which was needed to construct the infiltration basin. On May 14, 2019, Ramsey City Council approved plans and specifications and authorized advertisements for bids for the COR Infiltration Basin Improvements. Bids were received on June 7, 2019. On June 11, 2019, the Ramsey City Council accepted bids and awarded a contract for construction to Northern Lines Contracting, Inc. for $607,136.11.
Construction of the improvements are estimated to take 60 to 75 days, depending on weather. Construction started the week of July 8th and must be complete by September 30th to meet the LRRWMO permit requirements. If necessary, a project completion extension can be requested, if the stormwater lift station is not operational by September 30th, 2019.
This project is generating excess soil that is currently being hauled to two other areas within The COR that need more fill. The area south of Sunwood Drive and east of Zeolite Street was identified as one of the sites for the excess fill. Bringing this site to grade accomplishes two things; it addresses a concern raised by the Minnesota Department of Health about the area around the municipal well being depressed and holding water, and it also makes the site more marketable for development. The remainder of the fill is being placed in the Municipal Plaza area of The COR north of Sunwood Drive and west of Center Street.