HOWARD LAKE, MN Following a suggestion from Howard Lake Mayor Pete Zimmerman, the Annandale-Maple Lake-Howard Lake Watershed Commission approved an agreement Jan. 30 that increases Forsman Farms’ allowable flow rates to extinguish usage penalties.
Zimmerman is a member of the commission, and was supportive of giving Forsman Farms, Howard Lake, a break.
“We agreed to adjusting the limits as they requested, and allowing them to pay the sewer availability charge (SAC) over five years at 5 percent interest,” Zimmerman said.
“The bulk of the discussion was on when to start billing them at the lower rate, immediately versus partial, or total paydown of the SAC fee,” Zimmerman said. “We had some healthy discussion, and eventually, I recommended that we honor Forsman’s request and begin the new rates right away.”
Zimmerman said that Forsman Farms has honored its development agreement in terms of what was built and jobs created.
“They were very easy to work with, so we have no reason to be concerned that they weren’t going to pay the SAC fees,” he said.
Sonstegard Foods, another Howard Lake business, hasn’t been as easy to work with. Sonstegard Foods has failed to install required equipment, making the company out of compliance, according to Zimmerman.
Watershed commissioners agreed to attempt to work with Sonstegard Foods to help them get into compliance. The attempt at cooperation means Sonstegard Foods will not go into default nor incur potentially-related court fees at this time.