February 14, 2019 05:38 PM
Even though Minnesota's lakes are frozen over right now, one state lawmaker is already looking ahead to when the weather is warmer.
Rep. Todd Lippert, DFL-Northfield, authored a bill that would allocate $100,000 toward the cleanup of Roberds Lake in Faribault, a popular summer destination for Minnesotans.
Last September, several tornadoes ripped through the Roberds Lake community, damaging homes, boats and the lake itself.
The proposed legislation is aimed at getting the lake ready for tourism season.
"Roberds Lake is an important regional recreational destination," Lippert said. "There are a lot of people going there. People will be on the lake this summer. We need to make sure it's cleaned up so everyone is safe and people can enjoy the lake and enjoy their summer."
Lippert said the tornadoes left storm debris at the bottom of the lake, including docks, poles, and pieces of roofs from nearby homes and cabins.
"The work started in the fall, but winter happened and it stopped so there's still a lot of (cleanup) that needs to happen," Lippert said.
His bill would appropriate $100,000 from the general fund to the Department of Natural Resources to get the lake cleaned up.
"We need state government to be a strong partner in a situation this," Lippert said. "We had a natural disaster."
Lippert is hoping his fellow lawmakers will approve the funding in fairly short order since Minnesota's boating season is right around the corner.
"There's going to be a safety hazard for people who are on the lake this summer so we need to get that cleaned up," he said.
In addition to Lippert's bill in the Minnesota House, Sen. John Jasinski has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
Both bills have been referred to committee and are awaiting hearings.
Paul Folger and Tim Vetscher
Updated: February 14, 2019 05:38 PM
Created: February 14, 2019 01:44 PM
Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company