lake algae

MOSES LAKE - Moses Lake is set to join the Grant County Conservation District, providing about $46,900 in funding for one year. Voters will have a say in the 2020 general election to determine if property owners will assume responsibility for the fee thereafter.

The city council on Tuesday agreed to sign an inter-local agreement with the conservation district to pay for services for one year. The council also agreed to seek voter approval of a measure to collect $4.96 for every parcel in the city per year. The measure is expected to be placed on the November 2020 ballot. In order to pass, the measure would need a simple majority with at least 20 percent voter turnout.

The conservation district had requested the city rejoin the organization as the conservation district and Moses Lake Watershed Council continues to work on solutions to the toxic blue-green algae in the lake water. Test results from Sept. 30 show toxic blue-green algae levels in the lake are still above recreational guidelines, according to the Grant County Health District.

The conservation district is in the process of applying for grants to help fund lake cleanup efforts and needs the city’s financial support to move forward with the grants, according to city records.

The City of Moses Lake joined the former Moses Lake Conservation District in 1975. The Moses Lake Conservation District became the Grant County Conservation District and in 2018, Grant County approved a new $4.96 fee for every parcel in the city limits to fund the conservation district. The City Council elected to withdraw from the conservation district when the new fee was implemented.

The Grant County Conservation District and Moses Lake Watershed Council first addressed the city council during the council’s Sept. 10 meeting, seeking the city’s support.

The Moses Lake Watershed Council, formed in 2018, is holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Moses Lake City Council Chambers. The council is working with Ecology and the Bureau of Reclamation on grants to broaden their understanding of the factors contributing to the Moses Lake water quality degradation coupled with short and long term treatment alternatives.

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