Soil survey completed for Crow Wing County
Area farmers, foresters, planners and contractors have a new tool to help make land use decisions in Crow Wing County. A joint effort supported by federal, state and local partners, the first soil survey in the county since 1965 was recently comp...
Area farmers, foresters, planners and contractors have a new tool to help make land use decisions in Crow Wing County.
A joint effort supported by federal, state and local partners, the first soil survey in the county since 1965 was recently completed. The survey, which inventories soil resources, took nearly a decade to finish.
The data collected by soil scientists will be used for many purposes. For the county, the information will assist with selecting better locations for construction projects and septic systems, managing stormwater, planning road construction and planting trees.
Mike Rokus, soil survey leader with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, discussed the project with members of the Crow Wing County Board at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday.
"We want to make sure every forester, every agriculture person, every Realtor (has access)," said Rokus. "It's made for anybody who can use the land whether it's for road building, home building."
The soil survey cost $2.5 million, 10 percent of which the county paid. The data will be available online by January 2015 and will be integrated into the county's Geographic Information Systems maps.
According to a release about the survey, use of the data could help save tax dollars by reducing costs associated with construction projects and maintenance.
"The soil survey kind of is the basis for all that we do from a land use perspective," said Chris Pence, land services supervisor for Crow Wing County. "When we have the data, it's easy to make the right decision."
Another way the survey could save taxpayers money is through property tax assessments. The new data will make it easier to identify wetland areas, which are not assigned a value by the county. This means property values for some residents could be reduced.
"It really has a wide variety of uses," said Pence, including "so everybody would be treated fairly with taxes."