103C.501 Cost-sharing contracts for erosion control and water management.
Subdivision 1. Cost share authorization. The state board may allocate available funds to districts to share the cost of systems or practices for erosion or sedimentation control or water quality improvement that are designed to protect and improve soil and water resources.
Subd. 2. Request by district board. (a) A district board requesting funds of the state board must submit an application in a form prescribed by the board containing:
(1) a comprehensive plan;
(2) an annual work plan; and
(3) an application for cost-sharing funds.
(b) The comprehensive and annual work plans must be completed as provided in section 103C.331, subdivision 11. After review of the district's comprehensive plan, the state board must approve the comprehensive plan with necessary amendments or reject the plan.
Subd. 3. Approval of application. If the state board approves the comprehensive plan, including the plan's most recent amendment, the annual work plan, and the application of the district, the state board shall determine the specific amount of funds to allocate to the district for cost-sharing contracts.
Subd. 4. Cost-sharing funds. (a) The state board shall allocate at least 70 percent of cost-sharing funds to areas with high priority erosion, sedimentation, or water quality problems. The areas must be selected based on the statewide priorities established by the state board. The allocated funds must be used for conservation practices for high priority problems identified in the comprehensive and annual work plans of the districts.
(b) The remaining cost-sharing funds may be allocated to districts as follows:
(1) for technical and administrative assistance, not more than 20 percent of the funds; and
(2) for conservation practices for lower priority erosion, sedimentation, or water quality problems.
Subd. 5. Contracts by districts. (a) A district board may contract on a cost-share basis to furnish financial aid to a land occupier or to a state agency for permanent systems for erosion or sedimentation control or water quality improvement that are consistent with the district's comprehensive and annual work plans.
(b) The duration of the contract may be the time required to complete the planned systems. A contract must specify that the land occupier is liable for monetary damages, not to exceed the amount of financial assistance received from the district, for failure to complete the systems or practices in a timely manner or maintain the systems or practices as specified in the contract.
(c) A contract may provide for cooperation or funding with federal agencies. A land occupier or state agency may provide the cost-sharing portion of the contract through services in kind.
(d) The state board or the district board may not furnish any financial aid for practices designed only to increase land productivity.
Subd. 6. Rules. (a) The state board shall adopt rules prescribing:
(1) procedures and criteria for allocating funds for cost-sharing contracts;
(2) standards and guidelines for cost-sharing contracts;
(3) the scope and content of district comprehensive plans, plan amendments, and annual work plans;
(4) standards and methods necessary to plan and implement a priority cost-sharing program, including guidelines to identify high priority erosion, sedimentation, and water quality problems;
(5) the share of the cost of conservation practices to be paid from cost-sharing funds; and
(6) requirements for districts to document their efforts to identify and contact land occupiers with high priority erosion problems.
(b) The rules may provide that cost-sharing may be used for farmstead windbreaks and shelterbelts for the purposes of energy conservation and snow protection.