Rain Garden Cost Share
What is the Rain Garden Cost Share Program?
The purpose of the City of Owatonna Rain Garden Cost Share Program (RGCS) is to promote, facilitate, and increase the number of residential rain gardens in Owatonna by awarding cost share grants for a limited number of residential rain gardens. These rain gardens will be used as educational resources to further promote ways to improve water quality and reduce the risk of localized flooding. Modeled after cost share programs in Rochester and Dakota County, the RGCS program will provide cost share grants of 50% up to $500 to residents who meet eligibility requirements.
The RGCS will increase awareness of stormwater issues and solutions in Owatonna while also providing quantifiable stormwater pollution reductions that Owatonna can use towards future TMDL restrictions. This program will help satisfy Owatonna’s MS4 Minimum Control Measures: Public Education and Outreach, Public Participation & Involvement, and Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping.
Properly designed, constructed, and maintained rain gardens have many benefits. They capture rainwater runoff from lawns, roofs, and driveways. Keeping rainwater close to where it falls helps improve and protect the quality of lakes, rivers, and groundwater and reduces the load on the storm sewer system. Rain gardens provide many additional benefits such as adding beauty and value to each home and providing wildlife habitat to attract beneficial birds, butterflies, and dragonflies.
Cost share recipients agree to:
- Maintain the rain garden, ensuring it is functioning as designed.
- Authorize access by City staff to inspect the project, construction activities, and post-construction conditions.
- Allow City staff to take photos and information gained from project for future public education opportunities.
The City of Owatonna will:
- Provide cost share reimbursement of 50% up to $500 for approved projects.
- Provide landscape design and technical assistance throughout the process.
- Conduct a preliminary site visit to evaluate the feasibility of a rain garden.
- Assist in project guidance of rain garden installation.
- Homeowners will request a site visit from the Water Quality Specialist.
- If all standards are met, homeowner will submit a rain garden budget and design for review.
- Application will be reviewed and graded on the criteria listed below.
Eligibility and Ranking Criteria:
The following criteria are minimum eligibility standards and must be met for the applicant to be considered:
- The rain garden is proposed on a residential parcel owned by an Owatonna citizen and located within Owatonna City Limits;
- The rain garden is not required as a condition of development or to satisfy other regulatory requirements;
- The budget and rain garden plan are reasonable and the rain garden will be installed the growing season immediately following the award notice;
- The homeowner enters into an Agreement with the City to maintain the project, ensuring it is functioning as designed; and
- The rain garden will quantifiably reduce storm water runoff, thereby improving water quality.
- The rain garden will be used as a demonstration and education site and will be easily accessible for viewing by the public.
After all program requirements have been met and approved, including a site visit to verify project completion and success, a request for reimbursement may be made. The reimbursement request must include receipts for materials and services purchased. All reimbursement requests for projects completed within a fiscal year must be submitted by December 31st of that year.