VLAWMO was formed in 1983 to protect the Vadnais Lake watershed area in northern Ramsey County and a small portion of Anoka County, Minnesota. VLAWMO covers approximately 24 square miles in the northeast metropolitan area. The watershed is a Joint Powers organization that encompasses the City of North Oaksand portions of the Cities of White Bear LakeGem LakeVadnais HeightsLino Lakes, and White Bear Township.

Board Meeting Information

Technical Commission (TEC) Meeting Information

Meeting Calendar

For general questions or inquiries:

email: office@vlawmo.org phone: (651) 204-6070

See our staff directory below to find a contact that best fits your needs. 


What we do

Our mission

VLAWMO’s mission is to protect and enhance the water resources within the watershed. Activities we work on include water quality monitoring, education and outreach projects, wetland protection, and water quality enhancement projects.

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The watershed approach to protecting our vital water resources has become the primary approach across the country. Since water flows across political boundaries, partnerships among local governments, regional, state and federal agencies are vital. Because Vadnais Lake is used as the drinking water reservoir for the City of St. Paul VLAWMO often partners with the St. Paul Regional Water Service (SPRWS) on many water quality monitoring and improvement projects.

What is a watershed?

Courtesy of the Michigan Sea Grant (MICHU-10-728)

A watershed is all the land area that drains to a specific water resource, such as a lake or stream. Watersheds range in size from a few square miles to an entire continent. As rainwater and melting snow run downhill, they carry sediment and other materials into streams, lakes, and groundwater.

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The land use activities within a watershed have a direct impact on the quality of the water. 96% of the land use within VLAWMO is urban with a small area of agricultural land in the northern end.

Watersheds provide water for drinking, irrigation, streams, and activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. In addition, watersheds also provide food and shelter for wildlife.

What is a WMO?

A watershed management organization (WMO) is charged with protecting water resources within its boundaries. All land within the metropolitan area must be within an organized watershed (State Statutes Chapters 103B & 103D). Watershed Districts are governed by County Commissioners while Water Management Organizations are governed on the municipal level.

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VLAWMO was formed in 1983 to protect the Vadnais Lake watershed area in northern Ramsey County and a small portion of Anoka County, Minnesota. Vadnais Lake is used as the drinking water reservoir for the drinking water system operated by the St. Paul Regional Water Service (SPRWS). VLAWMO was formed through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) that was ratified by the 6 cities within VLAWMO boundaries to comply with the State of Minnesota Metropolitan Surface Water Management Act. VLAWMO is governed by a 6 member Board of Directors that is represented by an elected official from each of the communities.

VLAWMO is responsible for:

  • Protection of surface water quality
  • Flood control and stormwater management
  • Wetland protection - and management through the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA)
  • Groundwater protection recharge


Common Water Resources Terms and Definitions
Network of Water Protection Agencies and Partners
What does VLAWMO do? [Infographic]


The Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization is funded by a stormwater utility fee. Property owners within the watershed are charged a fee to manage the stormwater that runs off their property. This public utility fee is determined by land use (eg residential, commercial etc), and is included on County property tax statements.

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The authority to charge and collect a stormwater utility fee is governed by Minnesota State Law. More information about the Law, and how VLAWMO determines the fee rate structure can be found in the following publications. 

State Law: Stormwater Utility Fee

VLAWMO Rates and Details: Stormwater Utility Fee


Who we are

Our offices are located at: 
800 East County Rd E.
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Hours are M-F 8:30am-4:30pm

Phone: (651) 204-6070

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Phil Belfiori, Administrator 
Operations - Budget - Work plan
email: phil.belfiori@vlawmo.org
direct: 651-204-6073 

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Brian Corcoran, Water Resources Manager            
Project management - Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) - Water quality monitoring - Financials
email: brian.corcoran@vlawmo.org
direct: 651-204-6075 

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Dawn Tanner, PhD, Program Development Coordinator    Grant writing - Project development and management - Planning
email: dawn.tanner@vlawmo.org
direct: 651-204-6074

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Nick Voss, Education & Outreach Coordinator
Communications - Volunteer coordination - MS4 support - Community Blue Grant
email: nick.voss@vlawmo.org
direct: (651) 204-6014

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Lauren Sampedro, Watershed Technician & Program Coordinator
Cost-Share Grant Program - GIS - Water monitoring 
email: lauren.sampedro@vlawmo.org
direct: (651) 204-6071

For general watershed questions:
Email: office@vlawmo.org
Phone: 651-204-6070

The VLAWMO Board of Directors consists of one elected official from each of the six cities within the watershed. 

Jim Lindner - Gem Lake City Council Member
Chair of VLAWMO Board of Directors 
email: jim.lindner@gemlakemn.org

Dan Jones - White Bear Lake City Council Member
Vice Chair of VLAWMO Board of Directors 
email: ward3@whitebearlake.org

Katherine Doll Kanne - Vadnais Heights City Council Member
Treasurer/Secretary of VLAWMO Board of Directors 
email: Katherine.DollKanne@cityvadnaisheights.com

John Schuman - North Oaks City Council Member
email: JShuman@northoaksmn.gov

Rob Rafferty -  Lino Lakes Mayor
email: RRafferty@linolakes.us

Alternate: Council Member Dale Stoesz

Ed Prudhon - White Bear Township Board Member
email: ed.prudhon@whitebeartownship.org

multi-doc-gray-texture_tiny.png  View board meeting agendas and minutes

The VLAWMO board meets on the 4th Wednesday every other month at 7pm

VLAWMO has a Technical Commission (TEC) with a citizen representative from each city.

The technical commission meets to review and consider watershed business as well as to make recommendations to the Board for wider scope decisions.

Gloria Tessier - Gem Lake 

Jesse Farrell - Vadnais Heights 

Susan Miller - North Oaks 

Terry Huntrods - White Bear Lake

Andy Nelson - Lino Lakes

Jami Philip - White Bear Township


multi-doc-gray-texture_tiny.png  View TEC meeting agendas and minutes

The VLAWMO technical commission meets on the 2nd Friday of every month at 7:30am


WMO Reports & Plans


Upcoming Board & Technical Commission Meetings

The VLAWMO Board of Directors meet on the 4th Wednesday of every other month. The Technical Commission meets on the 2nd Friday of each month. All meetings are held at Vadnais Heights City Hall

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