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    St. Martin Project Recently Featured in the Spring Edition of Waterline

    Community Commitment Results in Innovative Water Plant in St. Martin

    One of the newest water treatment facilities in Minnesota is also one of the first engineered biological water treatment plants in the state. Some other cities, such as Hutchinson, have partial biological treatment; however, St. Martin, a community of 343 people in central Minnesota, stands out with an entirely engineered biological plant.

    Beyond the innovation in the plant is the strong community involvement in the project. Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) engineer Kim Larsen credits city clerk Cara Olmscheid, St. Martin’s only full-time employee, for her commitment to the project. Olmscheid, who notes that “city clerks have to wear many hats,” is knowledgeable about and involved in the water system in addition to the other duties she carries out each day.

    Olmscheid recognizes the support of James “Boots” Rothstein, a colorful native of St. Martin who has been mayor since 2002. Rothstein spent 35 years in New York, working for Chase Manhattan Bank, operating a restaurant, and serving 12 years as a detective for the New York Police Department, working undercover to infiltrate prostitution and pedophilia rings. Rothstein returned to his hometown to assist his aging parents and has also been active in combating human trafficking in the area. 

    Rothstein was president of the Sauk River Watershed District and, as mayor, the primary proponent in initiating the water project, according to Olmscheid. “As others sat back and talked about the cost, the mayor said, ‘We have to have good water.’”

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