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Governor recognizes unique stormwater management system at local bank


Certificates from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz were presented June 2 at an Albany City Council meeting in recognition of excellence in recycling and commitment to sustainable building practices. Pictured are: Monte Niemi from First State Tire Recycling, Isaac Flenner and Heather Plumski from Stearns Bank, Craig Bardson from Bardson Excavating, and Andrew Goulet from Miller Architects and Builders, with Albany Mayor Tom Kasner, and Councilors John R. Harlander, Keith Heitzman, and Adam Rushmeyer.


Stearns Bank, Albany, MN, expanded in 2019 with more than 10,000 square feet to accommodate substantial growth and planned future growth. A creative approach was used to manage stormwater in the limited space available. This caught the attention of the Minnesota governor’s office.

An open pond was used to manage stormwater prior to the expansion. The new construction included an underground detention basin placed under an added parking area. The basin was designed with approximately 95,000 recycled tires manufactured into shreds, called tire-derived aggregate.

Governor Tim Walz commended the team responsible for the innovative design and installation of tire-derived aggregate. Certificates signed by the Governor were delivered at the June 2 Albany City Council meeting to project partners, Stearns Bank, Bardson Excavating, Miller Architects, and First State Tire Recycling. 

The certificate language recognizes team members for excellence in recycling and commitment to sustainability. These are values the city supports, said Mayor Tom Kasner.

“The safety of our water supply is a priority,” Mayor Kasner said. “Tire-derived aggregate is proving to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to manage water run-off that keeps our water clean.”

Heather Plumski, chief financial and strategy officer of Stearns Bank N.A., commended the team effort.

“Stearns Bank is committed to lessen our environmental impact through our go-green initiatives,” Plumski said. “We’re proud to partner with companies that use sustainability-focused innovative solutions, like Miller Architects & Builders, Bardson Excavating and TDA Manufacturing.”

The tire-derived aggregate was supplied by TDA Manufacturing, Isanti, MN, a division of First State Tire Recycling. Monte Niemi, CEO, patented the product decades ago and has been a champion of educating the construction and environmental industries on the benefits of using TDA. With more than 350 projects completed, Niemi sees a bright future.

“One of the values tire-derived aggregate brings is its filtration factor,” Niemi told the city council. “As water trickles through your stormwater management system, the TDA acts like a sponge grabbing hold of things we don’t want in our drinking water or lakes, like some of the pesticides, nitrates, phosphorus, organic compounds, and heavy metals. And, TDA can do the job at a fraction of the cost of many other aggregates.”