Monthly Archives: March 2016

BRRWD Discusses Diversion Authority’s JPA

At their 03/28/16 meeting held in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), discussed the Diversion Authority’s Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). Albright noted that a revised cost estimate of $2.1 billion for the Diversion project was released today, which reflects a $300,000 million increase.  A six-entity meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 1:00 PM, at the Fargo City Commission Room, to review the revised 2016 budget and JPA. 

Other business included:

  • Review of the BRRWD’s Treasurer’s Report. Current cash on hand is $364,968.37 and the total income for the year is $637,339.34.

  • Noting that the BRRWD has held two landowner informational meeting to evaluate potential project options for a possible new drainage ditch on the south side of the Clay-Wilkin county line in Wolverton Township west of Trunk Highway No. 75. Following the last meeting, the Board agreed to wait for the landowners to decide what their next steps will be. 

  • Approval of permits to: Polar Communications to install buried fiber communication cable in Wolverton, Roberts, and Deerhorn Townships, Wilkin County; Harmen Tande to install pattern tile in the east 40 acres of the SW1/4, Section 19, Moland Township, Clay County; Etzler Farms to install a main tile line and pump station in the E1/2, Section 6, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County; KTM Farms to install pattern tile in the E1/2, Section 9, Alliance Township, Clay County; KTM Farms to install pattern tile in E1/2, Section 16, Alliance Township, Clay County; Gloria Radtke to install random tile in the NW1/4, Section 23, Trondhjem Township, Otter Tail County; the City of Moorhead to install sewer infrastructure along 17th ST S from 34th AVE S to 36th AVE S in the SW1/4, Section 21, Moorhead Township, Clay County; KTM Farms to install pattern tile in the NE1/4, Section 21, Alliance Township, Clay County; Daryl Velo to install approximately 150′ of 24″ diameter concrete pipe along an existing field ditch in the NE1/4, Section 9, Trondhjem Township, Otter Tail County; Daryl Velo to install approximately 150′ of 18″ dia. pipe in an existing field ditch in the NE1/4, Section 16, Trondhjem Township, Otter Tail County; Gerald Zimmerman to install a field entrance with a culvert in the southeast corner of the NE1/4, Section 31, Morken Township, Clay County; and Gerry and Sharry Zimmerman to widen an existing field entrance and install a longer culvert of the same size as the existing culvert in the northwest corner of the NW1/4, Section 31, Morken Township, Clay County.

  • Noting that the additional waterway elevation survey authorized for the NW1/4, Section 27, Manston Township, Wilkin County, has been completed. According to the survey, there are some high spots that could be cleaned. 

  • Noting that Albright met with Ron Erdman regarding work he completed last year to correct outlet problems on County Ditch (C.D.) No. 42 in the NW1/4, Section 22, Atherton Township, Wilkin County. Erdman also confirmed that the south end of the field ditch still doesn’t drain since Ivan Nelson blocked the outlet in violation of the BRRWD Rules. Albright suggested that in order to resolve the plugged field ditch issue, the Board could direct Nelson to open the outlet on their property either via a surface drainage ditch or by installing a tile line to take the field ditch water south to Deerhorn Creek.

  •  Noting that the office received a request to repair a cattle crossing with culverts on Hay Creek in Section 36, Highland Grove Township, Clay County. Wade Opsahl, Technician, Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) will meet with the landowner to determine what needs to be done and then prepare a recommendation for the Board’s review. 

  • Noting that HEI continues to monitor the roads within the Manston Slough Restoration Project. Some “soft spots” developed last fall. If the roads still need repairs this spring, HEI will ask the contractor, Gladen Construction, Inc. to come back to do the warranty work. 

  • Noting that Attorney Jordan B. Weir, Vogel Law Firm, continues to work on the Greywind condemnation issue. Opsahl will be working with a contractor on a few final cleanup items this spring, including seeding of the ball diamond. Opsahl is also working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine what the final payment will be for the City of Georgetown. 

  • Discussed repair alternatives for a slope failure on Clay C.D. No. 41 in the American Crystal Sugar Company factory yard. HEI expects to have a recommendation that the Board can act on for the next meeting. 

  • Noting that landowners have submitted a petition and $20,000 bond for an outlet diversion to lower water on Judicial Ditch No. 1 to flow west along the south side of the Clay-Wilkin county line to Wolverton Creek.

  • Noting that Attorney Elmer is working with Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) on the new landowner easements for the Elkton Township Wetland Restoration. 

  • Noting that the Minnesota Association of Watershed District’s Day at the Capitol and Legislative Reception is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, March 30-31, 2016, in St. Paul. Managers Van Amburg, Hanson, and Fjestad plan to attend. 

  • Discussed the three public Flood Damage Reduction Forums that the BRRWD held on March 15, 18, and 22. Chair Van Amburg felt that landowners appreciated the presentations regarding BRRWD operations/activities and suggested we do more events like this in the future.

  • Noting that the BRRWD’s annual Advisory Committee meeting will be held of April 1, 2016, at 1:30 PM in the Barnesville office. 

  • Noting that the next Mediation Project Team Meeting will be held on April 7, 2016, at 1:30 PM in the Barnesville office. 

  • Signed the application for quotes to renew the BRRWD’s liability insurance coverage through our agent John Hoffman, Waypoint Insurance.

  • Noting that the Managers are reviewing copies of the draft Rules. Once completed, the office will distribute the Rules to BWSR and other various entities for a 60-day review and comment period. The BRRWD must hold a public hearing before adopting the new Rules. 

  • Approved a repair recommendation for Wilkin C.D. No. 22, Lateral No. 2, to clean 1.5 miles of ditch along Section 3 and the west 0.5 mile of Section 2, Mitchell Township, to remove excess sediment prior to seeding the bufferstrip this spring.

  •  Noting that the Board discussed hiring an Assistant Administrator to work with Albright in accordance with our Succession Plan. HEI will develop a proposal to advertise statewide for a candidate.

  • Approved the payment of bills, totaling $35,278.21.

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, April 11, 2016, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE. All meetings are open to the public.  For more information, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.

City of Moorhead Recognizes BRRWD’s Flood Mitigation Efforts

At their 3/14/16 meeting held in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), received a plaque from Mayor Del Rae Williams recognizing their contributions to the City of Moorhead Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Improvements for which the City received the 2016 Project of the Year award from the City Engineers Association of Minnesota. She thanked the BRRWD for their work and cooperation over the years. City Manager Michael Redlinger also thanked the BRRWD for their work with the City of Moorhead and their work throughout the region.  Manager Anderson thanked the City for the outstanding work that they have done on flood protection over the years, and Manager Van Amburg, who is a Moorhead resident, was also gratified by the work that has been done by the City. 

Dr. Robert Zimmerman, Moorhead City Engineer, gave a presentation on the City’s Flood Mitigation Improvements. He noted that six of the top ten flood events on the Red River in Moorhead have occurred between 1997 and 2011. The record flood of 2009 required emergency protection including: nine miles of sandbag levee, nine miles of clay levee, 61 emergency auxiliary pumps, and numerous sanitary and storm sewer plugs. Direct surface flooding and storm sewer flooding put 3,800 properties at risk, required 2,000 households to evacuate and damaged 300 properties. The City began planning for flood mitigation immediately after the 2009 flood crest. Their goals were to: reduce emergency flood protection measures and flood risk up to 42.5 feet, reduce emergency response time, keep the community in business during a major flood event, send a positive message to businesses and homeowners and avoid the continued financial burden and risk to the City and State. They used an incremental and adaptive approach to reach these goals through strong State and Local support. Funding for these projects, which has totaled $105.2 million, came largely from the State of Minnesota through their Flood Damage Reduction Grant Program and Local Funds. Additional funding came from Federal funds and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  Over half of the project costs were for the acquisition of flood prone properties, with the remaining costs covering infrastructure improvements. The mitigation projects included: the acquisition of 247 properties, all of which were voluntary, 67 property easements, 12.1 miles of levees and floodwalls, three removable floodwall closures, nineteen stormwater pump stations, 78 stormwater gates and five sanitary pump station upgrades. Most of the mitigation projects have received FEMA Accreditation. These improvements have significantly reduced the emergency measures needed during a flood event. At a 42.5’ flood crest, the miles of temporary levees required has been reduced from 9 to just over 2 compared to the 2009 conditions.  Similarly, the number of sandbags needed has been reduced from over 4 million to about 400,000, and the preparation time required has been reduced from 10 days to less than 4. 

Other business included:

  • Holy Cross Township resident, Lynn Brakke, addressed the Board with concerns about their membership in the Flood Diversion Authority Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). He felt that the Board should continue to be a part of the JPA, otherwise residents like him will not have any representation. Alliance Township resident, Jon Evert, also addressed the Board saying that it was important for the BRRWD to remain a part of the JPA and to be a voice for the District’s residents.

  • Approval of permits to: Gerald & Jared Nordick to install one run of tile along a ridge in the NE1/4, Section 22, Meadows Township, Wilkin County; John David Lee for pattern tiling in the W1/2, NW ¼, Section 34, Georgetown Township, Clay County; the City of Moorhead for street improvements along 40th Ave S.; Jerred Jirava for pattern tiling in the NW1/4 & N1/2 SW1/4, Section 2, Riceville Township, Becker County, outletting in Becker County Ditch No. 21; the City of Moorhead for street improvements at the intersection of Village Green Blvd. and 20th St. S.; Chad Oberg for pattern tiling in the W1/2, Section 24, Kragnes Township, Clay County; Chad Oberg for pattern tiling in the NW1/4, Section 25, Kragnes Township, Clay County; and the Clay County Highway Department for road improvements to County Road 95, between C.S.A.H. 18 and C.S.A.H. 26.

  • Noting that District Administrator, Bruce E. Albright, attended the Izaak Walton League of America, 2016 Watershed Summit, in Bloomington, MN on March 12. He gave a presentation on the Manston Slough Restoration. He also spoke about several other projects that the BRRWD is currently working on.

  •  Noting that three Flood Damage Reduction Landowner Forums are scheduled for: Tuesday, March 15, at 9:00 a.m. at the Nordick Farm near Rothsay, Friday, March 18, at 9:00 a.m. at the BRRWD Office in Barnesville, and Tuesday, March 22, at 9:00 a.m. at the American Legion in Lake Park.

  • Noting that the Red River Watershed Management Board and the Red River Basin Flood Damage Reduction Work Group Joint Annual Conference will be held on March 23-24, 2016, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead. 

  • Noting that the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts Legislative reception will be held on March 30 – 31, 2016, at the Embassy Suites in St. Paul. 

  • Noting that the next Mediation Project Team meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, 2016, at 1:30 PM, in the Barnesville Watershed office. 

  • Noting that the 2016 Advisory Committee Meeting will be held on Friday, April 1, 2016, beginning 1:30 p.m. at the Watershed Office.

  • Approval of Change Order No. 1 and Pay Request No. 4 in the amount of $45,684 to American Enterprises, Inc. for their work on the 2014 Clay County Ditch No. 41 – Lateral No. 1 Repair.

  •  Approved the payment of bills, totaling $327,171.29.

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, March 28, 2016, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE. All meetings are open to the public.  For more information, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.