Monthly Archives: August 2017

BRRWD Sets 2018 Tax Levies

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), held their regular meeting and 2018 Annual Budget Hearing (9:00 PM) on Monday, August 28, 2017, at 7:00 PM, in Barnesville. The Board approved the 2018 Administrative levy, which is capped by statute at $250,000, plus an annual administrative fee to be assessed to projects, based on a project’s account expenditures ($100,000) for a total Administrative levy of $350,000. The 2018 Insurance Levy was set at $22,000. A general levy in accordance with the Minnesota Statutes Annotated (M.S.A.) 103D.905, Subd. 3, an ad valorem tax for a general fund not to exceed 0.007298% of the taxable market value ($657,097), was approved for a number of programs/projects of value to the District, including Conservation Marketing for Clay, Becker, Wilkin, and West Ottertail Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD); Technical Assistance for SWCDs ($10,000); Landowner Incentive Program for SWCDs (20,000); River Keepers ($55,000); Red River Basin Commission (RRBC) ($25,000); Survey & Data Acquisition ($24,000); Water Quality ($30,000); Mediation Project Team ($15,000); One Watershed, One Plan ($50,000); and Clean Water Fund (CWF) Match ($75,000). Projects include Reinvest In Minnesota/Wetlands Reserve Program ($100,000), Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River ($100,000), Barnesville Township Area Drainage ($100,000), Whiskey Creek ($100,000); Lower Otter Tail River ($100,000); Hawley-Buffalo River Restoration ($6,000), Log Jam Removal ($50,000), Total Maximum Daily Load Studies ($25,000), Ring Dikes ($6,000), projects without benefit areas ($25,000); Manston Slough (bond sale payment) ($170,000); and other ($100,000). A second special levy was approved to raise funding for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration ($500,000). The total general levy for 2018 is a slight decrease from 2017.

The Board also set the following 2018 project/ditch system levies:

Clay County
Ditch No. 2 – $25,000
Ditch No. 3 – $25,000
Ditch No. 5 – $25,000
Ditch No. 9 – $20,000
Ditch No. 10 – $100,000
Ditch No. 11 – $100,000
Ditch No. 16 – $10,000
Ditch No. 17 – $10,000
Ditch No. 20 – $10,000
Ditch No. 21 – $20,000
Ditch No. 28 – $15,000
Ditch No. 31 – $5,000
Ditch No. 32 – $50,000
Ditch No. 33 – $40,000
Ditch No. 34 – $15,000
Ditch No. 36 – $20,000
Ditch No. 39 – $20,000
Ditch No. 41 – $50,000
Ditch No. 41, Lat. No. 1 – $25,000
Ditch No. 41, Lat. No. 2 – $10,000
Ditch No. 47 – $50,000
Ditch No. 49 – $10,000
Ditch No. 50 – $20,000
Ditch No. 51 – $30,000
Ditch No. 53 – $15,000
Ditch No. 54 – $5,000
Ditch No. 55 – $25,000
Ditch No. 57 – $5,000
Ditch No. 58 – $25,000
Ditch No. 60 – $10,000
Ditch No. 63 – $15,000
Ditch No. 67 – $10,000
Ditch No. 69 – $10,000 

Wilkin County
Ditch No. 1C – $20,000
Ditch No. 3 – $50,000
Ditch No. 4 – $20,000
Ditch No. 5A – $20,000
Ditch No. 6A – $45,000
Ditch No. 7 – $15,000
Ditch No. 13 – $25,000
Ditch No. 13-Lateral – $50,000
Ditch No. 22 – $75,000
Ditch No. 23 – $20,000
Ditch No. 26 – $10,000
Ditch No. 31 – $25,000
Ditch No. 40 – $15,000
Ditch No. 41 – $50,000
Ditch No. 42 – $30,000
Ditch No. 43 – $30,000
Ditch No. 44 – $15,000
Wilkin/Otter Tail Co. J.D. No. 2 – $20,000

Becker County
Ditch No. 5 – $25,000
Ditch No. 9 – $20,000
Ditch No. 10 – $3,000
Ditch No. 15 – $15,000
Ditch No. 19 – $10,000
Ditch No. 21 – $15,000

Projects/Ditch Systems
No. 30, Clay-Wilkin J.D. No. 1 – $50,000
No. 39, Georgetown – $25,000
No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation – $75,000
No. 54, Whisky Creek Tributaries – $20,000
No. 56, Manston Slough – $100,000
No. 57, Moorhead/I-94 – $10,000
No. 64, LaBelle/Boyer – $10,000
No. 65, County Line Outlet – $10,000
No. 67, HRBP Outlets – $15,000
No. 68, Lake Jacobs Outlet – $5,000
No. 71, City of Moorhead 50th AVE S – $100,000
No. 73, Country Heritage – $2,000
No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration – $100,000

To comply with requests from the County Auditors, the Board agreed to transfer the Project No. 72, Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 22-Lateral No. 3, account balance to Project No. 1, Wilkin C.D. No. 22, and the Project No. 62, Judicial Ditch (J.D.) No. 1- Branch 4, funds to Project No. 30, Clay/Wilkin J.D. 1. The transfers will simplify the Counties’ taxing process for these ditch systems.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand is $1,691,659.58. Income since the 8/14/17 meeting is $190,771.10, and total income to date is $1,911,933.13. The Midwest Bank paperwork has been signed to keep our $600,000 line-of-credit open. The new loan interest rate is 3.375%, and it expires on 8/01/18. The Board approved payment of bills totaling $63,417.42. 

  • Scheduled a field meeting for Friday, September 1, 2017, at 7:30 AM to review Permit No. 17-060, filed by Kelly Etten, which the Board approved, subject to the results of the meeting. Etten plans to pattern tile the NE1/4, Section 21, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station to the County Road (C.R.) No. 162 ditch. Tim Christopher and Steve Neppl, Wilkin County Highway Department, and the downstream landowners were invited. 

  • Approved permits to: Jeff Yaggie to install pattern tiling in the E1/2, Section 21, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, outletting in the southwest corner to the 380th ST ditch, eventually to County Ditch No. 27, to which it is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer and Township approval to work within their road right-of- way (R/W); Richard Yaggie to install pattern tiling in the W½, Section 24, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station to the 380th ST north ditch for one mile before draining into C.D. No. 27 to which it is assessed with receipt of the downstream landowner approval forms, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer and Township approval to work within their road R/W; Inez Johnson to install a dike adjacent to the east line of the N1/2/NE1/4, Section 12, Elkton Township, Clay County, with the provision that the dike be no more than 24″ high; Wilkin County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge on a tributary to Whiskey Creek near Kent in the SW¼, Section 29, Nordick Township, with two lines of 12′ x 9′ precast concrete box culverts; Wilkin County Highway Department to replace an existing culvert on C.D. No. 26 along 170th ST in the NW¼, Section 8, Mitchell Township, with one line of 12′ x 5′ precast concrete with the provision that the crossing be set to match the historic ditch gradeline and that Albright meet with the upstream landowner to discuss the proposed project; Wilkin County Highway Department to replace an existing 10′ 3″x 6′  9″ corrugated metal arch pipe with 54 square feet (sq. ft.) of waterway on C.D. No. 22 in the NW¼, Section 32, Deerhorn Township, with one line of 12′ x 5′ precast concrete box culvert with 58 sq. ft. of waterway with the provision that Albright contact the neighboring landowner; Tom Paulson to install a culvert/field approach on 200th ST in the SW¼, Section 21, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, to provide field access on the west end of the property, subject to Township approval to work within their road R/W; Mike Yaggie to install drain tile in the N½, Section 8, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting to C.D. No. 4, to which the land is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Paul Johnson to remove an existing approach in the SE¼, Section 9, Hawley Township, Clay County, and install a new 30′ wide approach north of the existing site to be centered on the property line to service both properties, subject to Township approval to work within their road R/W; and Mark Blaufuss to install 165 acres of pattern tiling in the NW¼, Section 8, Sunnyside Township, Wilkin County, outletting in the northwest corner into C.D. No. 2A to which the property is assessed, subject to clarification of the location and number of ditch inlets. 

  • Authorized Albright to send a letter to a Becker County landowner notifying him that he must block a tiling project he installed last summer without a BRRWD permit that outlets via existing ditches to Natural Resources Conservation Service designated wetlands on property in the SE¼, Section 3, Callaway Township, Becker County. Numerous attempts have been made to address this issue, but the landowner has not responded. The landowner will have 10 days from the date of the letter to stop his tile operation, or the Board will seek a Becker County court order to enforce compliance. 

  • Rescheduled the Wilkin C.D. Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44 ditch system hearings for Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD’s office to discuss the proposed incremental installation of buffer strips and side inlets. 

  • The BRRWD Fall Tour is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2017, with the bus leaving at 1:30  PM from The 34 Club Bar and Grill east of Barnesville. 

  • Agreed to allow the Barnesville 4-H Lego League to meet in the BRRWD office on Tuesdays and Thursday nights, starting in September and running through February. 

  • Approved a $200 donation to the Becker SWCD Soil Health Clinic to be held east of Lake Park on 9/21/17. 

  • Noting that Albright and Manager Van Amburg plan to attend the University of Minnesota-Crookston’s Northwest Minnesota Water Town Hall regarding Governor Dayton’s 25 By 25 water quality initiative on 9/5/17. 

  • Noting that the RRBC will hold a drainage management tour, focusing on surface and subsurface drainage sites in Minnesota and North Dakota, on 9/6/17 at the Courtyard by Marriot in Moorhead. The tour will include Project No. 56, Manston Slough Restoration. 

  • Approved repairs for Wilkin C.D. No. 43 where there is slope failure and slumping problems along the north side of C.R. No. 30 for the first 1,000′ west of Lawndale to the first downstream crossing. The project cost estimate is $120,000 to $150,000. Funds from the BRRWD’s Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources 2013 CWF Grant for the Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River (75/25 cost share) will be used. 

  • Approved a $20,000 contribution to the Audubon Urban Woods and Prairies Initiative project. Audubon has applied for a Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Conservation Partners Legacy Grants Program grant for $400,000, which requires a 10% match ($40,000). Since about 50% of the proposed project work will be for the prairie and woodland areas in Oakport, the 10% match will be split with the City of Moorhead (50/50) with 1/3 of our share coming from the Oakport project account as maintenance costs and the remaining share from our M.S.A. 103D.905, Subd. 3, account for projects of benefit to the District. 

  • Awarded Sellin Bros., Inc. the contract for the Project No. 71, City of Moorhead 50th AVE lift station pump modifications for their bid of $106,014. The Federal Emergency Management Agency won’t accept PTO driven pumps, and required permanent electric installations for the two lift stations to certify the levees. The City of Moorhead requested the pump modifications to get the project certified.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN. All meetings are open to the public. For more information about the BRRWD, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.

BRRWD Accepts Clay/Wilkin J.D. 1 Outlet Diversion Petition

At their 8/14/17 meeting, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), accepted a petition for an outlet diversion project on Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch No. 1 (J.D. 1). BRRWD Attorney Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm, determined that the landowners’ petition and bond was adequate for the proceedings to start. The Board appointed Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI), as the project engineer, and directed them to prepare the Preliminary Survey Report. The project will provide an outlet channel to take high water from J.D. 1 west along the south side of the Clay/Wilkin County line to Wolverton Creek. The BRRWD plans to hold the Preliminary Hearing before the end of the year.

Other business included:

  • Approved the monthly Treasurer’s Report. Cash on hand is $1,776,864.05. Administrative disbursements for the month are $38,924.74 and for the year total $310,260.62. Current 2017 accounts receivable totals $4,583,778.26. The past month’s income is $34,501.30, primarily from Wilkin County for their first half 2015 Buffer Initiative Aid payment ($33,283). The balance of the other income came from bank interest, office rentals, and document copying fees. Total income to date is $1,721,162.03. The BRRWD has scheduled their 2018 budget hearing for Monday, August 28, 2017, at 9:00 PM. 

  • Approved permits to: Kelly Etten for pattern tiling in the NE1/4, Section 21, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station to the County Road (C.R.) No. 162 ditch, subject to the BRRWD’s standard tiling disclaimer and downstream landowner notification; Jay Nord to clean 0.5 miles of the south ditch of 130th ST in the NW1/4, Section 21, Wolverton Township, Wilkin County, replacing an existing culvert with a longer pipe set on the new ditch grade, subject to Township approval to work within their road right-of-way (R/W); Daniel and Kevin Solum for a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) designed Reinvest In Minnesota wetland restoration project in the SE1/4, Section 4, Prairie View Township, Wilkin County; Steve Opatril for a wetland mitigation project, consisting of a berm in the NW1/4, Section 7, Cromwell Township, Clay County; Swenson Grain & Cattle Co. to construct a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designed water and sediment control basin in the SW1/4, Section 5, Tansem Township, Clay County, with a tile outlet to a United States Fish and Wildlife Service wetland easement area in Section 6, Tansem Township; Duane Stuehrenberg for a NRCS designed wetland restoration project in the NW1/4, Section 5, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, consisting of shallow scrapes and ditch plugs; Rick Maier for 159 acres of pattern tiling in the SE1/4, Section 10, Deerhorn Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow to Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 13, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer, installation of a gate on the tile outlet, and Township approval to work within their road R/W; Jeff Lee to add a driveway with a 15″-18″ dia. culvert for a new house construction off 262nd ST S in Section 9, Eglon Township, Clay County, subject to Township approval to work within their road R/W; Tom Deal to improve the east and north road ditches around the NE1/4, Section 16, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, to divert water from a natural waterway crossing his property, subject to Township approval to work within their road R/W; Jeff Yaggie to install 320 acres of pattern tiling in the E1/2, Section 21, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station in the northwest corner of the section to the 250th ST ditch, eventually draining to Wilkin C.D. No. 23, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer and downstream landowner approval; Mike Yaggie to install pattern tiling in the N1/2, Section 35, Akron Township, Wilkin County, outletting to a natural waterway, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer and Manager field review; Bruce Nelson to install 7.2 acres of pattern tiling in the NW1/4, Section 16, Atherton Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station in the northwest corner of the quarter to an existing tile system outlet, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Brice Bellmore to replace an existing approach/culverts with a wider approach and a new 24″ dia. x 40′ pipe off 140th AVE in the NW¼, Section 26, Roberts Township, Wilkin County, subject to Township approval to work within their road R/W; Brice Bellmore to construct a new field ditch on the east side of the NW1/4, Section 26, Roberts Township, Wilkin County, outletting north through an existing township road culvert to Wilkin C.D. No. 29; the City of Fargo for the replacement of the Fargo Oak Grove Park and Moorhead Memorial Park pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Red River; and Jim Miller to install pattern tiling in the E1/2, Section 28, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow west to Wilkin C.D. No. 1A, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer. 

  • Discussed a ditching violation in the W1/2SE1/4, Section 1, Barnesville Township, Clay County, which has caused downstream soil erosion. Albright plans to meet with the person responsible for the work to discuss a restoration plan for the Board’s consideration at their 8/28/17 meeting. 

  • Approved a contribution of up to $2 million to the Wolverton Creek Restoration project from the BRRWD’s Minnesota Statutes Annotated 103D.905, Subd. 3, taxing authority. The project hearing was on 8/15/17 with approximately 40 attendees. The Board will consider an Order to establish Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration, at their 8/28/17 meeting. If the Order is approved, it would be subject to a 30-day appeal period.

  • Approved Pay Request No. 1 for $39,986.10 to Sellin Brothers, Inc. for the Clay C.D. No. 53 and Clay/Wilkin J.D. 1 outlet repairs. 

  • Authorized signature of the $1.877 million Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) grant agreement for the Wolverton Creek project, subject to clarification of the grant language regarding matching funds. 

  • Noting that Albright and Managers Anderson and Van Amburg attended the 8/01/17 Clay County Commission meeting to present the BRRWD’s 2016 Audit and Annual Report. At the meeting, Clay County reappointed Anderson and Van Amburg to 3-year terms as BRRWD Managers. 

  • Approved the United States Geological Survey (USGS) standard joint funding agreement contract for the Hawley and Sabin gauging stations for the term 10/01/16 through 9/30/20. The funding costs are split between the BRRWD ($20,682) and the USGS ($18,790). These gauging stations provide flood benchmark data on a continuous basis, which is used extensively for BRRWD project development and monitoring. 

  • Authorized the submittal of applications to the 2017 Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts Awards Program for Project No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation (Project of the Year) and the Barnesville River Watch Program (Program of the Year). 

  • Accepted the Viewers’ Reports for the incremental installation of buffer strips and side inlets for Wilkin C.D. Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44, and tentatively scheduled the ditch system hearings for Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD’s office. 

  • Approved payment of bills totaling $275,975.57. 

  • Approved repairs for Project No. 1, Wilkin C.D. No. 22-Main, estimated to cost approximately $35,000-$40,000. The ditch upstream of County State Aid Highway No. 3 needs repair, but the worst sections of the channel are in Section 32, Deerhorn Township, and Section 9, Mitchell Township. Permission to Level Spoil forms will be obtained from the ditch system landowners. The contractor plans to work on portions of the ditch as crops are harvested so that the repairs can be completed this year. All landowners within the ditch system benefiting area will be notified by letter.

  • Approved repairs for Project No. 31, Deerhorn Creek Levees, in Sections 20 and 21, Atherton Township, Wilkin County, where the Creek is blocked by debris. The estimated repair cost is $4,000-$5,000. 

  • Discussed a repair investigation report from HEI regarding options for Wilkin C.D. No. 43 where there is slope failure and slumping problems along a 2.9 mile stretch of the ditch in Sections 28, 29, and 30, Prairie View Township, and Section 25, Atherton Township, on the north side of C.R. No. 30. Four alternatives were discussed, but the Board decided to consider a revised repair proposal for about 1,000′ of the ditch west of Lawndale where the slumping is the worst. HEI will prepare a revised plan and cost estimate for the Board’s review at their next meeting. Possible funding could come from our BWSR 2013 Clean Water Assistance Grant for the Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River (75/25 cost share). 

  • Noting that the BRRWD has an interview scheduled for 8/23/17 in St. Paul with the LSOHC regarding the South Branch River Restoration-Phase 1 application for 2018/FY19 funding. Albright, Jones, and Manager Anderson plan to attend. 

  • Noting that BWSR has scheduled a One Watershed, One Plan orientation meeting with the BRRWD and the Bois de Sioux Watershed District in Breckenridge on 8/21/17.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting and 2018 Annual Budget Hearing (9:00 PM) on Monday, August 28, 2017, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN. All meetings are open to the public. For more information about the BRRWD, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.