Monthly Archives: May 2018

BRRWD Meets with Landowners

 

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) met with two groups of landowners regarding water issues at their May 29, 2018, meeting held in Barnesville.

The first issue pertained to a tiling project installed in the SW¼, Section 21, Hamden Township, Becker County. Part of the project outlets to a low area on the neighboring property in the SE¼, Section 20, Hamden Township. The neighbor approved the work in 2016, but when the project was finished in 2017, he thought the work had exceeded the scope of the original BRRWD permit. He claimed more water was entering his property than anticipated, making the low area on his property so wet that his renter couldn’t farm part of it. He wants an additional tile line installed to handle the increased drainage on his property. The person who installed the tile maintains that he did not exceed the scope of his permit. He installed the main tile lines in 2016 and finished putting in the laterals in 2017. The tile locations changed slightly from the application to allow for better project design, but the total number of drained acres and the basic plan did not change. He pointed out that there are several other sources of water draining into Section 20, including at least two tiling projects for which no BRRWD permits were issued. He claims his project only contributes a small portion of the total drainage. The Board agreed to conduct a field meeting and talk to the local contractor, who lives in the area and installed most of the area tiling.

The Managers also visited with three landowners along Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 13-Lateral in Section 36, Deerhorn Township, where the BRRWD still needs access to allow our contractor to complete a 2017 repair project. They also returned their right-of-way (R/W) payments. The landowners had concerns about spoil placement and inlets along the ditch, ditch system assessments, downstream control structures maintenance, and beaver dam removal. A field review will be conducted with the landowners to identify needed ditch inlets. The BRRWD will also reissue their R/W payments after we get approval to finish the repair work.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand was $1,556,190.31. Since the 5/14/18 meeting we received $54,625.11 from Otter Tail County for their 2018 1st half tax proceeds. Total 2018 income to date was $506,020.31. The Board approved the payment of bills totaling $43,580.70. 

  • Approved permits to Joel Crabtree for a water and sediment control basin in the NW¼, Section 25, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Cromwell Township to replace a damaged 12″ dia. culvert with a 15″ dia. pipe and to lower the culvert in the NE¼, Section 25; the City of Sabin to reconstruct Clay County Road No. 67 in the N½, Section 18, Elmwood Township, which will include the County moving C.D. No. 32 to the south to accommodate flatter ditch slopes and the acquisition of additional ditch system buffer R/W; Dwight Hanson for a water and sediment control basin in the NE¼, Section 23, Hamden Township, Becker County; Clay County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge with two lines of 10′ x 8′ box culverts on County State Aid Highway No. 2 in the SE¼, Section 24, Alliance Township; and Dwight Hanson to install non-perforated tile under his Conservation Reserve Program acreage in the SW¼, Section 13, Hamden Township, Becker County, to control runoff and erosion. All approvals are subject to our standard disclaimers.

  • Authorized staff to schedule a landowner informational meeting to discuss a proposed ditch along 220th ST that would route water west in Sections 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, outletting to Whiskey Creek. 

  • Approved payment for a culvert and field approach removal to address a water problem for a rural residence near Rustad in Section 28, Kurtz Township, Clay County. 

  • Authorized staff to schedule a landowner informational meeting and Manager field review regarding a 2017 tiling project in the SW¼, Section 26, Manston Township, Wilkin County, to discuss ditch grading and wetland issues at the outlet. Until the downstream issues are resolved, the landowner cannot operate his tile. 

  • Authorized Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) to conduct a survey along the east ditch of 90th ST N, starting in the SW¼, Section 11, Morken Township, Clay County, and running north for two miles to Clay C.D. No. 5 to address a landowner drainage concern. 

  • Noted that a hearing to review two petitions to add and remove lands in Wilkin C.D. Nos. 44, 13, and 13-Lateral is scheduled for 6/26/18 at 7:00 PM in Barnesville. 

  • Noted that the Phase 1 construction (temporary) and easement options for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration, have been forwarded to the affected landowners. Once all the temporary construction easements have been acquired, the bidding process can move forward.

  • Noted that HEI has completed the R/W survey work for the Stony Creek Comprehensive Project and is in the process of completing the easement exhibits. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources considers the Stony Creek project as their second highest ranked candidate for 2018 Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council funding. The BRRWD’s Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources funding application for Stony Creek will be reviewed 6/5/18. 

  • Approved the 2018-2019 River Watch water quality sampling budget for $5,402.57. 

  • Authorized HEI to contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding the BRRWD’s interest in participating in a new water quality program to develop a detailed Focus Grant Plan to implement a series of improvement projects that could receive up to 16 years of funding. 

  • Noted that representatives from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Red River Watershed Management Board plan to attend the 6/11/18 meeting.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, June 11, 2018, 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 Honors Arvid Thompson

BRRWD Chair Jay Leitch and Thompson

After serving 29 years as a Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) Viewer/Appraiser and 35 years as an BRRWD Advisory Committee member, Arvid Thompson has decided to retire from both positions. During his tenure as a Viewer, Mr. Thompson worked with Viewers Eddie Bernhardson and Lauren Peterson to determine benefits for the majority of the BRRWD’s drainage projects. As a member of the Advisory Committee, he provided valuable support and assistance to the BRRWD Board of Managers.

In recognition of Mr. Thompson’s dedicated service, the BRRWD presented him with a commemorative plaque at their May 14, 2018, Board meeting. Bruce Albright, BRRWD Administrator, said, “Arvid has been an outstanding community leader, including 16 years as a Clay County Commissioner.”

The Board met with City of Georgetown officials and approved the City’s request for a $27,000 contribution from the BRRWD’s Minnesota Statutes Annotated 103D.905, Subd. 3, funds to cover their remaining project account balance. The Board also agreed to transfer the BRRWD project buyout properties to the City, which were acquired with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources funding.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s monthly financial statements, including the project account balance sheet, administrative disbursements, summary of income, and the accounts receivable report. Cash on hand is $1,795,592.36. Administrative disbursements for the month are $31,785.68, and for the year total $137,687.21. Current 2018 accounts receivable are $5,873,008. Our total income for the year is $451,395.20. Income since the 4/09/18 meeting was $17,349.06 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the Otter Tail River Planning 319 Grant. The balance of the income came from bank account interest ($1,547.97) and Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) office rent ($225). The Board approved bills totaling $294,027.16. 

  • Approved the 2017 Financial Audit, as prepared by Harold J. Rotunda, Certified Public Accountant. The audit will be posted on the BRRWD’s Website and added to the 2017 Annual Report. 

  • Approved permits to Barry Nelson for water and sediment control basins in the NE¼SE¼, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Mike Schouviller for an erosion control structure in the SW¼, Section 35, Callaway Township, Becker County; WBI Energy Transmission, Inc. for a new approach/30″ dia. culvert to access a valve site in conjunction with their new natural gas pipeline in the SW¼, Section 2, Kragnes Township, Clay County; Chad Okeson to install water and sediment control basins in Sections 20 and 21, Callaway Township, Becker County; Kevan Nelson to install water and sediment control basins in the SW¼, Section 17, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Terry Kohler to install water and sediment basins in the NE¼, Section 13, Audubon Township, Becker County; Matthew Bjerke to install water and sediment control basins in the SE¼, Section 22, Lake Park Township, Becker County, and Travis Schauer to install water and sediment control basins in the SE¼, Section 20, Lake Park Township, Becker County. 

  • Authorized a meeting with the downstream landowner regarding a cleanout project completed last fall along Trunk Highway (T.H.) No. 9 about two miles north of T.H. No. 10 up to County Road No. 87. The goal of the meeting is to encourage the landowners along the next mile (Section 28, Spring Prairie Township) to apply for a Minnesota Department of Transportation permit to clean their portion of the ditch so that the water can drain north to County Ditch (C.D.) No. 2 to which the land is assessed. 

  • Authorized staff to send a letter to a landowner in Section 27, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, regarding a berm installed a few years ago, asking him to either open the dike to allow water to flow west or work with the neighboring landowner to clean the road ditch along 260th ST. 

  • Noted that local legislators did not secure the $1.4 million in the 2018 bonding bill for a proposed ditch along 220th ST that would route water west in Sections 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, outletting to Whiskey Creek. The BRRWD will schedule a landowner informational meeting after Memorial Day. 

  • Scheduled a permit hearing on 5/29/18 regarding a tile drainage dispute in Hamden Township, Becker County. Notices have been mailed to the affected parties.

  • Adopted Alternative 1 for the Stony Creek Comprehensive Project design with one retention pool area. The permanent construction easements would be valued at the County Tax Assessment Value multiplied by 1.2 plus the drain tile value ($900/acre if tile exists). The storage easement would be valued at the Tax Assessment Value plus drain tile value. The Board authorized HEI to prepare the easement options for the affected parcels. 

  • Authorized a letter be sent to landowners along Wilkin C.D. No. 13-Lateral regarding BRRWD access to enter their land to finish a ditch cleanout. A meeting has been scheduled with theses landowners in conjunction with the 5/29/18 regular Board meeting to discuss their issues with Minnesota Drainage Law and the proposed work.

  • Noted that the Phase 1 construction and easement options for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration, will be forwarded soon to the affected landowners. Once the temporary construction easements have been acquired, the bidding process can move forward.

  • Noted that the One Watershed, One Plan Policy Committee approved the draft workplan, budget, and schedule at their 5/4/18 meeting. The documents have been forwarded to Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for approval and grant allocation. The office is working on appointments to the Advisory Committees. 

  • Approved a Conservation Practice Assistance cost share contract with the Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for seeding the buffers on Wilkin C.D. Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43, 13, and 13-Lateral. 

  • Accepted a bid from Richard Seidel for BRRWD office parking lot repairs and sealing ($1,525). 

  • Approved an agreement with the Wilkin SWCD for a 75% cost share to install side inlets to address breakouts along Wilkin C.D. No. 40 in Section 1, Manston Township, and Section 6, Tanberg Township. The work is estimated to cost $30,000. 

  • Accepted the Viewers’ Reports for the redetermination of benefits for Becker C.D. No. 9 and Clay C.D. No. 16 and authorized staff to schedule the ditch hearings.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN. The regular meeting date has been changed in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday. All meetings are open to the public. For more information about the BRRWD, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.