Monthly Archives: April 2019

BRRWD Holds Public Diversion Permit Meeting

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), hosted a special meeting on April 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Dilworth Community Center. Nearly 150 people were in attendance to hear public comments regarding the Fargo Moorhead Diversion Authority’s BRRWD permit application for the Flood Risk Management Project. A video of the full meeting is available on YouTube. A link to this video and more Diversion information, including public written comment forms, can also be found on the BRRWD’s Website at www.brrwd.org. The comment forms will be accepted until 5:00 PM, Friday, May 10, 2019.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019, 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.

 

BRRWD Continues Diversion Permit Review

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), discussed various issues related to the Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Diversion Authority’s (DA) permit application at their regular meeting held on April 22, 2019, at 7:00 PM in Barnesville. The Board forwarded their draft permit conditions to the DA and the Army Corps of Engineers for review. The DA has a few questions they plan to submit to the Board. BRRWD President Leitch presented a list of questions to the DA about the Diversion project benefit-cost analysis. The DA will prepare a written response. The group talked about Minnesota’s share of the Diversion costs, which is set at 2% of the median household income threshold for the City of Moorhead, assuming the State of Minnesota provides the funding. Landowners’ concerns about crop loss compensation was also addressed. Under their Supplemental Summer Crop Loss program, the DA would work with one of the counties participating in the Joint Powers Agreement to sell bonds in the event of a catastrophic crop loss in the upstream growing areas.

The Board held a special public meeting on 4/23/19 at the Dilworth Community Center to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the DA’s permit application. Approximately 200 people attended. Individuals representing both sides of the Diversion commented on the application and the contested case that the BRRWD filed regarding the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Diversion permit. The Board hired a professional video company to record the meeting so that the proceedings could be viewed by the public. A link for the meeting video can be found on the BRRWD Website or by searching for “FM Diversion” on YouTube.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s current financial status. Cash on hand is $2,687,017.61. Total income since the 4/8/19 meeting was $514.64 from Otter Tail County for 2018 delinquent taxes. Total income this year is $1,145,279.03. The Board approved the payment of bills in the amount of $73,612.67. 

  • Approved permits to Audubon Township to replace a washed out 18″ dia. culvert under the township road (185th ST) in Section 7, with the recommendation for a 36″ dia. replacement; Kevan Nelson for water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and underground outlet in the NE¼, Section 29, and NE¼, Section 33, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Curtis Stubstad to remove and relocate a driveway approach on County Road (C.R.) No. 17 and to clean the ditch going north to grade in the NE¼, Section 10, Elmwood Township, Clay County, subject to County approval to work within their road right-of-way (R/W); Wilkin County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the installation of 15 grade stabilization projects with side inlet structures on DNR protected waterways throughout the County; Bryan Albertson for a water and sediment control basin in the NW¼, Section 36, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County; Dan Rosenfeldt to install a new approach with an 18″ dia. culvert on the west side of 28th ST S in the NE¼, Section 28, Moorhead Township, Clay County, subject to township approval to work in their R/W; Bob Hansen to install a 30′ or 36′ wide approach with an 18″ dia. culvert on the west side of 220th ST S in the NE¼, Section 34, Hawley Township, Clay County, subject to township approval to work within their road R/W; Andrew Maier to install random tiling for 27 acres in the NW¼, Section 28, Deerhorn Township, Wilkin County, with downstream landowner permission to cross the NW¼, Section 28, and the northeast corner of Section 27, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; and Wilkin County Highway Department to repair a flood site in Section 25, Manston Township, by replacing an existing 36″ dia. centerline corrugated metal pipe with a 36″ dia. reinforced concrete pipe, according to County policy, subject to matching the downstream culvert sizing. 

  • Discussed an ongoing diking complaint in Section 29, Riverton Township, Clay County, on a natural waterway along the north side of C.R. No. 12. Staff will schedule a Manager field review. 

  • Discussed a 2019 flooding concern along Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 55. The Board will discuss a ditch repair at their next meeting.

  • Noted that the Blilie/Bixby closings, associated with Phase I easement acquisitions for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration, is tentatively scheduled for 5/6/19. 

  • Discussed waterway drainage concerns upstream of the Wolverton Creek project, which the Board will deal with once the restoration project has been completed. 

  • Noted that Dennis Drewes, Inc. plans to start Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch (J.D.) No. 1-Improvement, in the next few weeks as soon as conditions allow. Landowners have been asked not to plant in the staked temporary R/W. Staff will meet with the affected landowners during construction to discuss their side inlet preferences. The Clay County Commission approved the 15-year bond sale at a 3% interest rate to finance the project. 

  • Approved changes to the BRRWD’s Oakport public hunting boundaries to limit hunting to areas south of Wall ST and west of Broadway. The Board also agreed to work with the Clay SWCD to enroll the remaining Oakport hunting areas in the Minnesota DNR Walk-In Access program so that the BRRWD staff is no longer responsible for managing the hunting permit program. 

  • Noted that the Wilkin-Ottertail J.D. No. 2 bid opening is scheduled for May 10, 2019, 10:00 AM at the Houston Engineering, Inc. Fargo office. BRRWD Engineer Erik Jones submitted a copy of the plans and specifications for the Board’s review.

  • The One Watershed, One Plan Advisory Committee and Planning Team met on 4/24/19 in the Barnesville office. 

  • Discussed a flooding concern in Rustad in Kurtz Township, Clay County. The Board plans to hold an informational meeting with the affected landowners to discuss this issue. The problem could be caused by a plugged or damaged culvert, connecting the railroad track drainage to the 19th ST S ditch that drains north to C.D. No. 40. 

  • Discussed a proposal to restore a wetland basin associated with the Jay Lake Dam Project on Becker C.D. No. 5 north of Jay Lake and to repair a washed-out downstream access road. An informational meeting regarding the possible project will be scheduled with the affected landowners later this summer. 

  • Approved a timeline to make it possible for the Board to adopt the draft revised Rules at the 7/8/19 Board meeting, including review by BRRWD Attorney Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm. According to Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Buffer Law requirements, the BRRWD needs to have the revised Rules with the Buffer Law language adopted by that date. 

  • Approved a $100 contribution to the Wilkin County 4-H Parade of Champions at the 2019 Wilkin County Fair. 

  • Held the BRRWD Advisory Committee’s Annual meeting on 4/26/19 in Barnesville.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019, 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.

 

FM DA Permit Special Meeting Postponed

The Buffalo-Red River Watershed District has rescheduled their SPECIAL meeting
for the consideration of the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority’s permit application at the
Dilworth Community Center
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
7:00-10:00 PM
709 1st Ave NW, Dilworth MN

Diversion Remains Hot Topic for BRRWD

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), hosted another large crowd of citizens interested in the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority’s (DA) permit application at their regular meeting held on April 8, 2019, in Barnesville. Individuals representing both sides of the Diversion commented on the application and the contested case that the BRRWD filed regarding the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Diversion permit. The Board rescheduled their special meeting for April 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Dilworth Community Center to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the DA’s permit application. The Board had an extended discussion about the DNR contested case but failed to approve a motion to withdraw the contest on a roll call vote.

BRRWD staff and Managers met with the City of Comstock and Holy Cross Township on 4/2/19 to discuss possible Diversion project impacts. A meeting has been scheduled with the City of Wolverton on 4/9/19 at 7:00 PM regarding the same issue. In response to the potential 2019 flood in the City of Georgetown, the BRRWD has closed all the gates on the City’s levee. The retention ponds still have adequate capacity, and at this time, no road closures are expected.

Other business included:

  • Approved 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 $3,106,883.03. Administrative disbursements this month total $28,176.20 and for the year, are $88,311.65. Current 2019 accounts receivable is at $6,088,936. Total income for the year is $1,144,764.39. Income received since the 3/11/19 meeting totaled $12,221.99: the Red River Watershed Management Board for Mediation Project Team (PT) expenses ($7,267.59), Midwest Bank interest ($4,729.40), and the Houston Engineering, Inc. monthly office rent ($225). The Board approved paying the bills totaling $437,275.03.

  • Approved permits to Elvin Anderson to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NE¼SE¼, Section 33, Cuba Township, Becker County; Dennis Schouviller to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SW¼, Section 27, Callaway Township, Becker County, to a wetland that outlets into the Buffalo River, subject to downstream landowner approval; John Boen to install a random tile line (4″-6″dia.) along the west edge of his field to draw down excess water in a wetland area and his adjacent cropland in SW¼, Section 28, Norwegian Grove Township, Otter Tail County; Scott McCaslin to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SE¼, Section 35, Callaway Township, Becker County, outletting to the Buffalo River, subject to downstream landowner agreement to cross their property; Matthew Bjerke for two projects to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SW¼NE¼, Section 27, Lake Park Township, Becker County, outletting to Stakke Lake and in the SW¼, Section 26, Lake Park Township, Becker County, outletting to a nearby unnamed lake; Randy Nordick to lower two 30″ dia. culverts along County Road (C.R.) No. 18, and to clean the ditch to grade for about 1,200′ in the SW¼, Section 35, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, subject to County approval to work within their road right-of-way (R/W); Matt Jirava to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NE¼, Section 12, Riceville Township, Becker County; Audubon Township to install a larger culvert and/or an additional culvert in the township road (185th AVE) in Section 7 to alleviate road overtopping/washouts, subject to culvert sizing recommendation; Oscar Township to replace a 36″ dia. reinforced concrete pipe between the NW¼, Section 20 and the NE¼, Section 19, with a 48″ dia. corrugated metal pipe to be set at the same elevation; and Tim Thompson to widen an existing approach and replace a deteriorating plugged culvert in the NE¼, Section 14, Alliance Township, Clay County, along 110th ST S (C.R. No. 69) with the same sized culvert placed on grade. 

  • Received an update on Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration. The Phase I construction will start again as soon as conditions allow this spring. The Wilkin County Soil and Water Conservation Districts will be able to move forward with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program signups for Phases I and II as soon as the Farm Bill’s Conservation Reserve Program funding details are completed. 

  • Approved signature of the construction contract with Dennis Drewes, Inc., for Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch (J.D.) No. 1-Improvement. The temporary construction R/W has been staked. 

  • Noted that the Wilkin-Otter Tail J.D. No. 2 Joint Ditch Committee met on 4/2/19. They set the outlet repair temporary R/W easement acquisition rate at $275/acre. The R/W checks will be sent to the two affected landowners this week. Otter Tail County has obtained a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund grant for the outlet repair project and will act as the fiscal agent. The BRRWD will hire and pay the contractor, then be reimbursed by the County. Viewers are also working on a redetermination of benefits for this system. 

  • The One Watershed, One Plan Advisory Committee and Planning Team are scheduled to meet on 4/24/19 in Barnesville. 

  • Approved a contribution to the International Water Institute (IWI) to fund the BRRWD and Otter Tail County share of costs for the Phase 6 Watershed Delineation/Hydrology Report Application on the IWI’s map portal. 

  • Rescheduled the Annual BRRWD Advisory Committee meeting for 4/26/19 at 2:00 PM in the BRRWD office in Barnesville. 

  • Noted that the next Mediation PT meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 1:30 PM in the Barnesville office. 

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next meeting on Monday, April 22, 2019, 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.