Monthly Archives: August 2019

BRRWD Sets 2020 Tax Levies

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), held their regular meeting and 2020 Annual Budget Hearing (8:00 PM) on Monday, August 26, 2019, at 7:00 PM, in Barnesville. The Board approved the 2020 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 2020 Insurance Levy was set at $22,000. The Board also set a General Levy, to be taxed in accordance with the Minnesota Statutes Annotated (M.S.A.) 103D.905, Subd. 3, ad valorem tax for a general fund not to exceed 0.007298% of all taxable market value to pay the costs attributable to the basic water management features of projects initiated by petition of a political subdivision within the Watershed District. In 2020, these funds will be used for a variety of projects/programs, including the Red River Basin Commission ($25,000), River Keepers ($55,000), development and implementation of total daily maximum load analysis for water quality, log jam removal, flood insurance studies, and flood damage reduction/natural resource enhancement projects. In addition, the Board also placed a second Special Levy, associated with M.S.A. 103D.905, Subd. 3, to raise funding for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration ($500,000), according to the BRRWD’s commitment to contribute up to $2 million to the project. The total 2020 General Levy ($1,486,862) is up slightly from 2018 because of market values.

The Board also set the following 2020 project/ditch system levies:

Clay County

Ditch No. 3 – $25,000
Ditch No. 11 – $50,000
Ditch No. 16 – $35,000
Ditch No. 17 – $10,000
Ditch No. 20 – $10,000
Ditch No. 22 – $10,000
Ditch No. 23 – $20,000
Ditch No. 28 – $15,000
Ditch No. 31 – $5,000
Ditch No. 40 – $25,000
Ditch No. 55 – $25,000

Becker County

Ditch No. 5 – $10,000
Ditch No. 9 – $30,000
Ditch No. 15 – $15,000

Wilkin County

Ditch No. 4 – $20,000
Ditch No. 5A – $20,000
Ditch No. 6A – $30,000
Ditch No. 12 – $10,000
Ditch No. 13 – $20,000
Ditch No. 13-Lateral – $50,000
Ditch No. 15 – $10,000
Ditch No. 22 – $50,000
Ditch No. 23 – $20,000
Ditch No. 26 – $15,000
Ditch No. 28 – $10,000
Ditch No. 31 – $25,000
Ditch No. 40 – $15,000
Ditch No. 41 – $70,000
Ditch No. 42 – $10,000
Ditch No. 43 – $20,000
Ditch No. 44 – $30,000
Wilkin/Otter Tail J.D. No. 2 – $20,000

Projects/Ditch Systems

No. 32, Hawley Diversion – $5,000
No. 39, Georgetown Levee – $25,000
No. 46, Turtle Lake Outlet – $25,000
No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation – $100,000
No. 50, Cromwell Township Outlet – $10,000
No. 54, Whisky Creek – $20,000
No. 56, Manston Slough – $50,000
No. 64, LaBelle/Boyer – $10,000
No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration – $99,407 

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand is $2,331,106.59. Income since the 8/12/19 meeting totals $410,838.09, including $405,705.80 from Clay County for their 1st half ditch/project 2019 tax proceeds, $1,305.00 from Ohnstad Twitchell for costs related to the Diversion Authority’s Data Practices Act request, $2,327.05 from landowner payments for the Section 27, Manston Township, waterway repair, and $1,500.24 from the Red River Watershed Management Board for Mediation Project Team expenses. The Board also approved payment of the bills, totaling $269,366.60. 

  • Introduced RaeAnn Berg, the new Administrative Assistant, who started work on 8/19/19. 

  • Discussed downstream landowners’ concerns about the potential effects of tile drainage on a farmstead and field approach from a proposed tiling project in Section 17, Nordick Township, Wilkin County (Permit No. 19-086, Richard Yaggie). The Board approved the permit and assured the landowners the permit includes conditions restricting tile operation during high water events.

  • Approved permits to: Terry Kohler for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SW¼SW¼, Section 9, Audubon Township, Becker County; Kevin Lunde for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SE¼NE¼, Section 18, Lake Park Township, and the SW¼SW¼, Section 33, Cuba Township, Becker County; Richard Steffl for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NE¼NE¼, Section 2, Callaway Township, Becker County; Joel Crabtree for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NW¼NW¼, Section 30, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Charles Wentz for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NW¼SW¼, Section 27, Cuba Township, Becker County; Curtis Nelson for the installation of water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NW¼SW¼, Section 11, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Evelo, Inc. to install random tile in the SW¼, Section 14, and SE¼, Section 15, Trondhjem Township, Otter Tail County, outletting to an existing 12″ dia. concrete tile line flowing southwest, eventually to Otter Tail County Ditch (C.D.) No. 56, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer and County review to be sure the land is assessed to C.D. No. 56; Beau Jacobson to install pattern tiling in the SW¼ and W½SE¼, Section 35, Flowing Township, Clay County, with mains on the north and west quarterlines, outletting via a lift station in the northwest corner to an existing private ditch, eventually draining to C.D. No. 39 to which the property is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Jared Nordick to move an existing approach with a new 24″ dia. x 60′ long culvert in the NW¼, Section 22, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, to the west approximately 100′ so that the neighbors can share the approach; and Andrew Beyer to clean an existing ditch to the original grade in the SW¼, Section 5, Nordick Township, Wilkin County, which, according to BRRWD Rules, doesn’t actually require a permit. 

  • Authorized a repair investigation for a damaged crossing/concrete culvert on Project No. 61, Clay C.D. No. 11-North. 

  • Approved Pay Request No. 1 in the amount of $130,081.60 for Drewes Construction, Inc. for their work on Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch (J.D.) No. 1-Outlet Repair. 

  • Approved Pay Request No. 2 in the amount of $76,451.25 for States Borders Construction, Inc. for their work on Wilkin-Otter Tail J.D. No. 2. 

  • Approved the 2018 Annual Report, which will be filed with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and posted on the BRRWD’s Website. 

  • Approved a motion to contribute up to $41,400 in technical assistance, as a 25% match for a Clean Water Fund (CWF) grant application to be used to address sedimentation in 30 priority sites within the Whiskey Creek watershed in partnership with the Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). CWF funds are based on a 25%/75% cost share. The BRRWD commitment could be less if the NRCS also agrees to contribute Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds for the project. 

  • Authorized Erik Jones, BRRWD Engineer, Houston Engineering, Inc., to submit a National Water Quality Incentive (NWQI) program application to help fund a project to restore approximately 13 miles of channel along Whiskey Creek in partnership with the NRCS and the Wilkin SWCD. The implementation of NWQI funding is dependent upon landowner interest and participation.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, September 9, 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.

 

 

BRRWD Discusses Drainage Concerns

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), discussed drainage concerns from several landowners at their regular meeting held on August 12, 2019, at 7:00 PM, in Barnesville. A landowner on Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 13 had questions about problems on the ditch during this year’s spring runoff. Private dikes along the South Branch of the Buffalo River are higher than the natural ground and raise the river elevation high enough to push water over a natural ridge between the river and C.D. No. 13, causing downstream overland flooding. Development of an Upper South Branch restoration project to remove excess sedimentation in the channel should help address this concern. A homeowner in Oakport Township, Clay County, questioned the possible raising of 2nd ST N in Section 6, to address repeated overtopping of the township road during flood events. A study to determine the impacts to the area floodplain would need to be conducted before considering a project of this scope. Another landowner contacted the office with a complaint about a culvert in Section 33, Humboldt Township, Clay County, that is placed 2′ higher than the road ditch grade and is holding water on his property. When the township replaced the existing culvert this spring as a ditch maintenance project, they replaced the pipe at the same elevation as the old one. A meeting with the Township and landowner will be scheduled. The Board also reviewed landowner concerns and survey results regarding a crossing with failing culverts on Wilkin C.D. No. 6A in Tanberg Township. The Board authorized the Wilkin County Highway Department to replace the existing culverts with two 48″ dia. pipes, subject to the landowners’ approval.

Other business included:

  • Approved the BRRWD’s monthly financial statements, including the project account balance sheet, administrative disbursements, and summary of income. Cash on hand is $2,398,415.51. Current 2019 accounts receivable are $5,024,993. Administrative disbursements this month equal $29,520.95, and for the year, total $199,754.71. Total income this year is $2,358,657.52. Income received since the 7/8/19 meeting totaled $27,837.70, including $806.58 from Otter Tail County for current and delinquent ditch/property tax proceeds; $19,552.42 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for reimbursement from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River Grant; and $2,292.54 from landowners associated with the Section 27, Manston Township, waterway repair. The remainder of the income came from Midwest Bank July interest ($4,961.16) and Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) for their monthly office rent ($225). The Board discussed the status of the Clay County 2019 1st half ditch/project tax proceeds, which the County has not yet forwarded. BRRWD Administrator Bruce E. Albright will contact the County regarding this issue. The Board also approved payment of the bills, totaling $478,147.01.

  • Approved permits to Lynn Brakke to install pattern tile in the SW¼, Section 2, the SE¼, Section 3, the N½NE¼, Section 10, and the NW¼, Section 11, Wolverton Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow to Wolverton Creek, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Donald Yaggie to install tile in the S½, Section 29, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow directly into Wilkin C.D. No. 1A to which the property is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Albin Warling for Becker Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) designed water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and underground outlets to Becker C.D. No. 9 to which the property is assessed; the Minnesota Department of Transportation to extend a culvert under Trunk Highway No. 210 by 6′ to the south and shape the inslopes to 1H:4V in the NW¼NW¼, Section 2, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County; City of Moorhead for the construction of a permanent levee in the NW¼SW¼, Section 21, Oakport Township, Clay County, from 50th AVE N/Oakport ST to Clay C.D. No. 67; Mark Askegaard for three tiling projects in Sections 9 and 16, Holy Cross Township, Clay County, all outletting to Wolverton Creek, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Pheasants Forever, Inc. for two wetland basin restoration projects in association with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in Section 9, Tansem Township, and Section 24, Hawley Township, Clay County; Richard Yaggie to pattern tile the SE¼, Section 9, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow to Wilkin C.D. No. 4, to which the property is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Blayne Tonsfeldt to install a new approach with an 18″ dia. x 60′ culvert placed west of the newly established property line in the southeast corner of the SE¼, Section 28, Alliance Township, Clay County, off County Road (C.R.) No. 51 (170th AVE) and the replacement of an existing 18″ dia. culvert in the southwest corner of the quarter with an 18″ dia. x 60′ pipe, subject to County approval to work within their road right-of-way; and Bill Steffl to install water and sediment control basins, designed by the Becker SWCD, in the SW¼SW¼, Section 28, Callaway Township, Becker County, with surface intakes and underground outlet, subject to downstream landowner notification. 

  • Denied a permit from Todd Boit to replace/lower an 18″ dia. culvert in the NW¼NE¼, Section 13, Audubon Township, Becker County, through C.R. No. 144. The Board would reconsider Boit’s proposal when he completes work to unblock or replace an existing driveway culvert within 30 days and obtains downstream landowner approval for the proposed project. 

  • Approved a $10,000 retainer for Fremstad Law to provide the BRRWD with legal counsel for the Diversion Authority lawsuit. 

  • Discussed a possible retrofit of Wilkin C.D. No. 27. The estimated cost is approximately $591,000 with a potential 75%/25% split with the Wilkin SWCD to leverage some their existing Clean Water Fund (CWF) grant. Other funding sources were also discussed. Once the financial issues have been worked out, the BRRWD will schedule a landowner informational meeting to discuss the proposed project. 

  • Noting that Drewes Construction, Inc. has begun construction on the Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch No. 1-Outlet Repair. The contractor will probably request an extension of the 10/01/19 completion deadline due to wet conditions.

  •  Approved Pay Request No. 7 in the amount of $224,169.22 to Sellin Brothers, Inc. for their work on Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration. 

  • Authorized HEI to hire a trapper to address landowner and Highway Department complaints about beaver activity along Whiskey Creek in Wilkin County. 

  • Approved a motion to increase the BRRWD Manager per diem rate from $75/day to $125/day, according to 2019 State Legislation, and to amend Article III, Section 7, Compensation, of the BRRWD Bylaws to reflect the rate increase, effective 8/12/19. 

  • Approved a $200 donation to the Sustainable Farming Association Soil Health Workshop to be held on 9/5/19 at the Grommesh Farm near Barnesville. 

  • Approved a $2,166 contribution to help fund the Clay SWCD Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist position. 

  • Approved a motion to nominate Project No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation, for the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts Project of the Year Award. 

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting and Annual Budget Hearing on Monday, August 26, 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.