Monthly Archives: September 2020

BRRWD Responds to Landowner Concerns

At their regular meeting held on September 28, 2020, at 7:00 PM in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), discussed a variety of landowner concerns and requests.  The first issue came from landowners in Audubon Township regarding drainage violations their neighbor has completed over the last several months.  The Board authorized staff to prepare a list of actions for the landowner to return the area drainage back to its original alignment.  The Board approved a request from the Turtle Lake Improvement Association for a cost analysis of converting the Turtle Lake Outlet project’s Long Lake siphon to a gravity outlet, including an analysis of the potential long-term operating cost savings.  In response to a request from a landowner on Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 3, the Board authorized a hydraulic analysis of a low water crossing to determine an appropriate culvert replacement alternative.  The Board approved an investigation of road slope problems in Sections 15 and 17, Morken Township, on Clay C.D. No. 10.  They also authorized staff to assist Parke Township officials with a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit application and technical assistance to install a permanent tile outlet for Dewey Lake in Sections 34 and 35 on 280th ST. 

Other Business included: 

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand is $3,092,153.30.  There was no income since the 9/14/20 meeting.  Total income this year is $4,225,357.93.  The Board also approved payment of the bills in the amount of $114,650.32.

  • Accepted the BRRWD’s 2019 Financial Audit, prepared and presented by Harold J. Rotunda, CPA.

  • Approved permits to John Thompson for a ditch improvement project on the west side of County State Aid Highway (CSAH) No. 11 in the NE¼, Section 24, Deerhorn Township, Wilkin County, subject to the revised plan to stop excavation at the downstream farmstead property line; Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources to develop a wetland banking site in the W½W½, Section 6, Callaway Township, Becker County, subject to providing positive grade for a diversion tile outlet; United States Fish and Wildlife Service to widen an existing approach and culvert extension for the Holland/Braton Northern Tallgrass Prairie Refuge in Section 32, Humboldt Township, Clay County; Wilkin County Highway Department to replace two existing 18″ dia. entrance pipes along the south side of CSAH No. 11 in the N½, Section 12, Mitchell Township, outletting to Wilkin C.D. No. 22-Lateral 3, with 30″ dia. culverts to establish a consistent gradeline and culvert sizing; Shane Thompson to add random tile to an existing tile system in the N½, Section 8, Barnesville Township, Clay County, outletting to the existing lift station, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; and Emmanuel Jerger & Sons to install pattern tile in the NW¼, Section 29, Atherton Township, Wilkin County, outletting via an existing main directly into the South Branch of the Buffalo River, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer.

  • Selected a preferred project plan for the Army Corps of Engineers Federal Section 1135 Ecosystem Restoration feasibility study for the Otter Tail River Corridor Habitat Restoration project.

  • Authorized submittal of the Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the channel restoration phase of the Stony Creek Restoration project.

  • Authorized Acting BRRWD Administrator Erik Jones to sign the DNR grant agreement for the redesign of the Silver Lake Outlet.

  • Approved a cost-share contribution of $12,100 to Pheasants Forever to be applied toward the purchase of a tract in Section 10, Manston Township, Wilkin County, for a 320-acre Wildlife Management Area. The BRRWD will be given access to the tract to complete the Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River stream restoration project and for future project maintenance. 

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will change their next regular meeting date to Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office in observance of the 10/12/20 Columbus Day Holiday.  Due to the COVID-19 emergency, we will hold an electronic meeting in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Annotated 13D.021.  The public is welcome to dial in to the meeting.  More information will be posted on the BRRWD’s website prior to the meeting at www.brrwd.org.

BRRWD Approves 1W1P

At their regular meeting held on September 14, 2020, at 7:00 PM in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), voted to approve the One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan for the Buffalo-Red River Watershed (BRRW) area.  The BRRWD is working with local government agencies from Becker, Clay, Wilkin, and Otter Tail Counties to create a single watershed management plan for the BRRW.  Cooperation throughout multiple connected jurisdictions within the watershed is important because water management in one county can affect the waters of all the other counties.  The 1W1P will establish clear implementation timelines, milestones, and cost estimates for restoration and protection activities within the watershed area.  Combining multiple water planning efforts into one effort will create a more efficient and cooperative plan for water management.  The Plan will include goals and implementation actions that are prioritized and targeted on a watershed basis with measurable results, instead of the present individual plans that are restricted to political boundaries.  An online Public Hearing was held on September 16, 2020, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office via Microsoft Teams.  Members of the public were also invited to attend in person following COVID-19 guidelines.  The 1W1P Policy Committee will consider any hearing comments and make a recommendation for bringing the Plan to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources in October for review and final approval. 

Other Business included: 

  • Approved the BRRWD’s 9/14/20 financial reports. Cash on hand is $3,563,260.06.  The current administrative disbursements since 8/10/20 totaled $32,670.06.  The total for the year is $284,327.93.  Income received since the last meeting totals $828,755.15, and for the year, totals $4,225,357.93.  The Board also approved payment of the bills in the amount of $471,106.76.

  • Approved permits to the Clay County Highway Department to replace and relocate a deteriorating bridge in the W½, Section 15, Elmwood Township, about 100′ west (downstream) on Stony Creek; Peter Aasness to install 120 acres of pattern tile in the NE¼, Section 11, Foxhome Township, Wilkin County, outletting through the township road via a control structure directly into County Ditch (C.D.) No. 4 to which the property is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Kirk Watt to install pattern tile in the SW¼, Section 31, Georgetown Township, Clay County, outletting north along County Road No. 100 via a lift station then west and north to the Red River, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Matt Ness to install 150 acres of pattern tile in the NW¼, Section 22, Wolverton Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow directly into Wolverton Creek, pending plan modifications regarding the addition of an outlet control structure and perforated tile on downstream land, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Matt Hasbargen to install pattern tile on the W½, Section 9, Sunnyside Township, Wilkin County, outletting south via a lift station in the southwest corner of the section through County State Aid Highway No. 14, eventually to Wilkin C.D. No. 2/Otter Tail River, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Tim Thompson to regrade the north ditch of 120th AVE S in the SW¼, Section 32, Elkton Township, Clay County, to lower the two existing 18″ dia. culverts and to add a new approach/18″ dia. culvert, placed on the new ditch grade, subject to township approval to work within their road right-of-way; and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore two wetland sites on the Jed Komrosky and Barry Nelson properties in the N½, Section 20, Lake Park Township, Becker County, by filling in open ditches on the sites.

  • Agreed to accept Eide Bailly’s proposal for an analysis of the costs to transition the current staff employment to the BRRWD. Their fee to conduct the cost comparison was estimated at $15,000-$20,000. 

  • Received an update on the status of the BRRWD’s Contested Case regarding the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ permit for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion project.

  • Approved Pay Request No. 2-Final for $143,197 to Key Contracting, Inc. and Change Order No. 2 for a $27,551 net increase in the contract for Clay C.D. Nos. 41, 47, and 50 repairs.

  • Approved the Final Pay Request for $25,937 to Sellin Brothers, Inc. for their work on the Wolverton Creek Restoration project. This payment reflects the release of the retainage to close out the Phase 1 contract.  Gladen Construction, Inc., Laporte, MN, started Phase 2 on 9/21/20. 

  • Approved repairs for Becker C.D. No. 21, Branch 2, through Section 3, Riceville Township, estimated to cost $15,000.

  • Manager Mark Anderson has agreed to remain on the BRRWD Board as the Clay County representative until a new person is appointed.  

  • Agreed to contribute $18,634.38 to the costs for the Buffalo River Flood Insurance Study north of Glyndon with Clay County (50/50 split).

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will change their next regular meeting date to Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office in observance of the 10/12/20 Columbus Day Holiday.  Due to the COVID-19 emergency, we will hold an electronic meeting in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Annotated 13D.021.  The public is welcome to dial in to the meeting.  More information will be posted on the BRRWD’s website prior to the meeting at www.brrwd.org.

 

MCAP Seminar Series

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership is hosting a discussion about the impact climate change has on agriculture in our state.  Please join us Wednesday, September 23 at 12 pm.  Registration and further details, please follow this link.