BRRWD Approves F-M Diversion EIS Funding



March 23, 2015

At their meeting held on Monday, March 23, 2015, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), reviewed revisions of the Fiscal Year 2015 Fargo-Moorhead (F-M) Diversion Authority (DA) Budget.  Because of statements from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the BRRWD is concerned about the legality of their approval of the 2015 budget that includes expenditures for certain project features.  After an extended discussion, including testimony from audience members and comments from the BRRWD’s Attorney, Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm, the Board unanimously approved a motion for $1.5 million in the DA’s budget that is earmarked for funding the DNR’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the F-M Diversion project, which is expected to be available as a “draft” by September 2015.  The Board would like to review the EIS before making any more decisions regarding funding for the 2015 DA Budget.  The Managers did indicate that they might be able to approve funding for some in-town flood mitigation efforts within the City of Fargo, as this work is not part of the DA project. 

The Board also discussed a request by Gerald Zimmerman to continue using temporary impoundments on Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 39 for sub-irrigation. This project began in 2012 as part of a three-year experimental project with North Dakota State University and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The project examined the effects of tile drainage and sub-irrigation on water quality, erosion control, and crop production. In 2012, the Board allowed Zimmerman to temporarily impound water in the ditch for three years.  During that time frame, no problems were noted.  Zimmerman requested authorization to continue the impoundments again this year. After some discussion, the Board approved his request. 

Other business included: 

  • For the second time, approved the Preliminary Findings and Order for Project No. 77, Clay C.D. No. 51-Lateral. The next steps will be preparation of the Detailed Survey Report and Appointment of Viewers to determine benefits for the project. The BRRWD initially made the order on 02/09/15, but the written findings were not available. 

  • Reviewed bids received for seeding of approximately 70 acres of native grasses on Project No. 56, Manston Slough Restoration. The low bid of $45,027.30 from B & J Landscaping, Elbow Lake, MN, was accepted. 

  • Approved, subject to approval from Wilkin County Highway Department and a downstream landowner, a permit for Kurt Krueger to clean and grade the road ditch and lower an existing approach culvert along the south side of County Road No. 182 for approximately 3/4 mile in the N1/2, Section 7, Manston Township, outletting directly into Wilkin C.D. No. 13-Lateral. 

  • Approved, pending notification of downstream landowners, a permit for Bruce Yaggie to pattern tile the E1/2, Section 12, Meadows Township, outletting via a pump into an existing waterway that drains into Wilkin C.D. 6A, for which the property is assessed. 

  • Approved a permit to Cromwell Township to replace an existing culvert through 220th ST N, located in the NE1/4, Section 15 and the NW1/4, Section 14, Cromwell Township, Clay County. The Township has already received a permit from the DNR. 

  • Reviewed the status of Project No. 39, Georgetown Levees, and after some discussion including information from the BRRWD’s Attorney, the Board approved going forward with a condemnation process on the Greywind property and hiring an appraisal of the property. After much effort, the BRRWD has been unable to resolve issues with a mortgage holder on the property. 

  • Noting that the next Mediation Project Team meeting will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville Watershed Office. Active projects include the South Branch of the Buffalo River, Barnesville Township Area Drainage Study, Wolverton Creek/Comstock Coulee restoration, and a comprehensive project for Stony Creek. 

  • Discussed a landowner’s claim for crop damage caused by the contractor blocking drainage on the Elkton Township Wetland Restoration Project. The claim will be forwarded to the contractor and his insurance company. 

  • Noting that the hearing for the Redetermination of Benefits on Clay C.D. Nos. 9, 32, and 33 will be held on April 9, 2015, at 7:30 PM in the First Floor Councils Chambers, Moorhead City Hall. The Viewers will also be available to meet with landowners on Tuesday, April 7, between the hours of 1:00-4:00 PM at the Clay County Courthouse. 

  • Noting that a meeting with the Advisory Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at 2:00 PM, Galaxie Supper Club, Barnesville, MN. 

  • Approved the payment of bills, totaling $34,569.25. 

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, April 13, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN.  All meetings are open to the public.  For more information, please visit our website at