BRRWD Approves Repairs

At their October 24, 2016, regular meeting, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), approved three ditch repair recommendations from Erik Jones, Engineer, Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI). The first was for a damaged culvert replacement along the east side of the South Branch of the Buffalo River in the SW¼, Section 23, Alliance Township, Clay County, and an additional inlet culvert on the south side of the river. Both structures would be 24″ dia. x 40′ corrugated metal pipes (CMP) with flapgates. The estimated cost for the work is $4,000 to $4,500. A second damaged inlet structure was found in Section 9, Andrea Township, Wilkin County, on Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 31. The replacement pipe would be a 24″ dia. x 30′ CMP with a flapgate. The estimated cost is $1,500 to $2,000. The third recommendation was to clean about 500′ of Clay C.D. No. 68 downstream of where Clay County replaced a bridge with two new box culverts this summer. The estimated cost for this repair is $3,000 to $4,000.

Other business included:

  • Received a financial update. Cash on hand totals $-306,953.28. This negative balance reflects the Midwest Bank Line of Credit (-$344,732.01) that was used to pay the 10/11/16 bills. The office submitted a pay request to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for $1,505,477.02 for Project No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation Phase 4 costs. Monthly income to date is $81,093.34.

  • Approved permits to: Moorhead Public Service to install underground electrical lines to service the Oakport Township area in the SW1/4, Section 16, Oakport Township, Clay County; Evelo, Inc. to clean a private ditch in the NE1/4, Section 16, Trondhjem Township, Otter Tail County; Donald Yaggie to install pattern tiling, outletting via gravity flow to the Otter Tail River in the NE1/4, Section 25, Sunnyside Township, Wilkin County; Oberg Family Farms to install 160 acres of pattern tiling in the NE1/4, Section 20, Flowing Township, Clay County, outletting via a lift station to C.D. No. 10; John Bergseid to install three Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designed water and sediment control basins in the SE1/4, Section 28, and the NW1/4, Section 29, Parke Township, Clay County; Troy Larson to install a 12″ dia. tile main and pattern tile in the S1/2SE1/4, Section 35, Akron Township, Wilkin County; Erik Sundby to replace a deteriorated driveway culvert with a new 18″ dia. pipe in the NW1/4, Section 25, Spring Prairie Township, Clay County; and Jared Nordick to install 100 acres of pattern tiling in the NW1/4, Section 23, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow to C.D. No. 1B. Permit approval is subject to the applicable standard tile and utility disclaimers, state/federal agency permitting requirements, and road authorities’ permission to work within their road right-of-way.

  • Noted that Bruce E. Albright, BRRWD Administrator, met with a landowner who filed a complaint about two tiling projects in Section 3, Callaway Township, Becker County, that outlet directly into his property without his permission or a BRRWD permit. Albright will forward the complaint to the Becker Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for their review regarding possible wetlands. 

  • Noted receipt of the final payment of the Petitioner’s costs ($13,593.32) from Minch Family LLLC for Project No. 77, Clay C.D. No. 51-Proposed Lateral No. 3, which the Board officially abandoned at their 10/11/16 meeting. 

  • Noted that the BRRWD updated the NRCS and the DNR regarding the status of the water level on Project No. 56, Manston Slough Restoration. The NRCS recently requested that the stop logs be removed in the north dam spillway to dry out the site so they can complete their wetland restorations and tree removal. Due to the heavy October rainfall, area farmers requested that we replace the stop logs to prevent water from backing up into unharvested crops. Currently, the stop logs are in and holding back water at elevation 972. 

  • Discussed the status of the Oakport Township Flood Mitigation Project. The contractor is working on Phase 4 seeding. BRRWD Attorney Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm, has secured an extension for the BRRWD’s response to the Kopperud lawsuit. 

  • Noted that States Border Construction expects to get started on the Wilkin C.D. No. 7 repairs next week. Letters were sent to the ditch system landowners in Sections 22, 27, 28, 29, and 30, Andrea Township, to notify them about the work and provide contact information to discuss their inlet needs. HEI staff will also meet directly with the landowners prior to construction. The Board approved a cost share agreement with the Wilkin SWCD regarding the use of their Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Funds contract ($74,545.85) to help pay for 50% of the total C.D. No. 7 repairs costs. 

  • Noted that the Wilkin County Highway Department has done some of the slope work on Wilkin C.D. No. 6A, and HEI has completed updating the ditch benefit maps for the redetermination of benefits. The rock drop structures will be installed after freeze-up. 

  • Noted that HEI has submitted the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit application. The MS4 program regulates municipal storm water discharges. The BRRWD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cities of Dilworth, Moorhead, and Clay County regarding the BRRWD’s involvement with the program. 

  • Discussed the $1.877 million award from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Conservation Partners Legacy Grants Program for the Wolverton Creek Restoration project. Landowners will be contacted to encourage them to sign up for the NRCS Wetland Reserve Enhancement program, which could provide additional funding for the project. 

  • Noted that Professor Andre Delorme, Valley City State University, completed the mussel survey last week for the Otter Tail River Restoration. Delorme could not access part of the upper channel, so HEI is working with the DNR on how this will affect their permitting process. 

  • The Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts will hold their 2016 Annual Meeting and Trade Show on December 1-3, 2016, at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. Managers Fjestad, VanAmburg, Anderson, and Hanson plan to attend. 

  • Approved the payment of bills totaling $103,142.19. 

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, November 14, 2016, 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, please visit our website at