BRRWD Discusses Georgetown Concerns

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), met with City of Georgetown representatives to discuss several issues at their regular meeting held on September 9, 2019, at 7:00 PM, in Barnesville. The first item was a request to erect signage on the east side of Trunk Highway (T.H.) No. 75 on the south end of Georgetown on property owned by the BRRWD. The Board will make a decision about the sign placement at their next meeting after staff has checked with the BRRWD’s attorney regarding possible easement restrictions. Tammi Sather, City of Georgetown Clerk, brought up the issue of transferring the project buyout properties to the City. The properties (10-15 parcels) were acquired with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) funding. The Board initially approved the transfer at their 5/14/18 meeting, but since then, unanticipated state agency approval requirements and concerns have delayed the process. A less expensive option could be for the BRRWD and the City to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for the City to use the land, rather than own it. The Board asked the City to provide a list of activities or potential development plans for the individual parcels so that the BRRWD’s attorney can determine if those uses are compatible with the DNR grant covenants. Sather also had questions about the 2019 project expenses, the 2020 tax assessment the Board levied at the 8/26/19 annual budget hearing, and possible options for the BRRWD to assist the City financially. The group discussed the status of the Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) request to exempt a Georgetown home from having to carry flood insurance because it has a basement and is located in the floodplain but is protected by the project. Initially, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied the LOMR request because the City of Georgetown is their own floodplain administrator, and Clay County’s blanket basement exemption doesn’t apply. The City may have to officially adopt the FEMA guidelines to grant a variance. The group also discussed a concern about log jam debris from the Red River in Oakport Township that was hauled to Georgetown for burning. After the City contacted the BRRWD, the hauling was stopped, and no burning took place. The site is currently too wet to access because of the recent rainfalls, but once it dries up, the debris will be removed.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s monthly financial statements, including the project account balance sheet, administrative disbursements, and summary of income. Cash on hand is $3,738,492.59. Administrative disbursements this month equal $27,130.27, and for the year, total $226,884.98. Total income this year is $4,446,248.21. Income received since the 8/12/19 meeting totaled $2,087,590.69, including $405,705.80 from Clay County for their 1st half ditch/project 2019 tax proceeds; $1,666,376.85 from Clay County for the Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch No. 1 bond sale; $4,996.20 from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a Surface Water Assessment Grant payment for BRRWD water quality monitoring efforts, $1,305.00 from Ohnstad Twitchell for costs related to the Diversion Authority’s Data Practices Act request, $3,012.37 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 remainder of the income came from Midwest Bank for August interest ($4,469.23) and Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) for their monthly office rent ($225). The Board approved a motion to meet with the Clay County Board of Commissioners to ask them to provide petitions for the BRRWD to use our taxing authority for two general levies in accordance Minnesota Statutes Annotated 103D.905, Subd. 3. The Board also approved payment of the bills, totaling $247,129.35.

  • Approved permits to: Steve Thompson to widen a field approach off Clay County Road (C.R.) No. 15 in the NE¼, Section 3, Alliance Township, adding a new 22′ long culvert to widen the existing approach; Kost Materials to install an outlet control structure on the west side of their retention pond for a new concrete facility southeast of Audubon in the NW¼SW¼, Section 14, Audubon Township, Becker County; Butch Jirak to install 60 acres of pattern tile along the railroad tracks in the SW¼, Section 6, Connelly Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a control structure and gravity outlet to the Red River, subject to the BRRWD’s standard tiling disclaimer; Pheasants Forever, Inc. to restore eight wetlands by filling in ditches and removing sediment in Sections 15, 16, 21, and 22, Callaway Township, Becker County, on United States Fish and Wildlife Service property; City of Moorhead to install watermain, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and street improvements for the Village Green 6th Addition-Phase 4 in the SW¼, Section 22, Moorhead Township, Clay County, outletting to an existing regional retention pond, which was designed to handle this water, subject to the BRRWD’s standard utility disclaimer; Nathaniel Baer to install 130 acres of pattern tile in the W½, Section 20, Skree Township, Clay County, outletting via a control structure in the southeast corner of the section, subject to the BRRWD’s standard tiling disclaimer; Chad Leach to install a field approach with a new 18″ dia. x 60′ culvert on the west side of 130th ST S in the SE¼, Section 7, Elkton Township, Clay County, subject to township approval to work within their road right-of-way (R/W); Aaron Brakke to install an 18″ dia. x 60′ long culvert in an existing farmstead driveway on the west side of C.R. No. 59 (3rd ST S) in the SE¼, Section 7, Holy Cross Township, Clay County; Krystal Frances to replace their current 18″ dia. driveway culvert in the SE¼, Section 9, Hawley Township, Clay County, with a new 24″ dia. pipe, subject to township approval to work within their road R/W; Bob Mattson to install eleven Natural Resources Conservation Service and Becker Soil and Water Conservation District designed water and sediment control basins with surface water intakes and underground outlet in the SW¼, Section 14, Lake Park Township, Becker County, subject to township approval to work within their road R/W; RRR Mattson Partnership to install random tile to pick up low areas and tie into an existing tile outlet in the NW¼, Section 20, Cuba Township, Becker County, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; and Rick Maier to move a field approach to the quarterline of Section 7, Atherton Township, Wilkin County, along 110th ST with a 24″ dia. pipe. 

  • Authorized HEI to conduct an elevation survey of the ditch along the east side of T.H. No. 9 south of Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 2 to improve drainage for the area and a tile pump outlet. 

  • Authorized HEI to conduct a survey within the City of Rustad to address drainage concerns. 

  • Authorized HEI to conduct a more detailed elevation survey for 170th ST S and the natural waterway from T.H. No. 9 to Clay C.D. No. 31 to provide information for a possible Barnesville Township flood mitigation grant application. 

  • Authorized HEI to conduct a repair survey for Clay C.D. Nos. 11, 36, and 40. 

  • Approved Pay Request No. 8 for Sellin Brothers, Inc. in the amount of $102,872 for their work on Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration. 

  • Authorized HEI to re-evaluate the Stony Creek Water Resource Management Project’s purpose and needs and to conduct another investigation of project alternatives and potential benefits. 

  • Scheduled a landowner informational meeting to discuss the proposed Wilkin C.D. No. 27 Retrofit project on 9/20/19 at 8:00 AM in the Wilkin County Environmental Office in Breckenridge. 

  • Noted that the BRRWD’s Fall Tour will be held at the Barnesville office on September 19, 2019, at 1:30 PM. A catered supper will be provided following the tour at approximately 5:30 PM.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, September 23, 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.