BRRWD Honors Arvid Thompson

BRRWD Chair Jay Leitch and Thompson

After serving 29 years as a Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) Viewer/Appraiser and 35 years as an BRRWD Advisory Committee member, Arvid Thompson has decided to retire from both positions. During his tenure as a Viewer, Mr. Thompson worked with Viewers Eddie Bernhardson and Lauren Peterson to determine benefits for the majority of the BRRWD’s drainage projects. As a member of the Advisory Committee, he provided valuable support and assistance to the BRRWD Board of Managers.

In recognition of Mr. Thompson’s dedicated service, the BRRWD presented him with a commemorative plaque at their May 14, 2018, Board meeting. Bruce Albright, BRRWD Administrator, said, “Arvid has been an outstanding community leader, including 16 years as a Clay County Commissioner.”

The Board met with City of Georgetown officials and approved the City’s request for a $27,000 contribution from the BRRWD’s Minnesota Statutes Annotated 103D.905, Subd. 3, funds to cover their remaining project account balance. The Board also agreed to transfer the BRRWD project buyout properties to the City, which were acquired with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources funding.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s monthly financial statements, including the project account balance sheet, administrative disbursements, summary of income, and the accounts receivable report. Cash on hand is $1,795,592.36. Administrative disbursements for the month are $31,785.68, and for the year total $137,687.21. Current 2018 accounts receivable are $5,873,008. Our total income for the year is $451,395.20. Income since the 4/09/18 meeting was $17,349.06 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the Otter Tail River Planning 319 Grant. The balance of the income came from bank account interest ($1,547.97) and Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) office rent ($225). The Board approved bills totaling $294,027.16. 

  • Approved the 2017 Financial Audit, as prepared by Harold J. Rotunda, Certified Public Accountant. The audit will be posted on the BRRWD’s Website and added to the 2017 Annual Report. 

  • Approved permits to Barry Nelson for water and sediment control basins in the NE¼SE¼, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Mike Schouviller for an erosion control structure in the SW¼, Section 35, Callaway Township, Becker County; WBI Energy Transmission, Inc. for a new approach/30″ dia. culvert to access a valve site in conjunction with their new natural gas pipeline in the SW¼, Section 2, Kragnes Township, Clay County; Chad Okeson to install water and sediment control basins in Sections 20 and 21, Callaway Township, Becker County; Kevan Nelson to install water and sediment control basins in the SW¼, Section 17, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Terry Kohler to install water and sediment basins in the NE¼, Section 13, Audubon Township, Becker County; Matthew Bjerke to install water and sediment control basins in the SE¼, Section 22, Lake Park Township, Becker County, and Travis Schauer to install water and sediment control basins in the SE¼, Section 20, Lake Park Township, Becker County. 

  • Authorized a meeting with the downstream landowner regarding a cleanout project completed last fall along Trunk Highway (T.H.) No. 9 about two miles north of T.H. No. 10 up to County Road No. 87. The goal of the meeting is to encourage the landowners along the next mile (Section 28, Spring Prairie Township) to apply for a Minnesota Department of Transportation permit to clean their portion of the ditch so that the water can drain north to County Ditch (C.D.) No. 2 to which the land is assessed. 

  • Authorized staff to send a letter to a landowner in Section 27, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, regarding a berm installed a few years ago, asking him to either open the dike to allow water to flow west or work with the neighboring landowner to clean the road ditch along 260th ST. 

  • Noted that local legislators did not secure the $1.4 million in the 2018 bonding bill for a proposed ditch along 220th ST that would route water west in Sections 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, outletting to Whiskey Creek. The BRRWD will schedule a landowner informational meeting after Memorial Day. 

  • Scheduled a permit hearing on 5/29/18 regarding a tile drainage dispute in Hamden Township, Becker County. Notices have been mailed to the affected parties.

  • Adopted Alternative 1 for the Stony Creek Comprehensive Project design with one retention pool area. The permanent construction easements would be valued at the County Tax Assessment Value multiplied by 1.2 plus the drain tile value ($900/acre if tile exists). The storage easement would be valued at the Tax Assessment Value plus drain tile value. The Board authorized HEI to prepare the easement options for the affected parcels. 

  • Authorized a letter be sent to landowners along Wilkin C.D. No. 13-Lateral regarding BRRWD access to enter their land to finish a ditch cleanout. A meeting has been scheduled with theses landowners in conjunction with the 5/29/18 regular Board meeting to discuss their issues with Minnesota Drainage Law and the proposed work.

  • Noted that the Phase 1 construction and easement options for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration, will be forwarded soon to the affected landowners. Once the temporary construction easements have been acquired, the bidding process can move forward.

  • Noted that the One Watershed, One Plan Policy Committee approved the draft workplan, budget, and schedule at their 5/4/18 meeting. The documents have been forwarded to Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for approval and grant allocation. The office is working on appointments to the Advisory Committees. 

  • Approved a Conservation Practice Assistance cost share contract with the Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for seeding the buffers on Wilkin C.D. Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43, 13, and 13-Lateral. 

  • Accepted a bid from Richard Seidel for BRRWD office parking lot repairs and sealing ($1,525). 

  • Approved an agreement with the Wilkin SWCD for a 75% cost share to install side inlets to address breakouts along Wilkin C.D. No. 40 in Section 1, Manston Township, and Section 6, Tanberg Township. The work is estimated to cost $30,000. 

  • Accepted the Viewers’ Reports for the redetermination of benefits for Becker C.D. No. 9 and Clay C.D. No. 16 and authorized staff to schedule the ditch hearings.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN. The regular meeting date has been changed in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday. All meetings are open to the public. For more information about the BRRWD, please visit our website at