BRRWD Meets with Landowners


The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) met with two groups of landowners regarding water issues at their May 29, 2018, meeting held in Barnesville.

The first issue pertained to a tiling project installed in the SW¼, Section 21, Hamden Township, Becker County. Part of the project outlets to a low area on the neighboring property in the SE¼, Section 20, Hamden Township. The neighbor approved the work in 2016, but when the project was finished in 2017, he thought the work had exceeded the scope of the original BRRWD permit. He claimed more water was entering his property than anticipated, making the low area on his property so wet that his renter couldn’t farm part of it. He wants an additional tile line installed to handle the increased drainage on his property. The person who installed the tile maintains that he did not exceed the scope of his permit. He installed the main tile lines in 2016 and finished putting in the laterals in 2017. The tile locations changed slightly from the application to allow for better project design, but the total number of drained acres and the basic plan did not change. He pointed out that there are several other sources of water draining into Section 20, including at least two tiling projects for which no BRRWD permits were issued. He claims his project only contributes a small portion of the total drainage. The Board agreed to conduct a field meeting and talk to the local contractor, who lives in the area and installed most of the area tiling.

The Managers also visited with three landowners along Wilkin County Ditch (C.D.) No. 13-Lateral in Section 36, Deerhorn Township, where the BRRWD still needs access to allow our contractor to complete a 2017 repair project. They also returned their right-of-way (R/W) payments. The landowners had concerns about spoil placement and inlets along the ditch, ditch system assessments, downstream control structures maintenance, and beaver dam removal. A field review will be conducted with the landowners to identify needed ditch inlets. The BRRWD will also reissue their R/W payments after we get approval to finish the repair work.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand was $1,556,190.31. Since the 5/14/18 meeting we received $54,625.11 from Otter Tail County for their 2018 1st half tax proceeds. Total 2018 income to date was $506,020.31. The Board approved the payment of bills totaling $43,580.70. 

  • Approved permits to Joel Crabtree for a water and sediment control basin in the NW¼, Section 25, Lake Park Township, Becker County; Cromwell Township to replace a damaged 12″ dia. culvert with a 15″ dia. pipe and to lower the culvert in the NE¼, Section 25; the City of Sabin to reconstruct Clay County Road No. 67 in the N½, Section 18, Elmwood Township, which will include the County moving C.D. No. 32 to the south to accommodate flatter ditch slopes and the acquisition of additional ditch system buffer R/W; Dwight Hanson for a water and sediment control basin in the NE¼, Section 23, Hamden Township, Becker County; Clay County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge with two lines of 10′ x 8′ box culverts on County State Aid Highway No. 2 in the SE¼, Section 24, Alliance Township; and Dwight Hanson to install non-perforated tile under his Conservation Reserve Program acreage in the SW¼, Section 13, Hamden Township, Becker County, to control runoff and erosion. All approvals are subject to our standard disclaimers.

  • Authorized staff to schedule a landowner informational meeting to discuss 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. 

  • Approved payment for a culvert and field approach removal to address a water problem for a rural residence near Rustad in Section 28, Kurtz Township, Clay County. 

  • Authorized staff to schedule a landowner informational meeting and Manager field review regarding a 2017 tiling project in the SW¼, Section 26, Manston Township, Wilkin County, to discuss ditch grading and wetland issues at the outlet. Until the downstream issues are resolved, the landowner cannot operate his tile. 

  • Authorized Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) to conduct a survey along the east ditch of 90th ST N, starting in the SW¼, Section 11, Morken Township, Clay County, and running north for two miles to Clay C.D. No. 5 to address a landowner drainage concern. 

  • Noted that a hearing to review two petitions to add and remove lands in Wilkin C.D. Nos. 44, 13, and 13-Lateral is scheduled for 6/26/18 at 7:00 PM in Barnesville. 

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

  • Noted that HEI has completed the R/W survey work for the Stony Creek Comprehensive Project and is in the process of completing the easement exhibits. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources considers the Stony Creek project as their second highest ranked candidate for 2018 Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council funding. The BRRWD’s Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources funding application for Stony Creek will be reviewed 6/5/18. 

  • Approved the 2018-2019 River Watch water quality sampling budget for $5,402.57. 

  • Authorized HEI to contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding the BRRWD’s interest in participating in a new water quality program to develop a detailed Focus Grant Plan to implement a series of improvement projects that could receive up to 16 years of funding. 

  • Noted that representatives from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Red River Watershed Management Board plan to attend the 6/11/18 meeting.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, June 11, 2018, 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