BRRWD Receives Updated Diversion Plan

At their regular meeting held on July 9, 2018, at 7:00 PM in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), received an update from Robert Zimmerman, Engineer, City of Moorhead, and Gregg Thielman, Engineer, Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI), regarding the revised Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project (Plan B), which now shows a tieback levee extending from Trunk Highway (T.H.) No. 75 east about 3.5-4 miles and crossing Wolverton Creek south of Comstock, MN. This change came to the BRRWD’s attention when Bruce E. Albright, BRRWD Administrator, was preparing the Board’s comments for the Diversion’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Concerns are that the crossing will impact Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration. Zimmerman explained that the Wolverton Creek crossing will be three lines of 10′ x 10′ ungated box culverts to meter the water entering the Creek and potentially reaching Comstock during the probable maximum flood (PMF) event, which is an event in excess of the 500-year flood. The dam/embankment will be located approximately 200′ north of County Road (C.R.) No. 50 at elevation 924.3 from the Burlington Northern/Santé Fe Railroad grade to the east (1.5′ average height). Thielman noted that for the PMF event, there are some breakout flows reaching Wolverton Creek, but the crossing design will essentially maintain the status quo to avoid increasing project impacts north of the alignment in Clay County.

Other business included:

  • Approved the BRRWD’s monthly financial report. Cash on hand is $2,627,507.22. Administrative disbursements for the month are $23,043.81 and for the year total $194,825.73. Current 2018 accounts receivable are $4,662,245. Our total income for the year is $1,804,947.26. Income since the 6/11/18 meeting totals $732,124.32. Receipts were from Becker County ($61,166.93) and Clay County ($487,406.99) for their 2018 first half tax proceeds, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources One Watershed, One Plan Grant ($116,235), and a reimbursement from the Red River Watershed Management Board for Mediation Project Team expenses ($1,202.82). The remaining income came from bank interest ($1,694.80) and office rentals ($425). The Board approved a motion to renew the Midwest Bank $600,000 operating loan for potential operating short falls during the Wolverton Creek Restoration Phase 1 construction. The same loan was in place last year, but we didn’t need to use it. The Board approved payment of bills totaling $179,497.56. 

  • Approved permits to the Wilkin County Highway Department to replace all approach culverts along County State Aid Highway (CSAH) No. 3, starting at the intersection of T.H. No. 75 and going north to CSAH No. 30; Luke Brakke to install 69 acres of pattern tiling in the S½SW¼, Section 7, Deerhorn Township, Wilkin County, outletting via gravity flow to Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch No. 1 to which the land is assessed, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Jay Nord to install 43 acres of pattern tiling in the W½SE¼, Section 14, Wolverton Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a gravity flow tile main to Wolverton Creek, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; the Clay County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge on CSAH No. 1 over the Oakport Coulee in the N½, Section 6, Oakport Township, with two lines of 9′ x 8′ precast reinforced concrete box culvert (RCB) with end sections and minor grading; Shawn Rehm to install an access driveway off C.R. No. 96 for a 5-acre lot in the E½NE¼, Section 33, Kragnes Township, Clay County, subject to County approval to work within their road right-of-way and culvert sizing/elevations to match adjacent structures; Humboldt Township to replace the existing 60″ dia. reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) and two lines of 48″ dia. RCP in line with the main channel in the N½NE¼, Section 27, with two lines of 64″ x 43″ corrugated metal arch pipe (CMP-A) and one line of 77″ x 52″ CMP-A and to retain the existing 36″ dia. and 42″ dia. RCPs to the south in the floodplain to act as overflows during high water events; Clay County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge in the NW¼, Elmwood Township, Section 4, near the outlet of County Ditch (C.D.) Nos. 58 and 21 with a single line of 16′ x 7′ precast RCB with minor grading. All permits are subject to the BRRWD’s standard disclaimers and conditions. 

  • Provided updates to landowner Tom Paulson regarding the Wilkin C.D. No. 44, 13, and 13-Lateral Norman hearing, the Wolverton Creek Restoration project, and the proposed 220th ST ditch investigation. 

  • Authorized HEI to prepare a revised cost estimate for an alternative alignment for the 220th ST Ditch investigation in Sections 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, Mitchell Township, Wilkin County, outletting to Whiskey Creek, as discussed at the 6/28/18 landowner informational meeting. 

  • Approved an Order for the redetermination and reduction of Shawn Norman’s current Wilkin C.D. No. 44 benefits from the current rate of $40/acre to $20/acre to reflect the subsurface drainage from his tiling project in this area. The same lands would be added to Wilkin C.D. Nos. 13 and 13-Lateral at the rate of $10/acre to each system to assess them for future maintenance. The Order is subject to a 30-day appeal period. 

  • Authorized HEI to conduct a survey of 0.5 miles of the east ditch of 200th ST S from T.H. No. 34 in Section 28, Humboldt Township, Clay County, south to Whisky Creek, to investigate drainage/seepage concerns for a farmstead in the corner of C.R. No. 25 and T.H. No. 75 coming from the Nichols Wetlands Reserve Program site, associated with Project No. 54, Whisky Creek Tributaries. 

  • Reaffirmed BRRWD’s commitment to pay 50% of Clay County’s Flood Insurance Study (FIS) cost overruns in accordance with our 2017 cost-share agreement with the County for their costs to prepare and submit a Letter of Map Revision to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to extend their 2008 FIS hydraulic analysis for a small portion of the Buffalo River upstream of T.H. No. 10 and to conduct an unsteady HEC-RAS analysis of the river from T.H. No. 10 downstream to C.R. No. 19 north of Glyndon, which was not remapped in 2008. The BRRWD’s share of the FIS costs is approximately $55,000, including the overrun.

  • Received draft copies of the 2017 Annual Report for review and approval at the next meeting. 

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