BRRWD Reviews Diversion Permit Application

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), held their regular meeting on January 28, 2019, in their Barnesville office. Officials from the City of Moorhead, Clay County, and the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority (FM DA) were in attendance to discuss BRRWD Permit No. 19-003 for the Flood Diversion project. The Managers noted several concerns regarding the proposed project, including possible impacts to the Cities of Wolverton and Georgetown, the proposed crossing on Wolverton Creek north of County Road (C.R.) No. 50, and the land acquisition/easement process. The Board and the DA representatives agreed that the 60-day permit processing rule and the one-year term limit for BRRWD permits might need to be adjusted because of the scope and complexity of the application and the proposed project. The project engineers will be available to answer questions from the Board and staff as needed at any time during the BRRWD’s permit review, and they also plan to attend the BRRWD’s next few meetings to keep the process moving.

Kevin Campbell, Clay County Commissioner/FM DA, invited the BRRWD to appoint up to two Managers to serve on the DA’s Minnesota land acquisition oversite committee and to consider participating in the Moorhead-Clay County Joint Powers Agreement (MCCJPA). The Board could choose to join the MCCJPA as a full member, or to only exercise voting privileges on the oversite committee. The DA is anxious for the BRRWD to make a decision on their appointments to keep the land acquisition process moving forward. BRRWD President Leitch assured Campbell that the Board will announce their decision at their next meeting in February.

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand is $2,822,600.81. Total income this year is $416,770.92. Income received since the 1/14/19 meeting totaled $416,545.92, primarily from: Clay County’s 2nd half ditch/project proceeds ($413,515.51); 2018 tax settlement payments from Becker County ($5,972.71) and Wilkin County ($12,440.34); a Buffer Aid Initiative payment ($41,603.50) from Wilkin County; and the final payment from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Project No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation ($131,770.86). The Board approved the payment of the bills, totaling $22,121.47. Treasurer Anderson and staff met with a representative from Bremer Bank to review a financial proposal for our savings and checking accounts. Albright will contact Midwest Bank to discuss their Money Market savings account rates and a possible BRRWD credit card. Albright contacted Clay and Becker Counties regarding transfer of their 2018 Buffer Aid payments. 

  • Approved permits to Tim Thompson/Tri-T Farms, Inc., to install an approach with a culvert on C.R. No. 55 to provide a second field access in the SW¼, Section 14, Barnesville Township, Clay County; and the City of Barnesville to provide a roadway and utility services to a 15-lot condo unit as part of the existing Barnesville Commercial Park. 

  • Discussed a landowner concern in the S½SE¼, Section 24, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, about a small berm a neighbor installed several years ago just east of 260th ST on a field ditch that drains across Section 24. The office sent a letter to the neighbor last June regarding the dike, suggesting that the landowners work together to clean the ditch along the north side of 260th ST. To date, the work hasn’t been completed. Albright will follow up with the neighboring landowner.

  • Agreed to tentatively schedule the Preliminary Resolution Hearing for the Stony Creek Restoration project, located in Sections 2, 3, 4, and 9, Barnesville Township, Clay County, for Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office. 

  • Agreed to tentatively schedule the Preliminary Resolution Hearing for the Whiskey Creek Restoration project, located near Kent, MN, for Tuesday, March 7, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the BRRWD Office. 

  • Noted that a bid opening for Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch No. 1-Improvement is scheduled for 3/8/19 at the Houston Engineering, Inc. office in Fargo, ND. The Board will review the bid results at their 3/11/19 meeting. One appeal was filed in District Court regarding project benefits. The Viewers will review the appeal and present their recommendations to the Board at the 2/11/19 meeting. 

  • Discussed proposed revisions to the BRWRD Bylaws. The Board agreed to consider the revisions at their upcoming meeting. 

  • Approved HEI’s 2019 contract for engineering services and Barnesville office staff. 

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, February 11, 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.