BRRWD Sets 2019 Tax Levies

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), held their regular meeting and 2019 Annual Budget Hearing (8:00 PM) on Monday, August 27, 2018, at 7:00 PM, in Barnesville. The Board approved the 2019 Administrative levy, which is capped by statute at $250,000, plus an annual administrative fee to be assessed to projects, based on a project’s account expenditures ($100,000) for a total Administrative levy of $350,000. The 2019 Insurance Levy was set at $21,000. The Board also set a General Levy, to be taxed in accordance with the Minnesota Statutes Annotated (M.S.A.) 103D.905, Subd. 3, ad valorem tax for a general fund not to exceed 0.007298% of all taxable market value to pay the costs attributable to the basic water management features of projects initiated by petition of a political subdivision within the Watershed District. In 2019, these funds will be used for a variety of projects/programs, including the Red River Basin Commission ($25,000), River Keepers ($55,000), development and implementation of total daily maximum load analysis for water quality, log jam removal, flood insurance studies, and flood damage reduction/natural resource enhancement projects. In addition to the General Levy, the Board also placed a second Special Levy, associated with M.S.A. 103D.905, Subd. 3, to raise funding for Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration ($500,000), according to the BRRWD’s commitment to contribute up to $2 million to the project. Depending on construction bids, future assessments for the Wolverton Creek Restoration project could be less than the maximum. The total 2019 General Levy ($1,439,066) is similar to 2018.

The Board also set the following 2019 project/ditch system levies:

Clay County

Ditch No. 3 – $25,000
Ditch No. 5 – $20,000
Ditch No. 11 – $100,000
Ditch No. 16 – $25,000
Ditch No. 17 – $10,000
Ditch No. 20 – $10,000
Ditch No. 21 – $20,000
Ditch No. 22 – $10,000
Ditch No. 23 – $10,000
Ditch No. 31 – $5,000
Ditch No. 39 – $20,000
Ditch No. 40 – $25,000
Ditch No. 41 – $75,000
Ditch No. 51 – $15,000
Ditch No. 54 – $10,000
Ditch No. 58 – $20,000
Ditch No. 60 – $10,000
Ditch No. 65 – $15,000
Ditch No. 69 – $10,000

Becker County

Ditch No. 5 – $25,000
Ditch No. 9 – $20,000
Ditch No. 10 – $3,000
Ditch No. 15 – $15,000
Ditch No. 19 – $10,000

Wilkin County

Ditch No. 1C – $20,000
Ditch No. 3 – $40,000
Ditch No. 6A – $25,000
Ditch No. 7 – $15,000
Ditch No. 13 – $25,000
Ditch No. 13-Lateral – $50,000
Ditch No. 22 – $75,000
Ditch No. 26 – $15,000
Ditch No. 40 – $15,000
Ditch No. 41 – $70,000
Ditch No. 43 – $40,000
Ditch No. 44 – $30,000
Wilkin/Otter Tail Co. J.D. No. 2 – $20,000

Projects/Ditch Systems

No. 30, Clay-Wilkin J.D. No. 1 – $25,000
No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation – $100,000
No. 50, Cromwell Township Outlet – $10,000
No. 56, Manston Slough – $100,000
No. 64, LaBelle/Boyer – $10,000
No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration – $99,407.35

Other business included:

  • Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial status. Cash on hand is $2,298,621.42. Income since the 8/13/18 meeting was $144,024.72, including a reimbursement from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Project No. 49, Oakport Flood Mitigation ($143,924.72) and an office rental fee from Gori, Julian & Associates, PC ($100). The Board approved the payment of bills totaling $79,077.89.

  • Discussed a landowner concern about beaver dams on the South Branch of the Buffalo River near Trunk Highway (T.H.) No. 9. A Houston Engineering, Inc. field technician will use a drone to inspect the channel. The landowner also asked about the status of the South Branch of the Buffalo River Restoration-Phase 1. Bruce E. Albright, BRRWD Administrator, reported that the BRRWD has been awarded a Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) grant for Phase 1 in the upper reaches of the South Branch east of T.H. No. 9. Staff is still working with the area landowners on possible easements. The Board approved the signature of the LSOHC grant contract for the Buffalo River Watershed Stream Habitat Program-Phase 1 in the amount $1,195,000.

  • Approved permits to: David Osten to install random tile to drain low spots to an existing wetland in S½S½, Section 28, Norwegian Grove Township, Otter Tail County, and in Section 33, Norwegian Grove Township, install a non-perforated 15″ dia. dual-walled tile pipe between the two low areas, subject to our standard tiling disclaimer; Pheasants Forever to restore 10 wetland basins in the NW¼ and NW¼NE¼, Section 9, Callaway Township, Becker County, subject to a written agreement with the neighboring landowner to address possible seepage concerns regarding one site close to the property line; Carlisle Township to install a new approach with a 15″ dia. x 30′ long corrugated metal pipe (CMP) on the north side of 270th ST in the northeast corner of the NE¼, Section 9, and to replace the east and west open ditches along 138th ST with single lines of tile for approximately 1,000′ to widen the road to 80′ to convey runoff from the elevator site improve traffic safety in the Village of French in the SE¼, Section 34; Dakota Carrier Network to install underground fiber optic telecommunications cable across and along T.H. No. 10 and under Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 41 in Moorhead (NW¼, Section 10, Moorhead Township), subject to our standard utility disclaimer; David Schroeder to install a side inlet structure along the South Branch of the Buffalo River in the NW¼, Section 9, Elmwood Township, Clay County, to trap sediment and prevent erosion; Clay County Highway Department to remove two existing 36″ dia. reinforced concrete pipe in County State Aid Highway No. 7 in C.D. No. 33 in the NE¼, Section 22, Kurtz Township, and replace them with one line of 54″ dia. CMP; Mark Blaufuss to install a new approach with a 24″ dia. culvert off County Road No. 16 in the NW¼, Section 31, Akron Township, Wilkin County, west of his building site to access his field, subject to township approval to work within their road right-of-way; Joel Simmer to install 132 acres of pattern tiling in the NE¼, Section 7, Akron Township, Wilkin County, outletting via a lift station in the northwest corner to the township road ditch, then west to a natural waterway flowing south and west, eventually to Wilkin C.D. No. 6A, to which the property is assessed; and an after-the-fact permit to Eugene Kaiser for the 2015 installation of Natural Resources Conservation Service designed water and sediment control basins, subsurface drainage, and an underground tile outlet to the west onto downstream property in the SE¼, Section 3, Callaway Township, Becker County, and a current permit to divert seepage flow from the tile outlet, using an 18″ dia. relief well and 6″ dia. non-perforated plastic tile to a drainage ditch on the downstream property. All permits are subject to the BRRWD’s standard disclaimers and noted conditions.

  • Approved repairs for a washed-out crossing on Project No. 27, Clay C.D. No. 55 in Section 22, Elmwood Township, where water has undermined the culvert bedding material, causing a crossing failure. The repair will require the addition of bedding material and riprap. A ditch system landowner also requested a clean-out of approximately 0.25 miles of the ditch from his yard downstream to the referenced crossing. The opinion of probable cost for these repairs is $8,000-$10,000.

  • Adopted the Viewers’ Report and proposed benefit area for the redetermination of benefits for Clay C.D. No. 16, subject to a 30-day appeal period.

  • Approved Pay Request No. 4 (Final) ($9,934.78) and Change Order No. 3 ($988.00) to States Border Construction for the Wilkin C.D. No. 7 repair. The total contract amount was $179,923.65, including net change orders totaling $17,360.65. This bill will be submitted to the Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District for reimbursement from their Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund Grant.

  • Approved the purchase of one solar module for $775 to participate in the City of Barnesville’s proposed solar garden project.

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, September 10, 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