Diversion Remains Hot Topic for BRRWD

The Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), hosted another large crowd of citizens interested in the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority’s (DA) permit application at their regular meeting held on April 8, 2019, in Barnesville. Individuals representing both sides of the Diversion commented on the application and the contested case that the BRRWD filed regarding the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Diversion permit. The Board rescheduled their special meeting for April 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Dilworth Community Center to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the DA’s permit application. The Board had an extended discussion about the DNR contested case but failed to approve a motion to withdraw the contest on a roll call vote.

BRRWD staff and Managers met with the City of Comstock and Holy Cross Township on 4/2/19 to discuss possible Diversion project impacts. A meeting has been scheduled with the City of Wolverton on 4/9/19 at 7:00 PM regarding the same issue. In response to the potential 2019 flood in the City of Georgetown, the BRRWD has closed all the gates on the City’s levee. The retention ponds still have adequate capacity, and at this time, no road closures are expected.

Other business included:

  • Approved 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 $3,106,883.03. Administrative disbursements this month total $28,176.20 and for the year, are $88,311.65. Current 2019 accounts receivable is at $6,088,936. Total income for the year is $1,144,764.39. Income received since the 3/11/19 meeting totaled $12,221.99: the Red River Watershed Management Board for Mediation Project Team (PT) expenses ($7,267.59), Midwest Bank interest ($4,729.40), and the Houston Engineering, Inc. monthly office rent ($225). The Board approved paying the bills totaling $437,275.03.

  • Approved permits to Elvin Anderson to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NE¼SE¼, Section 33, Cuba Township, Becker County; Dennis Schouviller to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SW¼, Section 27, Callaway Township, Becker County, to a wetland that outlets into the Buffalo River, subject to downstream landowner approval; John Boen to install a random tile line (4″-6″dia.) along the west edge of his field to draw down excess water in a wetland area and his adjacent cropland in SW¼, Section 28, Norwegian Grove Township, Otter Tail County; Scott McCaslin to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SE¼, Section 35, Callaway Township, Becker County, outletting to the Buffalo River, subject to downstream landowner agreement to cross their property; Matthew Bjerke for two projects to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the SW¼NE¼, Section 27, Lake Park Township, Becker County, outletting to Stakke Lake and in the SW¼, Section 26, Lake Park Township, Becker County, outletting to a nearby unnamed lake; Randy Nordick to lower two 30″ dia. culverts along County Road (C.R.) No. 18, and to clean the ditch to grade for about 1,200′ in the SW¼, Section 35, Meadows Township, Wilkin County, subject to County approval to work within their road right-of-way (R/W); Matt Jirava to install water and sediment control basins with surface intakes and an underground outlet in the NE¼, Section 12, Riceville Township, Becker County; Audubon Township to install a larger culvert and/or an additional culvert in the township road (185th AVE) in Section 7 to alleviate road overtopping/washouts, subject to culvert sizing recommendation; Oscar Township to replace a 36″ dia. reinforced concrete pipe between the NW¼, Section 20 and the NE¼, Section 19, with a 48″ dia. corrugated metal pipe to be set at the same elevation; and Tim Thompson to widen an existing approach and replace a deteriorating plugged culvert in the NE¼, Section 14, Alliance Township, Clay County, along 110th ST S (C.R. No. 69) with the same sized culvert placed on grade. 

  • Received an update on Project No. 79, Wolverton Creek Restoration. The Phase I construction will start again as soon as conditions allow this spring. The Wilkin County Soil and Water Conservation Districts will be able to move forward with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program signups for Phases I and II as soon as the Farm Bill’s Conservation Reserve Program funding details are completed. 

  • Approved signature of the construction contract with Dennis Drewes, Inc., for Project No. 78, Clay/Wilkin Judicial Ditch (J.D.) No. 1-Improvement. The temporary construction R/W has been staked. 

  • Noted that the Wilkin-Otter Tail J.D. No. 2 Joint Ditch Committee met on 4/2/19. They set the outlet repair temporary R/W easement acquisition rate at $275/acre. The R/W checks will be sent to the two affected landowners this week. Otter Tail County has obtained a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund grant for the outlet repair project and will act as the fiscal agent. The BRRWD will hire and pay the contractor, then be reimbursed by the County. Viewers are also working on a redetermination of benefits for this system. 

  • The One Watershed, One Plan Advisory Committee and Planning Team are scheduled to meet on 4/24/19 in Barnesville. 

  • Approved a contribution to the International Water Institute (IWI) to fund the BRRWD and Otter Tail County share of costs for the Phase 6 Watershed Delineation/Hydrology Report Application on the IWI’s map portal. 

  • Rescheduled the Annual BRRWD Advisory Committee meeting for 4/26/19 at 2:00 PM in the BRRWD office in Barnesville. 

  • Noted that the next Mediation PT meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 1:30 PM in the Barnesville office. 

The Board of Managers, BRRWD, will hold their next meeting on Monday, April 22, 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.