Local Watershed Reviews Upcoming Meeting Schedule

At their regular meeting held on Monday, August 10, 2015, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), discussed several upcoming meetings. On August 27, 2015, the Board will hold the final hearing for Project No. 77, Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 51-Proposed Lateral No. 3, at 7:00 PM in the Moorhead City Hall Council Chambers. Notices have been sent to affected landowners. The proposed ditch is located near Kragnes, MN. The Board accepted the Viewers’ Reports for the addition of one-rod grassed bufferstrips on Wilkin C.D. Nos. 5A, 22, and 26. The hearing, which will be held in accordance with Minnesota Drainage Law, is scheduled for September 17, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Watershed office. 2015 Legislative action requires all legal drainage systems to have the one-rod grassed bufferstrip no later than November 1, 2018. The buffer requirement was also part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit for restoration of Wolverton Creek. The Board also noted that their 2016 Budget Hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015, at 9:00 PM in the Watershed office. Bruce Albright, Office Administrator, said that the Budget Hearing notices have been mailed to area newspapers. The Board also noted that their next Mediation Project Team meeting will be held on Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 7:00 PM, also at the Watershed office. 

Other business included: 

  • Reviewed the Treasurer’s Report, current cash on hand is $2,369,272.95. 

  • Approval of permits to: American Crystal Sugar Company for the installation of two new field entrances with culverts in the NW1/4, Section 9, Oakport Township, Clay County, subject to road authority approval to work within their road right-of-way, and Darrin Roehl for pattern tiling in the W1/2SW1/4, Section 29, and the E1/2SE1/4, Section 30, Carlisle Township, Otter Tail County. 

  • Reviewed a Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) survey pertaining to drainage in Section 28, Barnesville Township, Clay County. It appears that more water could be routed south along 140th ST S to Clay C.D. No. 54. Albright noted that there is a gas line that crosses through this road ditch. He will ask HEI personnel to survey the depth of the gas line to determine whether or not the proper gradeline can be installed in the road ditch. 

  • Approved Pay Request No. 8 in the amount of $14,586.52 and Change Order No. 3 in the amount of $14,675.86 for Project No. 71, City of Moorhead, 50th AVE Flood Control. Gladen Construction, Inc. from Laporte, MN, is the project contractor. There is still some minor levee work needed before the contract can be closed. 

  • Erik S. Jones, Engineer, HEI, noted that he plans to open bids for the repairs on Clay C.D. No. 11 on September 14, 2015. Bid results will be presented at the BRRWD meeting that night. 

  • Authorized Albright and Gerald L. Van Amburg, Chairman, to sign paperwork from the DNR, which is expected in the near future, pertaining to the grant necessary to finish the Oakport Flood Mitigation Project. The amount of the grant is $5.53 million. 

  • Jones noted that bids will be opened on 08/24/15 for replacement of the outlet structure on Clay C.D. No. 67 in north Moorhead. Bid results will be presented at the BRRWD meeting that evening. 

  • Noting that Reiner Construction, Inc. plans to be back in the City of Georgetown to finish the levee work before Labor Day. A condemnation hearing was held on 07/23/15 for the BRRWD to take control over one last property needed to finish the project. 

  • Noting that the 2015 Legislature made $400,000 available for the construction of ring dikes in the Red River Valley. Ron Harnack, Coordinator, Red River Water Management Board, has asked for a list of potentials projects by 09/15/15. The BRRWD has compiled a list of interested applicants over the past several years. Those landowners will be contacted. Anyone interested in a project should contact the Watershed office. 

  • The BRRWD agreed to be the overseer and contract holder for a project being completed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the North Dakota Department of Health titled “Red River of the North Stressor Response Project-Periphyton Monitoring”. The project will be completed by the end of the year. The project will investigate the relationships among nutrients, suspended sediment, primary productivity, and the biological response of the Red River of the North. The project results will be submitted to the International Joint Commission. Additional sites with identical parameters are being collected by Manitoba. Algal taxonomy will be conducted by RESPEC Laboratories. 

  • Noting that the Wolverton Creek/Comstock Coulee Restoration Project, which has been submitted to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, will have an interview in St. Paul on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM. Earlier this year, the BRRWD was also the recipient of a $100,000 grant for this project from Enbridge. 

  • Agreed to participate in a potential Clean Water Fund project application being sponsored by HEI that will look at altered hydrology within the BRRWD. Water quality monitoring done to date within the BRRWD can estimate land run-off contributions. However, the engineers know that some of the sediment in our waterways is also coming from the stream banks. If funded, this study would try to calculate the amount of loading that is occurring from within the stream channel.

  • Approved the payment of bills, totaling $326,713.93.

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE, Barnesville, MN. That night, the BRRWD will also hold their 2016 Budget Hearing at 9:00 PM. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.