Progress Noted on Oakport Project

At their 05/09/16 meeting held in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), approved Pay Request No. 2 to R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc. in the amount of $361,356.60 for their work regarding Phase 4 on the Oakport Flood Mitigation Project in North Moorhead. Phase 4 is the final phase of this project.  The work was able to continue after last summer when the BRRWD secured Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant funding through their flood hazard mitigation program in the amount of $5.53 million to finish the project.  The contractor is expecting to have the project done by Labor Day 2016 (weather permitting).  The Board also approved Change Order No. 1 in the amount of $57,487.00, which includes some additional traffic control, water, and sewer services that will be installed now while the roads are still open.

Other business included:

  • A review of the BRRWD’s financial status. Current cash on hand totals $94,015.56. The BRRWD will need to utilize their line of credit at Midwest Bank in order to pay this month’s bills. Bruce Albright, BRRWD Administrator, noted that later this month, the Watershed should start receiving the first half tax proceeds from the various counties. 

  • Approved repairs to Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 59 based on bids to install 38 field inlet culverts. The low bidder was Tim Crompton Excavating Inc., Pelican Rapids, MN, with a bid of $62,210.52. Over the past several years, the BRRWD has applied for Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources grant funding to assist with the culvert installations. Unfortunately, we never quite qualified for those funds. When this ditch was initially improved back in 2003, landowners were concerned about project costs. The field inlets were not installed at that time. Since then, the landowners have realized that the field drainage ditches without culverts are adding sediment to the drainage system. The work will be completed this summer. 

  • Approval of permits to: Clay County Highway Department to replace an existing bridge on Parke AVE, which is County Road (C.R.) No. 117 in the City of Glyndon over C.D. No. 51; and the Wilkin County Highway Department to do drainage work and culvert replacements in the City of Foxhome, on County State Aid Highway Nos. 19 and 23.

  • Discussed a historic drainage problem in Section 22, Atherton Township, Wilkin County. To date, the landowners have been unable to resolve the issue. The Board will invite them to attend the 05/23/16 meeting in an attempt to rectify this situation.

  • Reviewed a trespassing and dumping complaint pertaining to Project No. 70, Crystal Creek/McCann’s Addition Flood Control. A concerned citizen sent a letter and pictures to the Watershed Office. The perpetrator will be contacted and the activity stopped.

  • Discussed the possible repair of approximately 2,200′ of Clay C.D. No. 3 located in the NE1/4, Section 17, Spring Prairie Township. The work area is located immediately downstream of Trunk Highway No. 9. This ditch does not have the one-rod grassed buffer strips. Wade Opsahl, Technician, Houston Engineering, Inc. will work with the landowner to see if the ditch can be cleaned this summer or it will have to wait until later this fall when the crops are harvested. 

  • Noting that the next Mediation Project Team Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 7:00 PM in the Watershed office, Barnesville. For the summer months, meetings will be held in the evenings. Active projects include Stony Creek, Barnesville Township, Whisky Creek, and the South Branch of the Buffalo River.

  • Noting that a special meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, at 3:30 PM with Attorney Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm, to discuss the most recent Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) associated with the Fargo-Moorhead (F-M) Diversion Authority (DA). This meeting with the attorney will be followed at 5:30 PM with a presentation from the DA regarding the JPA and Project Partnership Agreement. Administrator Albright met with Eric Dodds, AE2S, on 05/04/16 to discuss several issues pertaining to the F-M Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project. The DA would like the BRRWD to consider approving the new JPA at either their May 23 or June 13 meeting. This year, the Army Corps of Engineers would like to obtain right-of-entry to all Minnesota properties affected by the staging area south of Fargo-Moorhead so they can begin their survey and cultural work.   

  • Made plans for Managers and Staff attendance at the Minnesota Association of Watershed District’s Summer Tour in Winona, MN, on June 22-24, 2016. 

  • Discussed petitions filed for release of properties from Wilkin C.D. No. 6A and Clay C.D. No. 28. Hearings on both ditch systems will be required, including mailing notices to all affected landowners. 

  • Noting that survey work has started on the Whiskey Creek Restoration Project near Kent, and the Lower Otter Tail River Project east of Breckenridge. Landowner permission to survey forms are still coming in to the Watershed Office. 

  • Signed a contract with the International Water Institute for 2016 sampling at 21 sites in the BRRWD.

  • Noting that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will be conducting biological monitoring work throughout the Otter Tail River watershed this summer. In addition to biological data, lake and stream water chemistry samples will be collected to determine if water bodies meet standards for public health, recreation, and aquatic life. Because of the pending MPCA work, the BRRWD was able to eliminate a couple of their sampling sites for 2016.

  • Authorized approximately 200′ of sediment removal on Wilkin C.D. No. 41 in Section 16, Atherton Township. The work is needed to provide drainage for a tile that was installed last fall.

  • Approved the payment of bills, totaling $641,806.46.

The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, May 23, 2016, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE. All meetings are open to the public.  For more information, please visit our website at