At their 09/14/15 meeting held in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), made an order to continue the development of Project No. 77, Clay County Ditch (C.D.) No. 51-Proposed Lateral No. 3. The project is being developed in accordance with Minnesota Drainage Law. The final hearing was held in Moorhead on 08/27/15. The project has met all of the legal requirements outlined in Minnesota Drainage Law to advance it to construction. The Board’s order will begin a 30-day appeal period. The proposed lateral will be approximately 1.5 miles long and will drain water from Sections 21, 28, and 33, Kragnes Township, Clay County into C.D. No. 51.
Other business included:
- Introduced Kathy Fenger, the new Administrative Assistant hired through Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) to work in the Barnesville office. Ms. Fenger’s duties will primarily deal with the Watershed’s accounting system.
- Reviewed the BRRWD’s financial statements. Income received in the past month totals $197,352.63. Currently, the cash on hand is $2,171,094.95.
- Approved the final pay request to Reiner Contracting, Inc. and their work associated with the Buffalo River Restoration Project in Hawley, MN. The total amount of the pay request was $40,252.33. Bruce Albright, Administrator, BRRWD, has had recent conversations with Amanda Hillman, Restoration Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), about potential Phase 2 funding that would continue the river restoration work south of Trunk Highway No. 10.
- Continued discussions with a landowner in Section 28, Barnesville Township, Clay County, regarding drainage issues in that area. A recent HEI survey was reviewed. Part of the problem pertains to pipelines that cross this property. These pipelines are very shallow in depth. HEI is working with the pipeline owners in possibly lowering the lines. State and Federal Laws set standards regarding pipeline depths. Albright said the most recent proposal includes removing a field approach culvert along 140th ST S, adding two new approaches along 140th ST S with 42″ diameter pipes, and adding a second culvert to a field approach crossing off County State Aid Highway No. 2. Next steps include discussions with the Township and County Road authorities. The landowner will eventually file for a BRRWD permit to do the work.
- Approval of permits to: William Gifford to install an approach with a 24″ diameter culvert off 15th AVE N into the NE1/4, Section 2, Glyndon Township, Clay County; Mark Anderson to install an approach with a 30″ diameter culvert for access into the N1/2, Section 12, Holy Cross Township, Clay County; Polar Optics to install new fiber optic cable in Sections 3, 4, and 10, Roberts Township, Wilkin County; Lake Region Electric Co-op to install an underground electrical distribution line under Wilkin C.D. No. 41 in the NE1/4, Section 12, Atherton Township, Wilkin County; Brian Wang for pattern tiling with outlets to Clay C.D. No. 3 in the SE1/4, Section 9, Moland Township, Clay County; Percy Boesen to complete wetland restorations in accordance with a design completed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in the NW1/4, Section 21, Akron Township, Wilkin County; Ed Ernst to install a berm along 140th ST S, lower an existing inlet culvert into Clay C.D. No. 54, and add a new inlet into Clay C.D. No. 54 in Section 29, Barnesville Township, Clay County; Wayne Zimmerman to install a culvert with a flap gate at the outlet of a field ditch in the SW1/4, Section 6, Morken Township, Clay County; Mike Yaggie for pattern tiling in the S1/2, Section 32, Akron Township, Wilkin County; City of Moorhead to develop Horizon Shores 9th Edition; Roger Minch to install NRCS designed wetland restorations in the NW1/4, Section 5, Humboldt Township, Clay County; Philip Rogers to install NRCS designed wetland restorations in the SW1/4, Section 5, Humboldt Township, Clay County; Randy Bjornson to install tile in an existing field ditch, so that the ditch can be filled in and farmed over in the SW1/4, Section 14, Skree Township, Clay County; and Brad Brinkman and Kathleen Chafee to install a driveway with a 24″ diameter culvert for access to their property off County Road No. 72 into the SW1/4, Section 31, Riverton Township, Clay County.
- Noting that the office is still working with one landowner regarding an easement needed to complete the restoration of Whiskey Creek in Section 14, Connelly Township, Wilkin County.
- Erik Jones, Engineer, HEI, reviewed the bids opened for the Clay C.D. No. 11 repairs. The Board awarded the construction contract to the low bidder, Riley Brothers Construction, Inc., for $216,859.00.
- Noting that as of last week, all easements have been signed for the Manston Slough Restoration Project. A final billing will be prepared for the DNR prior to the 09/30/15 grant deadline.
- Noting that the DNR grant in the amount of $5.53 million has been signed and returned to the State for their final signatures. Ulteig Engineers, Inc. has begun work on updating the plans and specifications. An October 13, 2015, bid opening has been scheduled. The Board agreed to work with the Clay County Highway Department to add a mill and overlay project for Wall Street in the project contract. Landowners involved with Phase 4 will be contacted by the office for an extension of their temporary construction easements, which expired back in 2013 because of the lack of State funding.
- Noting that Reiner Contracting, Inc. is finishing their work regarding the Georgetown Flood Control Levee. A meeting will be held with city representatives to review the final project before the contractor leaves the area.
- Noting that the next Mediation Project Team meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 1:30 PM, in the Barnesville Watershed office.
- A Fall Tour will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2015, beginning from the Watershed office at 1:30 PM.
- Noting that a hearing will be held on September 17, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Watershed office regarding installation of the one-rod grassed buffer strips on Wilkin C.D. Nos. 5A, 26, and 22 (Lateral Nos. 1 and 2). The requirement is part of the new 2015 buffer legislation, as well as a DNR requirement on the permit issued last summer to the BRRWD for the restoration of 26.2 miles of Wolverton Creek/Comstock Coulee.
- Agreed to apply for a grant funding opportunity being offered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for a multi-purpose drainage management program. The application will pertain to work on Clay C.D. No. 31 (Stony Creek).
- Noting that the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared by the DNR for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management Project. The public comment period will run from September 14-October 28, 2015. A public informational meeting to review the EIS is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2015, between 5:00-10:00 PM at the Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead, MN. A presentation regarding the EIS will be made by the DNR at 7:00 PM that evening.
- Noting that the draft Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy and the Total Maximum Daily Load studies have been completed for the Upper Red River of the North. The reports have been forwarded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for their review. A public informational meeting to review both documents has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Watershed office in Barnesville.
- Noting that Chair Van Amburg and Administrator Albright presented the Wolverton Creek Habitat Restoration Project to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) on September 2, 2015, in St Paul. Van Amburg felt the interview went well. If approved, the LSOHC grant could provide up to $4.963 million for the project.
- Reviewed information from the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) regarding their Section 1135 Habitat Restoration Program. COE officials will be invited to the next Otter Tail River Restoration Planning meeting in early December.
- Discussed the inventory completed of interested parties within the BRRWD that may want a ring dike. At this time, we have six potential applicants. The information will be forwarded to Ron Harnack, Financial Coordinator, Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB). The State of Minnesota has appropriated $400,000 for the Red River Basin to construct ring dikes through the 2015 legislative session.
- Noting that a Field Demonstration will be held on Friday, September 18, 2015, from 12:00-3:00 PM at the Nordick Drainage Demonstration Project. The address for the field day 2675 250th ST, Rothsay, MN. The program starts at noon with lunch.
- Discussed an invitation from River Keepers to attend their award-winning Red River Water Festival on either September 23 or 24, 2015, at the Hjemkomst Center, Moorhead. The BRRWD is a River Keepers supporter.
- Discussed scheduling of meetings this winter to work on updating the BRRWD’s Rules and to hold public informational meetings regarding possible RRWMB future membership.
- Approved the payment of bills, totaling $341,787.14.
The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2015, 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 www.brrwd.org.