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Posted on July 3, 2017 at 9:32 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 7/03/2017
Hearings or Meetings:
Twp.) We will be having a landowner
meeting to discuss a possible repair project for this ditch system. This meeting will be held on July 5th. Location and details of times for this
meeting are in the mailer that landowners for this system received.
Twp.) We will be having a landowner
meeting to discuss possible improvement project for this drainage system. The meeting for this improvement
will be held on July 5th.
Landowners and those affected by this system received more
information on times and location.
JD17 (Garden City
Twp.) We will be having a landowner
meeting on Thursday, July 6. The landowners
and individuals that this meeting will affect received details to the time and location of this meeting. This meeting is a follow up to our meeting
from last year and will have new details from our televising and exploratory digging.
(Lincoln Twp.) All of the new HDPE
48” pipe is installed and water is running just fine. The new ditch was officially opened Monday
morning and by noon the water level in the open ditch dropped over 3 feet. The current water level in the open ditch is
about 8 inches to a little over a foot in places. The new tar was put down Friday morning where
the contractor had to open cut CSAH 13. Buffers
have been planted and grass is coming up nicely already. Other than a few touch up and clean up
things, the major construction portion of this project is done.
(Beauford Twp.) The contractor
started moving equipment back on site Thursday of last week. We are expecting additional tile to
start to be installed next week. The
additional footage shouldn’t take much more than a week including cleanup.
(Garden City Twp.) This ditch
cleaning project has started out with challenges.
The contractor is having issues with large chunks of grass floating away
and depositing further downstream where they just got done cleaning. I have never seen such huge chunks of grassy
bogs in a ditch before like this ditch.
The contractor has invented a couple things for the long reach track hoe
to deal with the floating debris. The
pace is slow going, but after our rough start and getting things figured out,
we are looking much better.
(Mankato Twp.) Not much has happened
on this project for a while mostly because there are many new utilities being
installed in the new County Road 12 right-of-way area. Once the new culverts are installed where
CD12 crosses the new road, then our contractor can come in and start
cleaning the open ditch out. There will be
a lot of sediment taken out of this open ditch, as this open ditch system is
overdue for a good cleaning. Once the
cleaning starts it should move along fairly quickly, including the installation
of two new culvert crossings on the north end of this system.
As some of you may know, the buffer law deadlines
are fast approaching. I spoke a
while back about the waivers and some other buffer update items. The buffer law, for both public
waters and public drainage, needs some government entity to enforce the requirements. BWSR (Minnesota Board of Water and
Soil Resources) gave all of the counties an opportunity to either be the local
enforcement agency; if not, BWSR would be the enforcer.
After many months and numerous meetings and BWSR discussions,
Blue Earth County has elected to be the local enforcement agency for the buffers,
both public water and ditches. We will
be working collectively and closely with both the SWCD as well as our
Blue Earth County Environmental Services Department.
We feel that the three of our groups are all very confident that we can take on this task parcel by
The enforcement process
starts with the SWCD who has to say the parcel is either compliant or
non-compliant. If the parcel is
non-compliant, then it comes to the County Drainage Authority to issue a letter
of corrective action. The SWCD is then
responsible to re-check the parcel for compliance and report back to the
If there is a continued issue of non-compliance, then there
will be penalties and fines associated with the time of non-compliance and so
forth. Our Environmental Services group has had a long-standing
shoreline ordinance with a 50 foot setback. We in the drainage department are currently
overseeing 103E drainage violations, which often include buffer violations
after a new ROB (redetermination of benefits) has been performed.
The decision to accept enforcement responsibilities of the buffer law didn’t come
lightly. We discussed it many times with
many groups and the County Board gave it much thought before passing a resolution. Part of the thought was between
Public Drainage, SWCD and Environmental Services, we all have made many
relationships through our current interactions with our local landowners. Dealing with a local government group that
many landowners may already have some experience with should make this buffer
law deadline transition smoother.
We hope that between our three groups and the great amount
of knowledge and expertise that each group brings, that the first deadline
this fall will come and go smoothly.
Please do not wait until last minute to get your plan in
order for the public waters / shoreline buffer deadline. If you have no plan or waiver on file at the
SWCD and have not planted a buffer or certified NRCS alternative clean water
practice, then you are going to be in violation come this November. I confirmed with SWCD and BWSR staff this week
that a written plan on a waiver must be signed and approved by SWCD staff to be
compliant. No waiver and no buffer
equals non-compliance and in violation.
Please know that if your parcel is labeled non-compliant or with a
violation, you are not eligible to sign up for government programs until the
violation is found to be corrected.
Those folks with additional questions and concerns can
either call or email me, or your local SWCD agent at 507-345-4744.
Hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend. Happy Fourth of July / Independence Day. Don’t forget about the fireworks. Lake Washington has fireworks on the night of July 3rd every year. If you’re a boating person looking to watch really good fireworks, I highly suggest Lake Washington.
Inspections – week of June 26 – June 30:
(Lincoln Twp.) Project site drop-ins
to check on progress of the project. Picture shows current water level after opening of new pipe.
(Garden City Twp.) I just stop by
randomly three or more times a week to check on the progress of the current repair
project and to address issues that may arise.
Between these two major projects CD56 and CD28, I
spent all of my outside time this week on them. It feels great to say that things are pretty
much done with CD28 project. This was a
long and very difficult project, plagued by bad weather and very difficult
working conditions. Glad that there was
finally a light at the end of that tunnel.
Please call with issues you observe on our
public drainage system, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county
and only two of us in the drainage department.
We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we
We require that all
repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one
us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist