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Posted on March 11, 2019 at 5:44 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Update 3/11/2019
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
Besides the horrible weather we’ve been receiving lately, not much news in the drainage world. I spoke last week about a couple different bills at the Legislature related to the buffer strip areas along open ditch systems. One spoke of a tax credit and the other about paying compensation equal to average rents for the acres in the buffer area that have been removed from production.
Now there is a third scenario: removing these buffer acres from being taxable for property taxes. This third scenario will definitely cost some major dollars. Under this proposal, the local governments will be reimbursed for the short falls for those acres not paying taxes.
If one considers the ROB (Redetermination of Benefit) process, landowners already have a way of receiving payment for those buffer acres. The problem with the ROB is that it is one payment and not annual. Part of the ROB and acquiring this buffer grass strip is an easement that is maintained by the drainage authority. The buffer is acquired by paying fair current market values for land, but the buffer remains the property of the current landowner. The drainage authority retains the easement and maintenance associated with it.
Fun fact: Palmar Amaranth is now found in five different counties in Minnesota. For the folks not familiar with what this weed is, search it sometime using your favorite search engine. This weed is crippling areas of the south that are involved with agricultural production. Half of the counties in Iowa are now battling this out-of-control beast of a weed. It is quickly becoming immune to many different forms of herbicide. So far Minnesota is doing a good job at killing and controlling it. Below is an example of Palmar Amaranth.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of February 11 – February 15:
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