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Posted on February 24, 2017 at 4:08 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 2/24/2017
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
No upcoming hearings or meetings.
Lingering issues with the buffer law, concerns from landowners and farmers:
I recently read an article on MPR news online about
Minnesota farmers who are not happy with some provisions of the Buffer Law. Many farmers have private ditches on their
farms. Some of these private ditches
were added to the MN DNR (Department of Natural Resources) Public Waters
Inventory list or PWI. At the time the
list was created in the 1980’s, being listed didn’t pose much of a problem for
farmers or landowners.
Now that the new law is using the PWI maps and list, farmers
and landowners now will have to take out of production 50 foot strips along
both sides of waterways that are on the PWI list. Only natural watercourses are supposed to be
on the PWI list, but there are errors on these lists, including some even in
Blue Earth County where ditches that should not be labeled a natural
watercourse or be part of the Public Waters Inventory are included.
If you think that a waterway on your property was added to
the PWI list in error, call the DNR and let them know your concern. Be prepared and have proof of the ditch’s
history ahead of time to help prove that it was in fact an error.
We are seeing lately in the state legislature that there is still
some unrest with the Buffer Law. There
is currently a bill trying to come through the legislature that would block the
Governor’s start date of the law until a full compensation plan for the acres
coming out of production is worked out.
Currently there are very few ways to be compensated for this buffer
land. One way is to have a ROB (redetermination
of benefits) done on the drainage system for public drainage systems. We in the drainage department are being told
from BWSR and DNR officials that even after these buffer laws take effect, we
can still go back and reimburse landowners through this ROB process for the
buffer strip areas. There is no statute
of limitation or time frame for this reimbursement to expire. This reimbursement through the ROB process is
allowed under Chapter 103E drainage law.
I believe that these buffers will still happen, but it is
not clear what the Legislature may do this year and whether the Governor will
agree. Time will tell and we will have
to wait and see how this all plays out this year.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of February 20 – February 24:
Upcoming Drainage Inspections:
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 receive them.
Drainage Management Specialist