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Posted on April 28, 2017 at 3:19 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 4/28/2017
Hearings or Meetings:
No hearings or meetings this week.
(Lincoln Twp.) Crews were still busy this week making the last of some open
ditch repairs and crossings. The pipe
boring crew that is working along Blue Earth County Hwy. 30 is still plugging
away. The large amounts of rain lately
have delayed things a bit, as they have to work down in a hole. The contractors are hopeful that next week will dry up so the
boring crew can keep moving, as they do have to make one more boring under
County Hwy. 13 in Lincoln Township. If all
goes well with boring, we are hopeful that the pipe installation can continue
next week sometime.
(Beauford Twp.) Crews tried their
hardest to get some work done this week.
The heavy rains and already wet, heavy clay conditions, made this work
site basically unworkable for this week.
If crews can’t run their equipment without getting stuck, that’s a good
sign to stop for the week and let things dry out. Maybe next week, weather permitting, crews
can fire back up and get this project wrapped up in the next couple weeks.
The last couple weeks have been like a whirlwind. Projects are firing up and farmers are
getting out in their fields. We have seen an increase in calls to report issues. Besides the two or three major projects going
on right now, we still have been very busy with making many smaller size
repairs. In the last two weeks, we’ve
fixed almost ten other smaller repairs across the county.
I plan on having the weed and brush contractor starting to
spray ditches in the eastern half of the county very soon. I’m trying to time this right for weeds being
big enough and crops being small enough, or not planted, to get some much
needed spraying done early. Many of our
ditches have big issues with noxious weeds.
I’m trying to apply my knowledge of chemicals and past career
experiences to try to get a handle on this weed issue. I know this is not an overnight fix, but persistence
and timing have a lot to do with effectiveness.
Anyone who has concerns about spraying along a public drainage ditch,
please feel free to call me to discuss your concerns or questions you may have.
We expect to see two more projects start up in the next month. Those two projects are CD56 (Garden City
Twp.) and CD12 (Mankato Twp.). Both of
these projects are cleaning and maintenance type repair projects.
Union Call For Action:
Minnesota Farmers Union spent over two weeks touring, and
listening, to over 450 farmers and rural Minnesota residents at town hall
type meetings. The reason for these
meetings was to address the concerns of rural Minnesota and farmers. These concerns can be categorized into five
different groups: Healthcare, Listening, Agricultural Issues, Hunger Issues and
and insurance premiums are extremely high for a lot of people in Minnesota. This rising cost is especially felt for our
group of self-employed people, like farmers who pay their own premiums and
deductibles. The average example of
$43,000 per year premiums for farming families makes it very difficult to
choose between paying insurance and paying other bills.
include the buffer law, that is coming due this fall, and also issues with being
able to mow state highway ditches. The
buffer law as we all know is a very hot topic.
Farmers and landowners are asking for flexibility, saying that a buffer
isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every acre along ditches.
Recently, I highlighted this topic about flexibility in the buffer
law, which included alternative clean water practices. Your local SWCD’s are very knowledgeable
about these alternative methods as well as buffers.
covers many areas including; roads, bridges, high speed internet and clean
water wells. Much of the state’s
population lives in large cities, therefore much of the road and infrastructure
money from the state gets spent in these larger population areas. With smaller communities and populations in
the rural areas, it’s often tougher for them to get state or federal
For anyone interested in further reading of this article
here is the link, click here.
Inspections – week of April 24 – April 28:
(Lincoln Twp.) Made inspection on multiple
(Lincoln Twp.) Multiple drop-in
inspections to see progress of project.
(Lincoln Twp.) We have issues with
large sink holes forming. We did some
investigative digging and televising of the pipe. We are having issues with multiple areas on
the pipe where the connection joints are pulling apart. A major reason for this is the very difficult
sandy soils. Picture below is from televising one of the many sink holes on CD56.
(Mapleton Twp.) I investigated a
report from a landowner of a major slough along a section of open ditch. There also was an additional issue with a
beaver building a dam type blockage in a road crossing culvert.
(Garden City Twp.)
(Vernon Center Twp.) partial
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