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Posted on June 5, 2017 at 4:28 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 6/5/2017
Hearings or Meetings:
& JD34 (LeRay Twp.) We will be
having final improvement hearings at the June 6, 2017, Board of
Commissioners meeting. The JD34 improvement
hearing will be from 9:20 – 9:45. The JD09
improvement hearing will be from 9:50 – 10:20.
Both of these meetings will be held in the Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners
room on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse, 204 South 5th
Street. The Board packet is located here.
(Lincoln Twp.) Pipe crews were
slowly making progress last week. The
pipe crew is now working in one of the toughest and wettest areas on this
project. The crews are doing their best
to keep getting pipe in and hopefully digging conditions get better
quickly. The pipe boring crew that was
boring under CSAH 13 has hit another rock and very sandy conditions. Things are at a standstill for the boring
crew until another plan can be figured out.
I will keep everyone updated when we do have a plan for the boring crew. The picture below shows crews working on special timbers to keep the heavy equipment from sinking into the muck.
(Beauford Twp.) DMI crews have been
offsite most of last week as we encountered more additional pipe that needs
repair on this large repair project.
This additional pipe that needs repair will increase the overall project
costs by almost 40%. The reason that
this pipe was not originally discovered was because of very high water levels
when we televised last fall. We knew
going into this project that additional pipe repair might be needed. We need board approval to make the
change order to repair the additional pipe and resulting costs.
(Garden City Twp.) The tree removal
crews that have been working in Lake Crystal for the past week and a half have
made great progress. The crews are just
starting to cut the larger trees this week along the 16.5 foot ditch bank
area. Hopefully if everything goes well,
the tree clearing will be complete in a couple more weeks.
The last few weeks have been extremely busy. We now have four major projects going on at
the same time. We have been seeing a
large increase of pipe failures lately on projects that were done in the late
1990’s. Pipe products and construction
specifications were much different then.
We have made great gains in learning what works and what doesn’t
seem to work.
We have and will continue to do our best to serve our constituents
to the best of our abilities and in a timely manner. Some of these repairs are fairly large in
nature and in cost. We have to follow
certain statutory guidelines with certain repairs and costs. We will do everything in our power to make
sure that repairs are made in a timely and respectful fashion.
Minnesota farmers and landowners alike will be given the possibility
for a temporary extension to the buffer deadline for Public Waters. This extension to the deadline and a few other changes
came last week with the signing by Governor Dayton of several legislative bills.
Public Waters had a buffer law deadline set to go into
effect November 1, 2017. This Public
Waters deadline was for establishing a 50 foot buffer average with a minimum 30 foot buffer
needed to meet requirements. Farm groups
and other groups made the statements that the deadlines are unrealistic, and a compromise was eventually reached. Lawmakers and the Governor’s office
agreed to a temporary extension process. If found to be applicable and certain requirements are met, the landowner
would have until 2018 to be compliant.
Some readers of the law say July 1, 2018, is the specific date but the BWSR (Minnesota Board of Water and
Soil Resources) website states the waiver will run through November 1, 2018. These dates may need
some final confirmation, but the BWSR template and dates are what your local
SWCD’s are going to be using to make their decisions from.
BWSR sees this as a “grace period” more than a delay. It’s giving greater consideration to factors
like weather conditions, crop harvest, or any other circumstance that would
hinder the November 1, 2017 deadline compliance.
The waiver appears to be an application process, not a guaranteed acceptance. Local SWCD’s will be
responsible for issuing these Conditional Compliance Waivers and also
the Validation of Compliance Requests.
Legislators decided to allocate funds totaled nearly $22 million for use on the buffer law
program. Some of the funds will
go towards cost-sharing buffer seeding mixes, alternative clean water methods,
and other conservation programs. Not all
lands will be eligible for all the conservation programs. CREP is one of many programs that landowners
could possibly enroll these buffer areas into.
CREP does eventually turn into a permanent easement. There are many different programs and not one
fit will work for every landowner. Call
your local SWCD and discuss your options before these programs are filled up. The picture shown displays Minnesota counties by percentage of buffer compliance. Click here for a better view of this map and more information.
Inspections – week of May 22 – May 26:
(Lyra Twp.) I inspected multiple areas of
tile blow outs. This is an old
tile system that is in need of a major repair or improvement. We spend a fair amount of time and money on
this system every year.
(Shelby Twp.) This major tile blow out
of a 36 inch tile is getting closer to being repairable. We have been waiting for water levels to drop
enough so we can pump water around the area we need to repair. It’s been tough lately as we have a wetland
that dumps water into this system as well as the City of Amboy using this system
as its storm drainage outlet.
(Garden City Twp.) Checked in on
project progress multiple times during the week.
(Lincoln Twp.) Made multiple
random stops during week to check on progress of this project.
(Danville Twp.) Checked in with
crews repairing multiple areas on this system including a slough area
and a new field crossing. Photo below shows crews working on installing new field crossing culvert.
(Sterling Twp.) Inspected a major
sink hole which will now turn into a major tile repair project.
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.
Answer to photo question in the lead in = Redwood Falls, MN
Answer to photo question in the lead in = Redwood Falls, MN
Drainage Management Specialist