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Aug 22

Multitude of Minds

Posted on August 22, 2017 at 12:19 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 8/21/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

No upcoming meetings or hearings.


Project Updates:


·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Slower week last week with a few weather events slowing progress down.  Some seeding of the buffer areas has been going on just south of the town of Lake Crystal.  Ditch cleaning and tree removal should continue yet again this week.


·         JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  This project is not formally going yet, but the improvement project for this system is open for public bidding.  For more details contact, Kyle Sammons at ISG 507-387-6651.


·         JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  This improvement project will be up for public bid yet this week as I’m told, so also look for that.  For more details, contact Kyle Sammons at ISG 507-387-6651.



25 BY 25 Update:

I was fortunate enough to make the Governor's water quality meeting in Mankato last Wednesday.  I will admit that I went into this meeting with a certain idea or expectation of how things were going to go.  Much to my delight, things went very differently from what I was expecting.  

Governor Dayton himself attended the meeting, despite the severe weather that day.  There were other speakers, all local people: one speaker from Minnesota State University Mankato, one speaker from the Lake Crystal Crystal Waters Project, a local farmer, and the City of St. Peter Public Works Director.  The Public Works Director was interesting hearing how expensive, serious and close to home their drinking water issues are to Mankato. 

The local farmer representing our area was Steve Trio from the Beauford Township area in Blue Earth County.  Steve spoke to a crowd of probably 150 people, explaining how he's making a difference on his farm towards cleaner water and being a better steward of the land.

The thing that I enjoyed the most about the meeting, and what the majority of time was spent on, was our three break-out sessions.  These break-out sessions consisted of 4-6 person groups discussing a specific question given to the whole audience. Each small group had to come up with three key answers for each question.  The answers were shared each time through an interactive site they were using just for this meeting in Mankato. 

There were very interesting answers from so many different groups.  What made the answers so varied was the personal or professional background that each person represented.  We had politicians, farmers, business owners, homeowners, engineers, city people, rural people, DNR, USDA, BWSR, mayors of small towns, and many more different people represented at the meeting. 

It was fun to see how many of the answers that were repeats from other groups.  We may be very different people but not always so far apart in how we are thinking.  Key topics of discussion for the night were: drinking water quality, lakes and rivers quality, and major pollution sources.  I think some of the groups had heated discussions as farm and city views may have clashed a time or two.

I spoke with quite a few people before and after the meeting.  I really liked hearing, after the meeting, the variation in peoples' opinions on how they felt the meeting went.  Some were disappointed that there wasn't more clear direction and problem-solving ideas discussed.  Some (like myself) were pleasantly surprised by how different we all in that room may have been, yet that we could work together well to come up with some very good ideas. 

It will be interesting to see the results of all the different answers and ideas from all across the state when all of the meetings are finished.  The results should be posted on the state website after all meetings are concluded.




Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 14 – August 18:


·        CD56 (Garden City& Lincoln Twp.) I like to randomly stop by the active construction site a few times a week to keep up with progress and also to address concerns on the site.


·        JD38 (Shelby Twp.)  Checked in on the newly installed outlet structure to the  wetland.  Water level of the wetland pond is low enough that no water is actually coming over the weir and into our new drop intake structure.

·        CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) Stopped by to check on current water levels and to make sure everything is running smoothly.  Discovered two new smaller sink hole areas along the old metal pipe line area.


·        JD45 (Mapleton Twp.)  Still waiting on parts and pieces to get this repair project closed up. 



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.


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.





Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist