View All Posts

Sep 18

Going Modern

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 4:08 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 9/18/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

JD34 (Le Ray Twp.) Preconstruction meeting will be held on September 27th.  This preconstruction meeting is for those individuals that will be affected by the upcoming drainage improvement project in Le Ray Township.  Those landowners affected by this project should be receiving notice in the mail with details of times and locations of this preconstruction meeting.


Project Updates


  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.) The contractor has finished all major aspects of this repair project.  The new concrete culvert crossing along 499 Avenue in Lincoln Township where CD56 crosses is in and complete.  The contractor is finishing up with a few “check list” items before calling this repair project complete.


Modernizing Drainage Records:


The state of Minnesota and Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is hoping to lend a helping hand in assisting Minnesota counties and drainage authorities modernize their drainage records.  Drainage authorities and counties currently can apply for a Drainage Records Modernization (or DRM) Grant.  Part of the purpose for doing this is to enable enhanced drainage system management by a commonly used GIS template.  The information on this common template would include hydrographic information.  Examples of that information would be things like: drainage system location, size, type, grade, and so forth.  This grant pertains only to 103E drainage systems.  These systems are usually older systems with very old records on paper maps.

Currently the Minnesota Legislature has dedicated $500,000 for the DRM Grants to match county or watershed district contributions.  There are certain requirements that have to be met to be accepted for the grant.  The biggest requirement is the county or watershed district has to match time and funds at a 1:1 ratio.  There currently is no minimum to apply, but there is currently a maximum of $75,000 that can be applied for.  The terms for this grant are fairly specific on what the funds can be used towards.  Some things that funds could be used for include: scanning, digitizing and basically having electronic versions of drainage records.

The application window has already opened in August and runs until October 2, 2017.  All applications need to be in by October 2, by 4:30pm to be considered.

We in Blue Earth County Drainage Department, have a good start to our drainage records modernizing already.  Almost all of our old maps and information has been electronically scanned and digitized.  We still have a bit of work to do with formally organizing things in folders and updating things on our GIS map layers.  We are considering taking advantage of this DRM Grant, as it would help us cover the additional costs of trying to get things more up to date.

All DRM Grants have a deadline of December 31, 2020.  The DRM Grants will also be paid out in three separate installments instead of one lump sum.  For more information on this please click the link to read for yourself.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of September 11 – September 15:


  • CD56 (Garden City& Lincoln Twp.) I spent most of last week working with the contractor and engineering firm trying to get the last few major items done on this repair project.  An inspector from the engineering firm and myself drove the entire ditch system looking for cleanup projects or checklist items to finish before the contractor packs up his stuff.  Beavers are still an ongoing issue on this open ditch system.  Pictured below of beaver dam in CD56 cross culvert.cd56 beaver



  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  We have an improvement project scheduled to start yet this year for this system.  There is a solar farm being installed on an area that affects our drainage system.  As part of an agreement with the solar farm people, we agreed to their moving part of the current tile drainage system at their cost.  The solar farm contractor had a subcontractor come in last week and install a 100-foot section of tile on the new alignment, so the solar farm contractor could get their wires and roads installed.
  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  Not much change from last week.  The water levels are very low currently, but when our contractor finally gets started on the ditch cleaning this will have a dramatic change to the current drainage of this open ditch system.  The contractor will be cleaning two plus feet of sediment out of the open ditch in areas.  This should have a great improvement to those landowners who have tile outlets going into this system.
  • CD56 Branch 20 (Lincoln Twp.) The contractor is still working his way through the sandy soils of Lincoln Township on this new tile installation project.  Not sure how weather will affect things, but we're still hoping to have this repair project done in the next couple weeks.
  • CD41 (Vernon Center Twp.) & JD32 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  Inspected both systems that are in need of a good ditch bottom and vegetative cleaning.  Hopefully get this work done yet this side of the year.


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.


2017 harvest

        First sign of fall...I came across someone combining soybeans near Vernon Center.



Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist