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Posted on November 20, 2017 at 4:01 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 11/20/2017
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
On Tuesday, November 21, the County Board of Commissioners, as the County Drainage Authority, will review and act upon the 2018 proposed assessments. For more information, read below and review the board's agenda.
Drainage Budget Season:
that time of year again…tax and assessment season. As many of you know, taxes and assessments are
necessary in the drainage world to pay for improvements and/or repairs for public drainage projects. Cities/towns, the county, and schools also use taxes to pay for operating
costs, repairs, and general operations.
When it comes
to public drainage at Blue Earth County, we try to budget to
keep our public drainage accounts in the positive. For multiple reasons, we (Drainage Authority)
try to keep each of our ditch systems separate and the balance in those separate
accounts positive. This helps with reporting and auditing.
How do we go about achieving that positive balance? Each individual ditch system has a watershed boundary. We use the total benefitted acres inside that
watershed boundary and multiply that number by $8 per benefited acre to come up with a target amount. So as an example,
say ditch system CD999 has 1,429 benefited acres in the watershed…we take 1,429
X $8 = $11,432. The $11,432 is the minimum
balance we like to keep as available funds in the account. We do this for every single ditch system's
spending account. It is our general rule of thumb.
if we have repairs costs that exceed what’s available in the account or have a system that falls below our targeted amount? We then will have to put levies on the
individual ditch system to replenish that money spent for repairs. This becomes an assessment.
happens if we have a really large unexpected repair and not enough money in the
account to cover? We can borrow against
the County's general fund account to pay for repairs during the season. The general fund dollars are a loan that needs to be paid back.
As we get ready to set the next year's assessments, we look for potential repairs and operating costs for the next
year. We try to figure out what systems
will have upcoming costs to them so we can levy ahead of time, trying to keep
that drainage system's balance positive.
Most of the time these potential costs are an estimate, but we do our
best to not overcharge either. It's
like trying to predict the weather when we try to predict potential repairs, but I feel the staff and the Blue Earth County Drainage Authority
does an excellent job of trying to keep reasonable system account balances.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of November 13 – November 17:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone...enjoy
the holiday with your friends and family.
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.
Drainage Management Specialist