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Posted on July 23, 2018 at 8:23 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 7/23/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
We have officially started our drainage modernization project. I spoke about this quite some time back, and how we had applied for the Drainage Modernization Grant from BWSR (Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources). We were selected and are one of the counties that is receiving funding to update all of our drainage records.
So, what do we do with the funds? We have a rather strict contract with BWSR giving guidance and detail to just exactly how and what the funds can and can’t be spent on. The minimum requirements were a 1:1 match between the drainage authority and BWSR. We have approximately two years to use these funds and hopefully have our project complete.
Some things we are doing with the money is hiring an outside contractor to help with our GIS layers. Digitizing all of our drainage systems, both tile and open ditches, is just one part of what we are doing. The hired contractor is taking all of our old drainage system plans and profile sheets and digitizing them on a map. What this means is we are having them drawn on a modern GIS map with lots of user-friendly information. Some of the information that we will have on this new map will include: year built, linear feet of open ditch or tile, system name, size of tile, type of tile, flow direction of tile, percent of slope for tile or ditch, and many other supporting documents including improvement and repair documents. We are hoping to color code tile by sizes for easy recognition as well as color code tile versus open ditch. We're working on many other ideas too.
There are currently other counties and watersheds that are already utilizing this technology to some degree, but there are not very many across the state.
Big deal you say, what does this mean for me, Joe Public? This means that the general public will have a much more powerful research tool for public drainage going forward. Much of the most important information that most people currently call and ask us about will be at their fingertips, all just a click of the mouse from your computer. This isn’t an overnight process; trust me there are many steps to building this. The end product will be extremely powerful and useful. We are hoping that we can complete this task in the window allotted for from BWSR. I’m very confident that between our contractor doing a majority of the work and our own county staff, we will be able to have this up and going in two years or less. No more paper maps or having to call in or come into our office to do most research. I’m very excited for this project, as it will change how we operate on a daily basis too, in addition to helping the general public who use it. Click on the hyper link to see an example of how Jackson County is using some of their GIS information in an interactive map.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 16 – July 20:
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