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Aug 14

Ditch Happenings August 10th - 14th

Posted on August 14, 2015 at 3:52 PM by Acacia Wytaske

It was a busy week in the Blue Earth County Drainage Department!

Three inspection reports were on the agenda at this week's Blue Earth County Commissioner's Board Meeting
    1. Tile relocation and replacement on JD39 (Sterling Township) was approved. The Blue Earth County Highway Department requested to move the tile from underneath Road CSAH 1 to the west of the road outside the road right of way during construction. Due to severe misalignment and offset joints of the 91 year old tile, the condition of the unreinforced tile lines were not acceptable for under a highway road bed. All costs of the tile relocation and replacement will be paid for as part of the CSAH 1 reconstruction project.
    2. A new intake on CD57 (Beauford Township) in Section 33 was approved to be installed just north of the original location to replace the intake that was presumably destroyed during construction.
    3. Two blowouts were approved to be repaired on CD57 (Beauford Township) in Section 33.
All 3 inspection reports are available to view through our DrainageDB Portal.

On Thursday, I attended the Agricultural Drainage and The Future of Water Quality Workshop presented by ISG, Blue Earth County, The MN Dept of Agriculture and the MN DNR. Representative Rick Hansen - District: 52A welcomed over 175 people in attendance and gave the opening remarks.
Buffer Zones and Water Storage: Their Downstream Effects was presented by John Jaschke of BWSR and Attorney Kurt Deter of Rinke-Noonan.  Mr. Jaschke highlighted the new buffer legislation and Mr. Deter covered the legalities. Here is a great link for more information on the 2015 Buffer Law.
There were 3 breakout sessions to choose from before lunch; Ditch Viewing-Redetermination of Benefits, Multi-purpose Drainage Management Plans, and Downstream Impacts on Impaired Waters. My strategy was to attend the session I knew the least about so I joined the presentation by Jessica Nelson of the LeSueur Watershed Network and Nathan Utt of Ecosystem Services Exchange learning about the downstream impacts on impaired waters. I had never heard of Ecosystem Services Exchange and was intrigued to find out their services are present in MN.
The Lunch Session was presented by Patrick Belmont of Utah State University. He talked about targeted water storage to maintain productive land and restore clean water.  After lunch was another break out session with 3 more topics to choose from; Ditch Viewing - Improvements & Separable Maintenance, Multi-purpose Drainage Management Funding, and Update on Blue Earth County Ditch No. 57. I attended the funding session. Blue Earth County Commissioner Kip Bruender gave closing remarks to end the workshop. 
I highly recommend attending this workshop and look forward to next year!

Weekly Tidbits:

 - The Redetermination of Benefits for CD28 (Lincoln Township) is complete. We mailed the reports to the landowners on Friday, August 14th.  Landowners that have questions about the Redetermination of Benefits are strongly encouraged to set up an appointment with the viewers to discuss the benefits assigned. The viewers meetings are held on September 3rd, at the Lake Crystal American Legion and can be scheduled by contacting me, Casey Wytaske, or Craig Austinson. The notice for the Public Hearing for the Final Improvement and Redetermination of Benefits for CD28 was also included in the mailing. All mailed documents are available on our DrainageDB Portal.

 - The notice for the Public Hearing on the petition for removal of property from CD28 & JD15 (Lincoln Township) was mailed to all CD28 & JD15 landowners on Friday, August 14th.  All mailed documents are available on our DrainageDB Portal.