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Posted on October 15, 2018 at 8:14 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 10/15/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
In just a little over two weeks, the second round of the buffers deadline will be here. November 1, 2018, is the deadline for 103F buffers. This is the deadline for public drainage system buffers that have open ditch drainage. Last November 1 (2017) was the deadline for all public waters to have buffers.
The buffer minimum for public drainage systems is 16.5 feet in width, unless using some other NRCS approved alternative practice. The buffers for this public drainage portion should and can be marked out by your local SWCD group.
The recent wet weather patterns have put fall harvest behind schedule. If you are a landowner that has not planted your buffer area yet and you don’t have an approved SWCD extension, time is running out for you.
While I see many ditches even in Blue Earth County that don’t have the required buffer strips along them, as a whole, Blue Earth County is doing very well for compliance with the buffer laws. The landowner, along a public drainage system with an open ditch, is responsible for having their buffer area planted by November 1, 2018, or at least having a plan on record with the local SWCD office with an extension filed. Seed and planting costs are up to the individual landowner unless outside funding is found elsewhere.
These buffer areas can later be paid for by a buffer easement when the local Drainage Authority decides to have a Redetermination of Benefits (ROB) done. When a ROB is done by professional teams of viewers, this gives an updated value of how the individual parcels benefit from either a current drainage system or a new or improved system. Updated ROBs are necessary to make sure that we (Drainage Authority) are using the best available numbers when considering how to distribute cost across a watershed.
Since 1978, when a new ROB is preformed and accepted by the Drainage Authority, the system has to purchase an easement. The way you measure where these easements start and stop changed in 2010. The measurement for buffers with ROBs from 2010 and newer start at the top of the ditch bank slope and measures out 16.5 feet. This is also the same way of measuring for the 103F buffers that have the November 1, 2018 deadline.
Wondering what to plant in these buffer areas? Please check with your local SWCD or Public Drainage Authority. 103F buffers (new buffer) and our 103E buffer (the current law buffer) have drastically different lists of things that can and can’t be planted in the buffer areas. Not sure if you have a 103E buffer or 103F buffer? Give us a call at the drainage office and we would be more than happy to answer that question for you.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 8 – October 12:
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