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May 26

Cabin Fever?

Posted on May 26, 2020 at 2:49 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/26/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • In response to the current COVID 19 situation, all in person hearings and meetings for drainage have been suspendedWe will send out new notices for all hearings and meetings that need to be rescheduled.
  • Blue Earth County staff have just recently started hosting board meetings and some drainage hearings virtually.  Blue Earth County staff has been using conference call-in options.  Notices sent out for drainage hearings will include all necessary information for our landowners to attend these hearings virtually.                                                                                                                                      


While some of us fellow Minnesotans might be going a bit stir crazy at the moment, hope is on the horizon, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast.  Some Department of Natural Resources, DNR, managed campgrounds will start to open back up very soon.  As of June 1, 2020, some areas of camping in Minnesota state and county parks will start to open back up.  These parks and camping areas need to come up with a plan to abide by the Governor’s order to keep distancing practices going.  Some of the rough camping sites will be amongst the first group to open, followed by some lodging type facilities and eventually, by mid to late June, have almost all state park facilities up and functioning at some capacity.  The DNR urges campers to come prepared with their own sanitizing supplies and some other bathroom type supplies.

DNR staff know that they have a lot work in the coming weeks to get the parks and areas open and ready for visitors again, but they are confident that they will meet the demands.

Some facilities that will remain closed to the public will include, beaches, pools, cabins requiring housekeeping and visitor centers, just to mention a few.

I visited Iowa last week with my family for a quick vacation.  It seemed so strange to be surrounded by people and businesses bursting at the seams and life seamlessly caring on, despite what some neighboring states are doing for the COVID-19 situation.  I hope that we get back to this type of normalcy sooner than later.  Photo from the boat last Saturday.  Waters where a littler rough from all the boat traffic, but hard to pass up a nice day.Iowa

Project Updates:  

  • CD34 (Judson Twp.)  Acceptance hearing completed, warranty period has started.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Crews should be starting with open ditch cleanings this weekend.
  • JD09 North (LeRay Twp.)  No changes from last week.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  Two more areas of sink holes and we might be caught up for repairs on this system. 
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  We still have a contractor in the watershed area making repairs.
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  Hoping to get a couple sink hole areas fixed soon.  It’s that time of year where it’s hard to keep contractors just doing work for drainage.
  • CD87 (Garden City Twp.)  Amazing what a new section of tile can do.  Even after some of the heavy rains in the last couple weeks, things are still looking dry.
  • JD36 Brown (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Monitoring an ongoing issue with an older, smaller lateral part of this system that struggles to drain anytime there is a sizable rain event.  Until water levels good back down and things dry up a little, assessing the situations and making repairs is forced to wait.  Pictured below, is a prime example of why we need to keep our buffer areas around in-takes.  Buffer in-take areas help reduce maintenance costs to drainage systems by keeping debris like crop residue and soil out of the tile lines and ditch.jd36
  • CD05 (Danville Twp.)  Reviewed areas of slough and sediment cleaning for our repair work.  Added a couple areas where we might be adding some water quality side in-takes.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Monitoring any sloughing issues.

We have multiple contractors making repairs across the county currently.  Please report repair issues to our drainage staff as soon as you notice them, as this will expedite the time in getting those repairs made.

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.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist