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Jun 10

Department Name and Location Change

Posted on June 10, 2020 at 12:32 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 6/10/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


  • Blue Earth County staff have just recently started hosting board meetings and some drainage hearings virtually.  Blue Earth County staff has been using a combination of live-streaming video and conference call-in options.  Notices sent out for drainage hearings will include all necessary information for our constituents to attend these hearings virtually, via online or the call-in option.
  • CD92 (Medo Twp.)  An Informational landowner meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 11.  Those affected individuals have received notice of the virtual landowner meeting.                                                                                                                                                             

We’ve Moved:

Times are a changing, especially with our department.  We started by restructuring our department, which included a department name change to Property & Environmental Resources.  Our department now includes taxation, property assessments, records, passports, planning and zoning, environmental health, solid waste and recycling, mapping, and drainage.  This change was made to better serve our customers, allowing them to make one stop for all their property concerns.

Most recently, amid this COVID pandemic time, we have even moved the entire Property and Environmental Resources department to our new home.  Yes, we have moved down the road to the Blue Earth County Government Center.  Not a long move from our previous location in the Historic Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse, but still a move.  The building construction is fully finished and now house a large portion of our county provided services.  Customers can make one stop to get your license tabs and drainage questions answered under one roof.

Currently, most departments are taking appointments to meet with customers.  Many of the staff in the building have been working remotely from home the past nine plus weeks.  As our state slowly opens things back up, so are we.  Employees are slowly coming back to work in the new office space.

Property and Environmental Resources is located on the second floor of the Government Center building.  Things are bit different in how employees and customers interact, especially in drainage.  The drainage office in the prior location was a very open situation where customers could literally just walk into our office areas.  Our new office layout incorporates the use of conference or meeting rooms, where customers and employees can meet in a neutral area to discuss matters.  We are still available to take calls and emails, as we have been, during these crazy times.

Blue Earth County does have plans to have a grand opening at some point.  Due to the current COVID-19 changes, no specific date is planned for a grand opening to the public for our new building.  Once things are completely opened back up and start getting back to normal, we encourage people to come in and explore the new building.  Photo below showing a sneak peek of our department's new main reception area. IMG_0685

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  Final checklist items are pretty much completed.  We are televising some final footages to make sure there are no issues from the new solar farm.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Crews have been busy installing water quality inlets, cleaning the open ditch,  and clearing and grubbing trees along the open ditch.  Recent rains have slowed progress down a little bit.  Photo below of a cleaned up area of road crossing along CD05.IMG_0702
  • JD09 North (LeRay Twp.)  No changes from last week.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  Contractor started making repairs to two more areas of sink hole issues along portions of the JD15 tile system.  Recent rains have made things much more difficult. 
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Two contractors doing work on this system last week.  Both areas had issues with tile.
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  We had a contractor start making repairs to portions of tile along this system.  The problem turned out to be much more involved than we initially anticipated.  We do have a plan on how to repair the situation and return drainage to this area.
  • 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.
  • CD96 (Decoria Twp.)  Inspected some issues with a field crossing.
  • CD73 (Lyra Twp.)  Two issues with broken and damaged tile intakes over an existing county tile line.
  • CD05 (Danville Twp.)  Stop in occasionally to monitor progress of our repair and cleaning of the open ditch.

Do you have questions or topics about drainage that you would like to here more about? If you would like me to incorporate those concerns or topics in one of my future blogs, please feel free to email me at the listed email address below. 

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