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Mar 14

Ag & Drainage Workshop, Fields & Streams, CD28

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 10:16 AM by Acacia Wytaske

CD28 (Lincoln Township) hearing notices were mailed to all CD28 landowners on February 29th to notify them of the upcoming hearing on the RAMY Removal of Property Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd at 10AM.

Also sent to CD28 (Lincoln Township) landowners was an invite to attend the upcoming pre-construction meeting at ISG on Friday, March 18th at 2PM. For each improvement project, the engineer hosts a meeting with the contractor to communicate the project details, discuss the construction plans and gives the landowners an opportunity to ask questions of the contractor, as well. It's important to know when construction is taking place on your land.

This week ISG hosted an Agricultural Drainage and the Future of Water Quality Workshop in Willmar, MN. This is the 3rd Agricultural Workshop hosted by ISG over the last 2 years. What I really enjoyed about this workshop was the diversity of new topics reflecting the constant efforts of agencies working to create solutions for ditch management; from best management practices to ditch record modernization. 
I like sharing these panoramic pictures with you because it shows that drainage issues really pack a room!
The first presentation was an overview of affordable Best Management Practices in drainage that enhance crop production while also managing water quality and environmental requirements. Many of the examples used in the presentation were from Blue Earth County projects (proud employee moment), like this one:
This picture shows a rate control weir that was installed on JD38 (Shelby Township).  The weir reduces peak flows by providing in-channel storage and treatment. The weir holds back water allowing extra detention time to reduce downstream peak flows, therefore removing sediment and nutrients while still providing adequate drainage.  

MN Buffer Maps and coverage of the current Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit were covered. Preliminary Buffer Maps should be released within the next 10 days according to Dave Leuthe of the DNR. Follow the links for more information on these topics.

There were breakout sessions in the afternoon to choose from and I attended the record modernization session. I could blog about this session for hours because it entailed using GIS for displaying benefits, which is a huge interest for me right now.  The recently developed tool takes redetermination of benefits spreadsheets (very complicated formulas and data to read and interpret) and translates the information to easy to read maps.  It also has the capability of showing how much each landowner will owe; the max, average and median fee of the total and annual assessment, and how many parcels will be assessed with the click of the mouse. Parcel splits are simplified and more accurate. Even more ground breaking, is this information can then be flooded into the county tax software program eliminating the need to manually enter the assessment on every parcel -WHOA!!! If you want to know more about this session, contact Geoff Kramer with RESPEC.

The next session covered monitoring the results of the CD57 (Mapleton Township) Project that has served as a model for drainage projects across the state. Learn more about the CD57 (Mapleton Township) project here.

The last session was an overview of the newly published book, "Fields to Streams: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes".  This publication was specifically designed for rural landowners, land managers and conservation professionals to assist with land and water management practices that reduce streambank, bluff, and ravine erosion. The book is extremely informative and available for free download here: University of Minnesota Extension Fields to Streams. Check it out!

Casey Wytaske
Taxpayer Service Specialist - Drainage & Taxation