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Dec 02

Relief in Sight?

Posted on December 2, 2016 at 4:32 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 12/2/2016



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

*Two informational landowner meetings on the same day, December 8th.

JD34 (LeRay Twp.) 10am at City of Eagle Lake, city offices building, December 8th.  Informational meeting about upcoming repairs to system.

CD12 (Mankato Twp.) informational meeting about changes to system.  Meeting set for 2:30pm on the 3rd floor meeting room of the Historic Courthouse building, December 8th.



Project updates:

·        CD34 (Judson Twp.)  Cooreman Contracting has finished all of the new tile installation for this improvement project.  Things have been cleaned up for the year, and next spring we will go through and make sure all “check list” items have been addressed.

·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Geislinger and Sons Contracting has been working on this project for little over a two weeks now.  As of today, December 2nd, the crews have in a little over 2,470 feet of new pipe installed.  There currently are three crews on site working independently of each other, trying to get enough pipe in the ground to start draining the standing water over winter.  Conditions have been somewhat decent lately, until the rains and sleet moved into the area, causing the crews to shut down for a few days.  The three crews will continue to work together until mid-next week, when they will meet up with each other.  The three areas of new pipe will be joined together. At that time, two of the three crews will leave and one will remain to finish working towards the standing water to the northeast of the current construction site.  We're very impressed with the progress the contractor has made in such a short amount of time.
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CD28 Geislinger Construction crews working.


FEMA and Financial Relief:


As some of you may have heard, FEMA has reversed its initial decision on not helping with individual assistance from the September 22nd storms.  Governor Dayton’s team appealed FEMA’s original decision to not provide individual assistance.  Individual assistance covers homes and individual property, many of which were damaged severely in St. Clair, from the September storms. Estimates that exceed $10 million in individual damages means there are a lot of homeowners and property owners that may not have their life back in order yet.  Hopefully they can find the resources to rebuild and that FEMA and other agencies can come through for these folks that need the help.

Public infrastructure had more than $8 million dollars’ worth of claims from the September storms that swept through nine counties.  Blue Earth County drainage is part of this public infrastructure classification.  We started the process a few weeks ago with FEMA and Minnesota HSEM (Homeland Security Emergency Management) to get the process of fixing and funding going.  The good thing with dealing with a federal agency is that we have a longer window of time to get the work done and paperwork associated with it. 

There is no guarantee that all of our projects or repairs associated with the September storm will be financed from FEMA.  The process is that we, the county, have to pay for the repairs up front and then submit for reimbursements.  The repairs have to be made no matter what, but it is always nice to ease the financial burden for our constituents when outside government agencies can lend a hand.

FEMA representatives did stop by our office this week, Monday 28th, to discuss a game plan of how we are to go about our paperwork and other procedural things to be eligible for FEMA funds.  There are a lot of additional things that they request that we may not normally do for making repairs, but if they are helping to pay for things, we need to abide by their rules and regulations.

 I think they were impressed with how organized we were already, with our reports and finding contractors.  We use a software program called drainageDB to help manage repairs.  I am using this software daily to manage old and new projects.  FEMA likes lots of pictures and coordinates for reporting damaged areas.  drainageDB is perfect for keeping all of that information in one reporting system.  Very quickly we can generate a report with location of damaged area, pictures and estimates to make repairs, all on one report.  If you haven’t used Drainage DB yet click on link to check it out. 

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of November 28 – December 2:


·         JD15 (Lincoln Twp.) Sink holes are forming along a stretch of very old tile.  This is a common and reoccurring theme with this system.  Tough soils and very old deteriorating pipe make for a recipe of failure.  Major repairs or improvements are needed for this system to keep functioning.

Upcoming Drainage Inspections:

Our ATV is currently being repaired, so inspections will be halted until it is back and working.  Field conditions are very muddy, and a good freeze would help, not only for my inspections, but with all the contractors we have doing miscellaneous work all over the county.

·         CD56 (Garden City Twp. & Lincoln Twp.)

·         JD38 (Sterling Twp.)

·         JD49 (Sterling Twp.)

·         CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.)

·         CD01 (McPherson Twp.)

·         CD93 (Decoria Twp.)

Please call with issues you observe, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.




             Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist