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Feb 17

Drainage update February 17 2017

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 4:23 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 2/17/2017

paw print
Name the animal that this paw print we found on CD 28 belongs to...

Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • Board of Commissioners meeting: CD86 (Decoria Twp.)  Repair project awarding will be announced at next Tuesday's (February 21) Board of Commissioners meeting at the Historic Court House.  The project was awarded to DMI, a local company out of Mankato, who is very well known for doing good work.

Project Updates:

  • CD98 (Mankato Twp.)  Our first repair project of 2017 is officiallylong reach track hoe started.  This is a public system that consists of both tile and open ditch.  This system is located off of Monks Avenue, just south of Rosa Parks Elementary School.  General ditch cleaning and outlet structure repairs are the majority of the work being done on this project.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Geislinger and Sons was set to start cleaning the southerly portion of the open ditch this week.  They had to make some last minute repairs and changes to their long reach track hoe.  I have been informed that they should be on site next week to start cleaning the open ditch.

Rinke Noonan Drainage and Wetland Conference 2017:

rinke noonanThe 2017 seminar was outstanding and very well presented by Rinke Noonan.  We had six different sessions all in one day, which made for a long day when you’re on the road by 6am. 

Session one spoke about public drainage repairs and public waters law.  This session was by far one of my favorites.  There were two main speakers for this session.  One of the speakers was John Kolb (attorney with Rinke Noonan) and the other speaker was Larry Kramka (Houston Engineering).  John spoke openly about some current key topics in drainage, including permitting, drainage authority and some possible new things coming from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR).  This session received the most interaction from the crowd with many questions and comments.

Larry Kramka was there speaking about DNR policies and his 20 years of experience with the MN DNR.  Larry was one of the key individuals from the very beginning with the establishment of the “Public Waters Inventory”.  It was great to have Larry there to answer many questions from the audience.  Mind you that the audience was made up of multiple drainage authorities and counties from all across Minnesota.

My second favorite session was one led by our very own Mankato resident Chuck Brandel from ISG.  Chuck spoke about the importance of Multi-purpose Drainage Management, and the role it plays at his firm and for his clients.  We at the Blue Earth County Drainage Department are very familiar with Chuck’s MDM plans.  We have been trying for years now to go above and beyond for being a leader in drainage when it comes to public drainage. 

We work well with our partner groups for SWCD and Environmental Services.  Chuck's MDM plans include lots of things including Best Management Practices (BMP) and peak flow effects and downstream effects.  We know we have an obligation statutorily, but we have always strived to go above and beyond just good enough.  Many of our current projects are now utilizing multiple BMP’s and leading edge technology from other sources.

I could go on for days about the rest of this very well planned seminar.  There are still four other topics I haven’t even mentioned, and those topics will be discussed in more detail in a future DrainageBlog post.

CAP Update:

This month’s County Ambassador Program adventure had us at the Blue Earth County Justice Center.  The Justice Center opened its doors for business in 2009 and has been busy ever since.  The Justice Center houses all of the Sheriff’s Department personnel, the County Attorney’s Office, and courts and judges, as well as the jail facility.  I may have missed a department or two, but you get the general idea.  We had five different speakers present to us what they do on a daily basis and their responsibilities. 

The building itself was an interesting part of the tour.  We learned that it was a “Green Design” building.  This means they used many features that are eco-friendly including recycled materials for flooring, water management products and geothermal cooling and heating, just to name a few. 

I found it very interesting that our county has contracts with pretty much all major cities in Blue Earth County to represent them through the county for prosecutions. 

Some fun facts associated with the county justice center;

  • 90%-plus of trials go through the County Attorney Office
  • 3 full-time judges hear all of the court cases
  • Our daily population in Mankato grows to 120,000 people everyday with travelers and people coming in for work, according to the Sherriff's Office.
  • Blue Earth County Justice Center court rooms are among the most advanced at a county level in the nation.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of February 13 – February 17:

cd63 inlet blockageMore televising this week, as CD63 and JD07 were televised. For JD07, we televised portions of this system a week ago, but we finished up this week.  Surprisingly for how old both of these systems are, the concrete tile is in pretty good shape.  Minor repairs will  need to be made on both systems, but nothing major needed immediately. 

Upcoming Drainage Inspections:

  • JD38 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)
  • JD49 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.)
  • CD01 (McPherson Twp.)
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)

Please call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, 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.

***Answer to Lead in page question on the paw print= Coyote***

Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist