HLWD Project 2
Location: Sections 1, 2, 11, 12, and 14 in LaCrosse Township and Section 7 in Weimer Township
Size: 985 acres
Project: Open ditch and drain tile system with two tile branches
Status: Project was constructed in 1973. ROB was ordered on March 20, 2017. ROB hearing was held on May 25, 2017. An adjourned hearing was held on June 27, 2017. The Findings and Order Approving the ROB was signed on August 14, 2017.
On June 3, Jan Voit met with Kent Freking regarding the next steps for this project. The viewers cannot determine a benefit until they know the location and capacity of the tile. Dave Macek, Jackson County Drainage Inspector, had one page of the plan set. Because there are no records of the tile line in question, a ROR is necessary. He was informed that the necessary information for the Board to order the ROR would be presented at the June 12 meeting.
On June 5, time was spent drafting a historical review memorandum for HLWD Project 2. The document was forwarded to Chuck Brandel for review. On June 5, Jan Voit spoke with Kevin Nordquist regarding the plan set for HLWD Project 2. He had a copy in the file at the courthouse. She informed Chuck Brandel. He revised the historical review memorandum accordingly.
The following summary was provided to managers and Jim Sehl, DNR regarding the need for ROR. After the ROB was completed in August of 2017, a landowner contacted Dave Macek, Jackson County Drainage Inspector regarding a tile line that needed repair (shown on red dashed line on attached map). The landowner informed him that this tile was taken over by the ditch system when the project was built in the early 1970s. According to the project map, it is shown as a private tile. However, according to the original viewers’ map, this was supposed to be taken over. The Board will have to appoint viewers and correct the ROB. For the viewers to provide an accurate report, it is necessary to establish its alignment, dimensions, profile, and terminus.
At the June 12 HLWD meeting, the Board approved the Findings and Order Initiating the Reestablishment of Drainage System Records for HLWD Project 2. Chuck Brandel was contacted on June 13. A tentative date of July 23 was selected for the landowner information meeting.

Location: Sections 9, 10, 15, 16, 22, 23, 26, and 27 of Bondin Township

Size: 4.2 square miles

Project: an open ditch and tile improvement from Sections 8 to 27

Status: project is completed; Final Acceptance Hearing was held on April 15, 2002.

Location: Sections 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 29 and 30 of West Heron Lake Township

Size: 4.1 square miles

Project: Construction of an open ditch system generally following the route of the main tile system across Sections 17 and 20 of West Heron Lake Township. Proposed laterals replaced the function of themain tile across portions of Sections 19 and 20 and replaced the function of Branch 7 across protions of Sections 17 and 18.

Status: Project is completed. Final Acceptance Hearing was held on January 21, 2015.

Location: upper watershed of Okabena Creek within the City of Worthington from the intersection of Diagonal Road and Oxford Street at the west end of the city.

Project: A 12.9-acre flood storage basin, referred to as the I-90 Basin, is proposed south of the existing I-90 culvert crossing. Constructing this basin will provide additional flood storage, reduce the ponding elevation at the I-90 embankment, and will reduce upstream flood elevations. This basin would have a total storage volume of 77.2 acre-feet. Construction of the I-90 Basin would need to occur prior to the enlargement of any upstream crossings. The project also proposes enlargement of both the East Oxford and oslo Street crossings. The East Oxford crossing improvement would replace an existing eight foot by ten foot box culvert with a ten foot by fourteen foot box culvert. The larger box culvert would accommodate increased discharge and reduce upstream peak water surface elevations and reduce flood elevations between Oxford and McMillan streets. The East Oxford culver enlargement would need to occur prior to the Oslo Street improvement. The Oslo Street corssing improvement would replace an existing 84" pipe with a ten by ten foot box culvert. This increase in capacity will reduce upstream flooding.

Status: Hearing held March 30, 2017. Subject to the requirement that the petitioner shall obtain all required permits and all necessary rights-of-way and flowage easements from owners of land affected by the project, the Board authorized the project and issued its order in accordance with M.S. 103E.227, Subd. 5. The order was issued on April 25, 2017. The HLWD approved the permit application for erosion control during and after construction at the meeting on April 17, 2018. Construction will begin in 2018.


Order Approving Project

Location: Sections 20, 21, 22, 25 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36 of West Heron Lake Township; Sections 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34, of Heron Lake Township, including a portion of the City of Lakefield; Section 36 of Alba Township; Section 1 of Ewington Township; Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Rost Township; and Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 17 of Hunter Township, including a portion of the City of Lakefield

Proposal: improve the main line, its branches, and its exising laterals by increasing the drain capacity and outlet

Status: petition was submitted on April 5, 2017. The petition was accepted and engineer appointed on May 16, 2017. A request for a redetermination of benefits was submitted to the Jackson County board. They held a meeting on December 7, 2017 to consider this request. Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan briefed the county drainage authority that it may want to look into the option of transfering authority for the ditch system to the HLWD according to Minnesota Statutes 103D.625. The transfer of authority would alleviate the confusion that has transpired in the Jackson CD 3 proceedings. The commissioners tabled the request.

Transfer of authority was discussed with Tim Stahl, Dave Macek, Kevin Nordquist, and Jan Voit on May 31. By the time a hearing would be scheduled and held, it would be the end of July. The viewers cannot work during the summer months when crops are in the fields. It was everyone's belief that waiting until fall to have the preliminary hearing and ordering the redetermination of benefits at that time would be the best course to follow. That would save the ditch system additional hearing costs.

Because only a portion of the ditch system is being improved, the HLWD would only be able to order the ROB for a portion of the system. Following the October 16 meeting with Dave Macek, Kevin Nordquist, and Ron Ringquist, Louis Smith, HLWD legal counsel was contacted. He agreed that the best course of action was for Jackson County to turn over authority to the HLWD. That information was relayed to Kevin Nordquist.

Jackson County has received a legal opinion from Rinke Noonan regarding the $2 million cap and watershed district drainage authority. The legal opinion supports the HLWD as drainage authority.

The landowner information meeting was held on February 28 in the Heron Lake Senior Citizens' center. Jan Voit provided an overview of the grants secured for the South Heron Lake subwatershed. Chuck Brandel and Jacob Rischmiller presented the draft preliminary engineering report. Landowners had the opportunity to ask questions. Several landowners are interested in adding tile branches and additional storage. Chuck and Jacob will be revising the PER to reflect the potential changes. Bruce Sellers will be contacted regarding the process for adding tile lines and whether there will be a need for additional petitioners. There were 43 landowners in attendance.

The HLWD was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 Grant to reduce phosphorus entering South Heron Lake (SHL). To accomplish this purpose, the HLWD intends to restore and stabilize 1, 995 feet of streambank in the Jackson County JD 3 system that outlets directly into SHL. In addition, two wetland restorations will be completed and nine alternative side inlets will be installed.

The HLWD was also awarded a Clean Water Fund Grant for additional projects within the JD 3 subwatershed. JD3 drains 52 percent of the SHL watershed, highlighting its importance in making meaningful progress towards water pollution reduction. The practices include eleven water and sediment control basins and a 10-acre storage and treatment wetland restoration, which are proven to cost-effectively reduce phosphorus. The project also provides added benefits, such as erosion reduction, improved wildlife habitat, and protection from flooding. The practices provide a total phosphorus load reduction of 2,372 pounds annually.

The joint meeting of the HLWD and Jackson County to discuss drainage management was held on March 12 in Jackson. John Kolb explained Rinke Noonan’s memo to Jackson County addressing questions relating to drainage systems, the HLWD, and statutory authorities. Louis Smith explained drainage system management from the HLWD’s perspective. Discussion topics included the HLWD’s authority and capacity to manage public drainage system within our watershed, HLWD and county roles in drainage system finances, communication, and the need to avoid duplication of efforts.

Harvey Kruger, Wayne Rasche, and Jan Voit attended the March 19 meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners. Following discussion with Kevin Nordquist, Jackson County Auditor-Treasurer and Sherry Haley, Jackson County Attorney, the commissioners approved a motion authorizing Kevin to begin the process for transfer of authority of the JD 3 system to the HLWD. Jan Voit will be in touch with Kevin throughout this process. It is hoped that the order for the redetermination of benefits can be done as soon as possible after the transfer occurs.

On April 12, the Jackson County Commissioners held a hearing regarding the transfer of jurisdiction of the JD 3 system pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 103D.625. The commissioners ordered the transfer of the system in its entirety to the HLWD.

The Board of Managers of the HLWD met on April 23. The Findings and Order Initiating ROB and Appointing Viewers was approved. Bryan Murphy, Larry Murphy, and Shantel Hecht were appointed as viewers.