Location: The JD 3 watershed boundary lies west of the City of Lakefield within Rost, Hunter, Heron Lake, and West Heron Lake Townships. The watershed provides drainage for 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; 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. The JD 3 system outlets into the southwestern end of South Heron Lake.
Size: The JD 3 watershed provides drainage to approximately 17,058 acres. Jackson County JD 19 drains into JD 3 in the SW 1/4 SW 1/4 of Hunter Township. JD 19 drains approximately 3,064 acres, making the total watershed at the end of the JD 3 main ditch approximately 20,122 acres.
Proposal: The goal of the petition is to increase the capacity of the public tiles, by approximately 49%, to achieve the industry standard drainage coefficient.
Estimated cost: $10.2 million
Status: The HLWD was awarded $122,125 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore and stabilize 4,100 feet of streambank, complete one wetland restoration, and install nine alternative side inlets (ASIs) in JD 3.
The HLWD was awarded $61,500 from the Clean Water Fund (CWF) to install a 10-acre storage and treatment wetland restoration and 11 water and sediment control basins in JD 3.
The HLWD was awarded $250,000 per four-year grant period from the EPA to protect SHL from further degradation using planning tools to determine cost-effective, multi-benefit solutions to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment entering SHL and to reduce the impacts of flooding. This grant is phased in four four-year periods for a maximum amount of $1 million over 16 years.
The HLWD was also awarded a CWF grant for $43,000 to install 15 ASIs on CD 3, four ASIs on JD 14, and a 4.2 acre wetland restoration on JD 3.
The preliminary hearing was held on December 16, 2019. The Board found that the proposal, as stated in the petition, is feasible, and there is a necessity for it. Additionally, the Board found that the public benefit is greater than the environmental impact of the drainage project and that the outlet is adequate. The Findings and Order for Continued Proceedings, Order Authorizing Detailed Survey and Report, and Order Appointing Viewers were approved by the Board on January 15, 2020.
On January 6, Bob Springman contacted Jan Voit regarding a petition for outlet Catherine Damm’s property from JD 3 in Jackson CD 11. Following the phone conversation, contact was made with ISG staff. Jacob Rischmiller was scheduled to meet with Bob Springman on January 16. Due to scheduling conflicts, the meeting was postponed.
On January 7, Jan Voit met with David, Eric, and Troy Post regarding a petition for outlet from JD 3 into CD 3. Following the meeting, contact was made with ISG staff for assistance with maps and a petition. Jacob Rischmiller and Jan met with David Post on January 14. David Post contacted Jan on January 28 to let her know that they decided not to pursue the petition for outlet.
ISG met with H2Over Viewers to provide them with an update on the JD 3 improvement project. They discussed the possibility of holding a landowner meeting before the viewers begin any field work and again when they have completed the report. H2Over Viewers estimates having the reports completed by September.
Bryan Murphy contacted Jan Voit on January 22 regarding the contract for viewing. He sent an amended contract for action at the February board meeting. On February 6, Wayne Rasche and Bryan Murphy discussed the revised contract, costs, and statutory requirements. Bryan provided the following information regarding the viewing process which explains that the viewers have to apply benefits to all lands within a drainage system if the outlet is improved.
• MN § 103E. 315 Subd. 5. "The viewers shall determine the amount of benefits to all property within the watershed, whether the property is benefited immediately by the construction of the proposed drainage project or the proposed drainage project can become an outlet for drainage, makes an outlet more accessible, or otherwise directly benefits the property."
On February 21, Bryan Murphy, H2Over Viewers provided the following progress update.
We have begun the evaluation process, i.e. creating land classes now that we have the watershed outlined. Houston Engineering is creating a layer for the county we need to meet statute requirements. The process breaks sections down into 40 acre tracts or less. Houston's process along with our process to classify lands will take a few months. Hopefully by then we will be able to begin ground truthing. For the most part things are going as planned. Changing this process to an improvement adds a considerable amount of time and effort to create and evaluate, but I am satisfied with our progress thus far.
Jan Voit is working with ISG and H2Over Viewers to schedule a landowner meeting before spring field work begins. An update on activities undertaken by the engineering firm and viewers will be given, as well as an overview of the grant funds that have been secured.