Location: CD 3 is primarily located in Ewington and Alba Townships, but also includes sections of West Heron Lake and Rost Townships. The CD 3 mainline drains from Section 34 of Alba Township and combined with Jackson County JD 84 in Section 13 of Alba Township and then outlets north into Okabena Creek.
Size: The watershed provides drainage to approximately 9,768 acres.
Project: The CD 3 improvement projectsconsists of cleaning/improving three open ditches, constructing 21 new tile branches, and 19 new tile sub branches.
Estimated cost: $9 million, currently financed with short-term bonding through Bremer Bank
Status: The public bids for construction were received in September of 2019. The construction contracts were awarded. The project was broken into four bid packages. Construction began in the fall of 2019. Approximately 9% of Bid Package #1 and approximately 46% of Bid Package #2 were completed during the fall and winter of 2019. Bid Packages #3 and #4 did not have any construction activity in 2019.
The HLWD was awarded $250,000 per four-year grant period from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect South Heron Lake (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 Clean Water Fund (CWF) grant for $43,000 to install 15 alternative side inlets (ASIs) on CD 3, four ASIs on JD 14, and a 4.2 acre wetland restoration on JD 3.
CD 3 Construction Update.
• Bid Package #1 is nine percent complete. Larson Contracting, Inc. will begin pond work in early March. Almost four miles of ditch cleaning has been complete. They will come back and do tile repairs. The completion date for this bid package is September 30, 2020.
• Bid Package #2 is 43 percent complete. Dirt Merchant, Inc. (DMI) is working now. Discussion was held regarding the granular that is being hauled. ISG has televised tile that has been in the ground for 30 days. At this point, there have not been major areas that need to be addressed. There are some spots that need to be reevaluated.
• ISG is obtaining submittals from the contractor for Bid Package #3. The contractor will begin work in the spring. The completion date for this bid package is December 31, 2020.
• The subcontractor will start boring on Bid Package #4 in the near future. The completion date for this bid package is December 31, 2020.
• The bridges on the gravel roads in Bid Package #5 are complete. The paved roads will be done after the frost is out. The completion date for this bid package is September 30, 2020.
On April 3, Jacob Rischmiller, ISG contacted Jan Voit regarding a potential change order for CD 3. John Nauerth III, on behalf of Rost Township, has asked for directional drilling rather than open cutting the township road on Branch 9C. ISG provided a copy of an agreement that was sent to Rost Township.
On April 28, Chuck Brandel and Jacob Rischmiller provided an update on CD 3. Chuck Brandel visited the site on April 27. Construction is going well. Dirt Merchant, Inc. has two crews installing pipe. Larson Contracting has been concentrating on ditch cleaning. They have not done a lot of work on the pond. Chuck contacted Larson Contracting requesting a revised construction schedule.
Chuck Brandel provided the following comments on May 13. Last month was one of the most productive months I have witnessed on a drainage project. As you can see by the invoices there was close to a $1,000,000 of work completed and Dirt Merchant, Inc. (DMI) got many things done ahead of planting. This is how a project should go when we have good weather and contractors that are well organized. Let the board know that we think DMI did a great job taking advantage of a dry spring.
Construction update from Chris Adams. DMI hasn’t started on Bid Package 4 other than the borings their subcontractor completed last month. They may pull off site for a few months after completing Bid Package 2 to take care of some other obligations and return in the fall. Loo Con mobilized to the site the week of June 1. They plan to start on Branch 6 and laterals as well as Branch 9.
At the HLWD meeting on June 17, Chuck Brandel informed the board that LooCon, Inc. has started construction on Jackson CD 3. Initial work has been televised. Inspectors report that the grade is about as smooth as any of them have ever seen. Work is going well.
On July 30, LooCon, Inc. finished installing tile on Branch 9 and their respective laterals in the southeast portion of the CD 3 watershed. They mobilized to Branch 5 and Branch 6 on July 31 and will finish with Branch 7 tile.
On August 27, Jan Voit met with Kevin Nordquist and Kelly Rasche, Drainage Coordinator. The purpose of the meeting was to review parcel splits and update the assessment worksheet with the new parcel information.
On August 31, Jan Voit continued the work of updating the assessment worksheet. She spoke with Steve Droll regarding assessments. Information from Mr. Droll was forwarded to Jackson County.
On September 1, Jan Voit spoke with Randy Serreyn, Bremer Bank. The interest payment was due. Bremer Bank advanced the payment from the loan. Information regarding the CD 3 change order was included in the meeting packet.
Jacob Rischmiller provided the following responses to questions regarding the CD 3 change order that were raised at the August meeting.
• Should the costs be paid by the ditch owners or the engineering company? Is it the property owner’s responsibility to inform the engineer? The extra costs should be paid by the ditch system. If the landowner would have informed us about the swale being in CRP during the bidding process, we would have included it as part of the bids that were received. As you are aware CRP is a private agreement that is not public knowledge, therefore we do not have access to see what land has a contract and what does not.
• Where is the swale located? The swale is located in the SW ¼ of Section 2 of Ewington on Branch 2 tile. The property owner is Gilbert Post Rev Int Tst ETAL.
• What is the unit price? How exactly did this happen? We asked the contractor to provide a unit price for the change in seed mix since it does not align with any of the current seed mixes that were a part of the bid package. The unit price would be for seeding with the appropriate seed mix and getting the seed established.
Just an FYI - Bid Package #2 is completed except for any warranty work that maybe found during the final televising, which is incidental to the tile installation. The bid package is approximately $158,000 under the contract amount after taking the additional road authority amount out. As always let me know if there is more information needed.
On September 9, Jan Voit discussed the change order with Wayne Rasche. He had additional questions about preventing something like this from happening in the future, ways to identify CRP or other areas that are in grass before the project is bid, whether the individual landowner should be responsible to pay for this, and if the individual landowner isn’t a petitioner and doesn’t want the system, could he sue the HLWD or ISG for causing the damage.
Chuck Brandel provided the following response. To answer Wayne’s questions, it may be hard to not have change orders for CRP mixes but what we can do is add a bid item on larger projects for a more expensive mix and use it where needed along buffers and in areas like this. We also should remind landowner at each meeting that if they have CRP to let us know and we can include it. Remember that we do our survey before the Preliminary Engineers Report, which in this case was 2014, so if conditions change after that we may not know about them. We are starting to do a preconstruction drone flight to verify that nothing has changed as it can be years between the survey and construction. This will help us identify areas that may have been seeded after our survey and added to the plans.
As to payment, typically damages are paid by the ditch system for construction. I would consider this a damage that we need to restore. Similar to a driveway or road, the system pays to put it back in the condition that it was before construction. The drainage authority has the right to disturb this are for construction through the easement that was obtained when the system was originally construction and per MN Statute 103e.011 and 103e.061 the drainage authority and the engineer have the right to access the property and construct the system.
Let me know if you need more information. On large projects there will be change orders, we try to minimize them through tile investigation, drone flights, adding a bid item for rock where needed when poor soils are hit, estimating the tile connections, etc.,. Statute 103e.501 sub 4 allows for change orders on projects.
The change order was approved on September 16.
Kelly Rasche contacted Jan Voit regarding the CD 3 assessments on September 22. She had been contacted by a landowner requesting financial information. On September 22, Jan Voit contacted Richard Ulbricht. She followed up with him on September 28.
On October 1, Jan Voit met with Jacob Rischmiller and Chris Adams regarding the request for extension of the contract period for Larson Contracting Central, LLC. Information regarding this request was sent to managers.
On October 20, Jan Voit spoke with Dwayne Milbrath regarding damages payments for CD 3. On October 21, Richard Cross contacted her regarding assessments on his property. On October 26, Matt Henning contacted her regarding damages payments and potential best management practices opportunities.
On October 27, Jacob Rischmiller and Jan Voit toured the CD 3 project.
The map below shows construction progress through October 2020.