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.
Jacob Rischmiller, ISG; Bob Springman, and Jan Voit met on March 4 to discuss a petition for outlet for Catherine Damm's property from JD 3 to Jackson CD 11. After further investigation, Mr. Springman has decided that he will not pursue the petition for outlet.
Jan Voit worked 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. The memo was drafted and reviewed by Chuck and Jacob on March 10. The memo was printed and envelopes prepared. Given the situation with COVID-19, on March 18 the decision was made to hold off on the mailing.
On April 9, H2Over Viewers sent the following update: H2Over Viewers has created our initial watershed delineation for JD 3. We are reviewing information from ISG regarding the Improvement project and creating our initial land classification. Once we are able to travel safely, we plan to finish our field viewing. We plan to update you on the status of JD 3 as we work through the process.
On April 28, H2Over Viewers and ISG staff were contacted regarding potential dates for a landowner meeting in June. On May 5, the date was set. It will be June 10 at 9 am. A memo to landowners was drafted on May 12 and mailed on May 13.
On June 10, a landowner information meeting was held. In attendance were Chuck Brandel and Jacob Rischmiller, ISG; Bryan Murphy, Shantel Hecht, and Derek Ebertowski, H2Over Viewers; Dave Macek, Jackson County; Gregg Hussong, Kyle Hussong, Stan Sievert, Brad Sievert, Verlin Bass, Vernon Bass, Royal Larson, Justin Farmer, Les Ruthenbeck, Dave Pomerenke, Matt Henning, Albert Henning, Harvey Kruger, Dan Ackermann, Jim Ackermann, Tom Glaser, Jim Schubert, Robert Lange, Marless Lange, Paul Rentschler, Kelly Rasche, Paul Henning, Rob Henning, Dan Cranston, Jerry Ackermann, Nancy Ackermann, Clay Wallinga, Chuck Dewanz, and Jan Voit.
Chuck Brandel and Jacob Rischmiller gave an overview of the project and provided information about the grant funds secured for conservation practices. Bryan Murphy presented information regarding the viewing process. During and following the meeting, landowners had the opportunity to ask questions.
On September 9, Albert Henning contacted Jan Voit regarding the JD 3 landowner meeting. This was supposed to be held in late August or early September. However, she had not yet received the viewers’ report.
Following her conversation with Mr. Henning, Jan Voit contacted ISG and the viewers. Bryan Murphy called and explained that they are waiting for Geographic Information System (GIS) information from Jackson County. They cannot complete the last few steps for the report until they receive this. They are hoping to send the report to Jan Voit for review by September 1, with a delivery date of October 5. This is dependent upon getting the necessary information from Jackson County.
On September 15 Jan Voit spoke with Bryan Murphy. Jackson County is not able to get the GIS data in a timely manner. He is going to have his staff correct the issues. H2Over Viewers will cover this cost.
On October 29, H2Over Viewers sent an update. They are waiting for the draft Final Engineering Report for JD 3. Once they have the report, they will create the tabular report and conduct their initial project review.
The meeting with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to review the modeling was held on November 16. Jacob Rischmiller, Chuck Brandel, and Geoff Kramer, ISG; Tom Kresko, DNR; Rita Weaver, BWSR; and Jan Voit were in attendance. Jacob Rischmiller explained the model. Each of the three storage areas on the JD 3 system were reviewed. More restoration and storage could be done if additional outside funding is received. More information was provided regarding the outlet, the poor soils, and the need to gain soil stability. It does not appear that velocity is affecting the outlet channel. It is likely the poor soils and extensive saturation periods. BWSR requested review of the model as it relates to the inflow and outflow hydrographs for the storage sites. The legal grade of the ditch system is lower than the Ordinary High Water (OHW) mark for South Heron Lake. The delta at the outlet is about a foot and a half higher than the runout elevation and could cause water to back into the system during low flow periods. DNR suggested that the protocols for moving forward if this situation happens need to be defined.
Derek Ebertowski sent the following update on December 31. H2Overviewers is working on the initial reports for JD 3. Once we receive the final engineers report, we will be able to finalize our reports. Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can assist with.