A group of landowners and landowners' representatives, affiliated with Drainage District 28, came before the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 7, seeking the board's guidance on a long-time drainage matter.
Stewart Ohrtman, spokesman for the group, explained that Drainage District 28 was first started in 1906-1907. DD 28 is located approximately two miles north of Depew in Palo Alto County.
"At that time, they wanted to extend an open ditch up into some property about one-half a mile and the landowners at that time did not want that," said Ohrtman. "To make a long story short, there are vastly undersized mains in there."
Ohrtman noted that he had read an engineer's report dated from 1952 that stated that the main had only one-sixth of what is considered adequate drainage.
"I was trying to come up with an estimate from the last two years of the crops drowned out in this district and it's between 200 and 300 acres during each of the last two years," Ohrtmansaid. "Last fall, the landowners dug up the main and we had a camera go through."
According to Jay Gunderson, the camera followed the tile from N60 up to Independence Township, Section 7, and then west in a lateral. The camera traveled some 10,000 feet.
"For the most part, the main is in relatively good shape, given the age. It's just an issue of size," Gunderson noted.
Supervisor Keith Wirtz asked what the landowners and representatives were asking for.
"If you want it looked at, someone is going to have to get a petition going," Wirtz advised.
"That was our question," Ohrtman said. "We've visited with a lot of landowners and would like to have it looked at. If we do sign a petition, what is the process from there? I have visited with Rick Hopper [engineer with Jacobson-Westergard] and he said glanced over our information and thought he could do a preliminary report for less than $10,000."
"It would be up to the board to appoint an engineer to look at it. He would make a report and then there would be an informal hearing," Wirtz answered. "If you feel you would like to request Rick, we can do that."
Supervisor Jerry Hofstad added, "We'll have an informal informational meeting. The engineer will be here and he'll give his report and you'll know what his cost estimate is. You can make up your mind then about what you want to do."