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Drainage Issues Occupy County Supervisors

By Staff | Oct 20, 2011

Palo Alto County Supervisors set dates for a pair of informal hearings on proposed drainage improvements during their weekly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Both of the hearings have been scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1, one in Emmetsburg and the other in Estherville in a joint session with the Emmet County Board of Supervisors.

Drainage Engineer Rick Hopper of Jacobson-Westergard and Associates presented the board with his preliminary report on a petition for improvements to Drainage District 17, located in Section eight of Vernon Township. In his report, Hopper noted that the district was originally established in 1906 and constructed in 1908 at a cost of $5,351.80, which was assessed to 786 acres.

Since that time, a sub-main and two sub-laterals were added to the district, at a cost of $3,151, in 1923. After that work, the latest work done on the district came in May and June of 2011, in the form of repairs in the same area as the petition was filed for, at a cost of $19,178.

The problem in the area is that water drains slowly due to heavy pressure on the main from the connections of the sub-main and sub-lateral A, which restricts the drainage in the entire district.

“What we are proposing is to replace the line from its outlet point in the east road ditch of 460 Avenue back east to the first sub lateral that goes south,” Hopper explained. “We would pick up the flow from sub lateral A and take it to the ditch, which would aid all of the drainage out there because it would remove the sub lateral from the main and reduce the load on the main.”

According to Hopper, the improvement being proposed would be to place a new tile line, parallel to the existing main tile to connect to sub lateral tile A. “There are two options both call for a new outlet for sub lateral A, with one offering a half-inch drainage coefficient and the other a one-inch drainage coefficient.”

In his cost estimates, Hopper indicated the one-inch coefficient option would cost $38,665, or an average cost of $49,19 per acre, while the half-inch coefficient option would cost $33,495, or an average of $42.61 per acre.

The board voted to accept Hopper’s preliminary report and set 11 a.m. on Nov. 1 as the time for an informal hearing of the landowners in the district to learn more about the plan and ask Hopper any questions. The board then set Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. as the time and date for the formal hearing on the project.

The board then held a telephone conference with the Emmet County Board of Supervisors to set an informal hearing for a petitioned repair to joint Drainage District EPA 21, which runs into Palo Alto County in Section one of Vernon Township. The proposed plan calls for a general cleanout of the main ditch, limited tree removal, and work on lateral B of the district, as well as lateral that runs down to Palo Alto County Road B14.

The two boards agreed to set 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the Supervisors’ Board Room of the Emmet County Courthouse in Estherville as the time and place for that informal hearing.

In other business, County Engineer Joel Fantz updated the board on progress on the north bypass project.

“Our crews are finding some interesting things as they work on the tiles up there,” Fantz noted. “In one spot, we found the county’s 10-inch tile has a 12-inch tile connected into it.”

Fantz continued, “our guys are finding lots of connections and such, but they are doing a great job up there getting things ready for the contractor. We expect them to start in the next week.”