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Palo Alto County Supervisors Hold Reclassification Hearing on Drainage District 61 Lateral B Tile

By Staff | Jan 21, 2020

by Anesa McGregor

Four landowners – Sue Wallace, Aletha King, Bruce Bonnstetter, and Bryon Anliker – and Rick Hopper, Engineer with Jacobson-Westergard of Estherville, met with the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 7 to discuss repairs needed to Drainage District 61 Lateral B Tile.

Engineer Rick Hopper began by giving a brief overview of the study that had been completed on DD 61 Lateral B tile.

“When doing a reclassification there is an emphasis on soils because of what drainage can do,” Hopper began. “Iowa Drainage Code gives us very little to go by when reclassifying other than land nearest to the drainage tile receives 100 points per acre. As you move farther away the points are graduated down.”

Simply put, someone who is closer to the open ditch, lateral, etc. will pay more than someone who is farther away. The criteria used by Jacobson-Westergard when reclassifying land are they look at Lidar, soil type, proximity factor (how close to county tile), and the drainage code.

At this time, Hopper read objections to the project. Susan Wallace, representing the Reding Family Farm Trust, opposed any improvements at this time.

“This is not an improvement,” Hopper explained. “This is a restoration of the natural waterways to their prior condition; therefore, this objection does not apply.”

Aletha King, representing G. Esteleen Fogarty LE, objected to areas of CRP, stating that some of this area is under water and will stay under water.

“Does this land have the ability to eventually come out of the CRP program and be farmed?” Hopper asked.

“It does, but it always has water standing on it,” King replied.

“If it can eventually come off the CRP program, then we include it in the reclassification,” Hopper noted.

John Banwart also filed an objection on behalf of J & K Banwart Corp. He stated that a 12-inch private main was put in which diverts the water away from DD 61 lateral B Tile.

Hopper then made a recommendation that the Supervisors accept the reclassification report with an adjustment to the John Banwart parcel #150028001020 by 50 percent reduction and to set the levy at 155 percent of the original units and to offer waivers at five percent interest for 10 years. Unanimous approval was given.