Landowner addresses drainage concerns with supervisors

Donovan W. Mann –

Dakota City, IA – A Humboldt County land owner is asking the supervisors to take a closer look at procedures when approving future drainage projects.

During the meeting of the board of supervisors on July 18, Kevin Tellier addressed his concerns of an open ditch clean out and the costs to owners. The ditch in question is located in Drainage District 29 near Bloody Run Creek.

Tellier says his concern is not the quality of the work being done. His concern is the cost of the project and that it may not address the real issues of the district.

The estimated cost of the project is $42,000. Tellier says his concern is with the cost just being an “estimate” there is no real guarantee it will not cost more. He also says there is some confusion over the project because he was told before it was a “spot clean out” but now has been told it is a total clean out of about two and a half miles.

The landowner says that while the estimate is there, he still feels like the district has written a blank check because there can be change orders that alter the cost of the project. Supervisor Eric Underberg says he and the board are confident the work will not cost more than $50,000 if changes are needed.

He says over the past 15-20 years the district has had to pay about $100,000 on the district and Bloody Run Creek. The land owner says this work has yet to address the real problem, which is the outlet of the district.

There have been conversations with the board in the past about how to fix this outlet. The problem they have run in to is there is also Waters of America in the area that require special permits to drain into.

Supervisor Bruce Reimers says the board did “drop the ball” for not providing a courtesy letter to the land owners after receiving the petition to clean out the ditch. Tellier reiterated that he does not have complaints about the work being done, just asked if the board to take a harder look at procedures followed.

The landowner also brought up a blocked culvert crossing the highway in the area where there is water built up on the west but none on the east. The board says they are aware of that issue but because it is a state highway they have to work with the Department of Transportation.

Tellier thanked the board for their time and they returned the gratitude.