County board sets up ditch inspection plan, prepares for county business relief funds
At Tuesday's Watonwan County Board meeting, Chad Hildebrand, Soil and Water Conservation District Assistant Manager & County Ditch Inspector, laid out a plan for ditch inspections in 2021 and beyond on open trenches within Watonwan County.
In 2021, the county will inspect three different ditch systems within the county. The major ditch is judicial ditch 13, which starts at Lake Hanska in Brown County is 7.66 miles long. Judicial ditch five (1.53 miles) and county ditch four (1.05 miles) will also be inspected this year. Ditches will be walked and driven, and inspectors will look for base luffing or sediment deposit buildup in the ditches.
The county has set up a five-year rotation for the inspection of all ditches in the county. The county will still provide necessary upkeep for ditches in years they are not on a rotation.
In previous years, the county has not had a comprehensive plan to inspect ditches.
"I don't think we've ever been on a rotation," said county treasurer/auditor Kelly Pauling. "We are trying to be more proactive instead of reactive on some of this stuff."
The inspections are scheduled to be completed by the fall.
Pauling also noted that the county was working on applications for county business relief funds. The county has requested labels from the Secretary of State to mail out postcards to businesses within the county.
The chambers of commerce in St. James and Madelia will have applications available and will reach out to businesses.
The next Watonwan County Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 2.
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