Property owners request ditch clean-outWORTHINGTON — At the request of two property owners, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday authorized the public works department to conduct a clean-out of County Ditch 5 southwest of Reading. The work will likely be done in the spring or early summer of 2011.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — At the request of two property owners, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday authorized the public works department to conduct a clean-out of County Ditch 5 southwest of Reading. The work will likely be done in the spring or early summer of 2011.
“The big push was to see if we could get something done yet this fall, but I think it’s a little late for that now,” said Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder.
Initially, property owners requested approximately 3,000 feet of the ditch system be cleaned out in the northeast corner of Section 34 and the northwest corner of Section 35 in Summit Lake Township. Schnieder estimated the cost for the work at $4,500, which would be paid for by the benefiting property owners along the ditch system.
The ditch system was last cleaned in 1980, at which time silt and debris were removed from 13,600 feet of the approximately 20,000-foot ditch system. In 1995, a 1,500-foot section was cleaned out, Schnieder said.
“I feel the whole ditch should be cleaned up,” said Wilbur Prins, who saw the ditch overflow and flood his farm field after an 8-inch rain in late September.
Bill Rogers also wanted to see an entire ditch clean-out, saying, “The culvert isn’t big enough for the size of the ditch. (Water) backs up about a half mile to the east of the culvert.”
Steffen Van Westen, who attended the meeting on behalf of his landlady, relayed her message that if part of the ditch was to be cleaned out, they should do the entire thing.
Commissioner Gene Foth asked if it would be best to wait to do the ditch clean-out after the county begins its process to redetermine benefits on ditch systems. County Ditch 5 was among those identified for a redetermination of benefits.
That work, which could be done within the next couple of years, could identify additional benefitting property owners, thereby spreading the costs out further.
Prins preferred the county not wait that long.
“I was fortunate the rain came in September. If that rain came in June or July, that crop would have been gone,” Prins said. “Please do it as soon as you can.”
Commissioners authorized the ditch clean-out and directed administration to notify other property owners along the ditch system of the plans to do the entire ditch.
Schnieder estimated the total cost for the ditch clean-out at approximately $35,000.