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Madden gives Drainage District 44 update

Issue to continue at next meeting

June 25, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Emmet County Board of Supervisors chair Alan Madden updated landowners on plans for cleanout of a portion of Drainage District 44 Tuesday.

Pointing out that Bryan Hellyer of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and engineer Scott Brunsvold weren't able to make Tuesday's meeting, Madden said the Army Corps of Engineers had e-mailed project approval to Jacobson-Westergard & Associates, engineers, and that a DNR and Natural Resources Conservation Service report was in the works. Madden said Hellyer had given the go-ahead to contact contractors who have until next Monday to submit quotes, with the board scheduled to make a decision at next Tuesday's meeting. Madden said there would be an August deadline to have work completed.

Madden pointed out that a landowner can't secede from a drainage district but that a district can be dissolved if all landowners agree. He said drainage district abandonment doesn't have to be done now and that, while abandonment could be pursued as a side issue, it didn't have to be part of the current issue of repairs.

"I'm sure we're going to put this on the agenda next week," Madden said.

County drainage attorney Rich Meyer said abandonment procedure requires approval of 60 percent of the landowners in a district.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved a contract with Avera Holy Family Hospital for substance abuse and mental health screening services at $150 per screening, the same the county pays now. County mental health coordinator Dorothy Christensen said the county treats up to 10 people a year.

Christensen also discussed state-mandated mental health redesign with the board.

In the road report, county engineer Roger Patocka said Don Reffer, with whom the county has contracted for weed spraying, was going to start on county ditches.

Patocka said 97 percent of gravel had been hauled and that crews were starting to haul ice sand.

The new excavator arrived last Thursday and has been working well, Patocka said. He said he's trying to put together a database that will include information about underground utilities, drainage district requirements and other information so it's on hand before ditch cleanout with the excavator. He said he thought this would be a good time to look at buying a GPS surveying instrument, something he's had in the budget for the past 10 years.

Kathy Preston, Emmet County Public Health nurse, also met with the board regarding a foundation grant signature, immunization billing grant approval and a public health update.



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