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Drainage laws modified

Published (5/13/2010)
By Sue Hegarty
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Effective Aug. 1, 2010, the Board of Water and Soil Resources is directed to work with stakeholders and to convene informal working groups to develop recommendations for updating drainage laws.

In addition, the new law directs where a person may petition for the rerouting, diverting or impounding of drainage water. If a proposed drainage system is under the jurisdiction of the county drainage authority, the petition must be filed with the county auditor. If a system is in a joint authority’s jurisdiction, the petition must be filed with the county with the largest area in the drainage system. A copy of the petition must be submitted to the auditor of each county and be available to the public.

The petitioner should identify funding sources to acquire the land rights needed to construct a drainage project and supply a map that identifies affected areas. The petitioner will be required to pay the county auditor the actual cost of placing public hearing notices, rather than the previous set amount. If the estimated cost of the drainage project is more than $25,000, a public notice will be required in a trade newspaper. The existing $3,000 threshold was established in 1947.

The drainage authority will be able to order a drainage lien assessed to properties that benefit from a project to be paid in one or two installments if the cost is under $500. Current law set the maximum for liens at less than $50.

Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) sponsor the law. Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed it May 10.

HF162/ SF364*/CH298

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