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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 642

2nd Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying requirements for ditch buffers;
requiring annual drainage authority reports; modifying drainage repair and
inspection requirements; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 103E.021,
subdivisions 1, 2, 3, by adding a subdivision; 103E.315, subdivision 8; 103E.321,
subdivision 1; 103E.701, by adding a subdivision; 103E.705, subdivisions 1, 2,
3; 103E.728, subdivision 2; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 103E.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.021, subdivision 1, is amended to
read:


Subdivision 1.

Spoil banks must be spread and deleted text begingrass planteddeleted text endnew text begin permanent
vegetation established
new text end.

In any proceeding to establish, construct, improve, or do any
work affecting a public drainage system under any law that appoints viewers to assess
benefits and damages, the authority having jurisdiction over the proceeding shall order
spoil banks to be spread consistent with the plan and function of the drainage system. The
authority shall order that permanent grass, other than a noxious weed, be planted on
the deleted text beginbanksdeleted text endnew text begin ditch side slopesnew text end and deleted text beginon a stripdeleted text endnew text begin that a permanent strip of perennial vegetation
approved by the drainage authority be established on each side of the ditch. The approved
perennial vegetation shall not impede future maintenance of the ditch. The permanent
strips of perennial vegetation shall be
new text end 16-1/2 feet in widthnew text begin measured outward from the
top edge of the constructed channel resulting from the proceeding,
new text end or to the crown of
the leveled spoil bank, whichever is the greater, deleted text beginon each side of the top edge of the
channel of the ditch.
deleted text endnew text begin except for an action by a drainage authority that results only in a
redetermination of benefits and damages, for which the required width shall be 16-1/2
feet. Drainage system rights-of-way for
new text end the acreage and additional property required for
the deleted text beginplantingdeleted text endnew text begin permanent stripsnew text end must be acquired by the authority having jurisdiction.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.021, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Reseeding and harvesting deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin perennial vegetationnew text end.

The authority
having jurisdiction over the repair and maintenance of the drainage system shall supervise
all necessary reseeding. The permanent deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin strips of perennial vegetationnew text end must be
maintained in the same manner as other drainage system repairs. Harvest of the deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin
vegetation
new text end from the deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin permanentnew text end strip in a manner not harmful to the deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin vegetationnew text end
or the drainage system is the privilege of the fee owner or assigns. The deleted text begincountydeleted text end drainage
inspector shall establish rules for the fee owner and assigns to harvest the deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin vegetationnew text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.021, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Agricultural practices prohibited.

Agricultural practices, other than
those required for the maintenance of a permanent growth of deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin perennial vegetationnew text end,
are not permitted on any portion of the property acquired for deleted text beginplantingdeleted text endnew text begin perennial vegetationnew text end.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.021, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Incremental implementation of vegetated ditch buffer strips and side
inlet controls.
new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter requiring appointment
of viewers and redetermination of benefits and damages, a drainage authority may
implement permanent buffer strips of perennial vegetation approved by the drainage
authority or side inlet controls, or both, adjacent to a public drainage ditch, where
necessary to control erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, or maintain the
efficiency of the drainage system. The approved perennial vegetation shall not impede
future maintenance of the ditch. The permanent strips of perennial vegetation shall be
16-1/2 feet in width measured outward from the top edge of the existing constructed
channel. Drainage system rights-of-way for the acreage and additional property required
for the permanent strips must be acquired by the authority having jurisdiction.
new text end

new text begin (b) A project under this subdivision shall be implemented as a repair according to
section 103E.705, except that the drainage authority may appoint an engineer to examine
the drainage system and prepare an engineer's repair report for the project.
new text end

new text begin (c) Damages shall be determined by the drainage authority, or viewers, appointed by
the drainage authority, according to section 103E.315, subdivision 8. A damages statement
shall be prepared, including an explanation of how the damages were determined for each
property affected by the project, and filed with the auditor or watershed district. Within 30
days after the damages statement is filed, the auditor or watershed district shall prepare
property owners' reports according to section 103E.323, subdivision 1, clauses (1), (2),
(6), (7), and (8), and mail a copy of the property owner's report and damages statement to
each owner of property affected by the proposed project.
new text end

new text begin (d) After a damages statement is filed, the drainage authority shall set a time, by
order, not more than 30 days after the date of the order, for a hearing on the project. At
least ten days before the hearing, the auditor or watershed district shall give notice by mail
of the time and location of the hearing to the owners of property and political subdivisions
likely to be affected by the project.
new text end

new text begin (e) The drainage authority shall make findings and order the repairs to be made if
the drainage authority determines from the evidence presented at the hearing and by the
viewers and engineer, if appointed, that the repairs are necessary for the drainage system
and the costs of the repairs are within the limitations of section 103E.705.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [103E.067] DITCH BUFFER STRIP ANNUAL REPORTING.
new text end

new text begin The drainage authority shall annually submit a report to the Board of Water and Soil
Resources for the calendar year, including:
new text end

new text begin (1) the number and types of actions for which viewers were appointed;
new text end

new text begin (2) the number of miles of buffer strips established according to section 103E.021;
new text end

new text begin (3) the number of drainage system inspections conducted; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the number of violations of section 103E.021 identified and enforcement actions
taken.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.315, subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Extent of damages.

Damages to be paid may include:

(1) the fair market value of the property required for the channel of an open ditch
and the permanent deleted text begingrassdeleted text end stripnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end under section 103E.021;

(2) the diminished value of a farm due to severing a field by an open ditch;

(3) loss of crop production during drainage project construction; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(4) the diminished productivity or land value from increased overflowdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (5) costs to restore a perennial vegetative cover or structural practice existing
under a federal or state conservation program adjacent to the permanent drainage system
right-of-way and damaged by the drainage project.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.321, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Requirements.

The viewers' report must show, in tabular form,
for each lot, 40-acre tract, and fraction of a lot or tract under separate ownership that
is benefited or damaged:

(1) a description of the lot or tract, under separate ownership, that is benefited or
damaged;

(2) the names of the owners as they appear on the current tax records of the county
and their addresses;

(3) the number of acres in each tract or lot;

(4) the number and value of acres added to a tract or lot by the proposed drainage of
public waters;

(5) the damage, if any, to riparian rights;

(6) the damages paid for the permanent deleted text begingrassdeleted text end stripnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end under
section 103E.021;

(7) the total number and value of acres added to a tract or lot by the proposed
drainage of public waters, wetlands, and other areas not currently being cultivated;

(8) the number of acres and amount of benefits being assessed for drainage of areas
which before the drainage benefits could be realized would require a public waters work
permit to work in public waters under section 103G.245 to excavate or fill a navigable
water body under United States Code, title 33, section 403, or a permit to discharge into
waters of the United States under United States Code, title 33, section 1344;

(9) the number of acres and amount of benefits being assessed for drainage of areas
that would be considered conversion of a wetland under United States Code, title 16,
section 3821, if the area was placed in agricultural production;

(10) the amount of right-of-way acreage required; and

(11) the amount that each tract or lot will be benefited or damaged.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.701, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Restoration; disturbance or destruction by repair. new text end

new text begin If a drainage system
repair disturbs or destroys a perennial vegetative cover or structural practice existing
under a federal or state conservation program adjacent to the permanent drainage system
right-of-way, the practice must be restored according to the applicable practice plan or
as determined by the drainage authority, if a practice plan is not available. Restoration
costs shall be paid by the drainage system.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.705, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Inspection.

After the construction of a drainage system has been
completed, the drainage authority shall maintain the drainage system that is located in its
jurisdictionnew text begin,new text end including deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin the permanentnew text end stripsnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end under section
103E.021new text begin,new text end and provide the repairs necessary to make the drainage system efficient. The
drainage authority shall have the drainage system inspected on a regular basis by an
inspection committee of the drainage authority or a drainage inspector appointed by the
drainage authority.new text begin Open drainage ditches shall be inspected at a minimum of every five
years when no violation of section 103E.021 is found and annually when a violation of
section 103E.021 is found, until one year after the violation is corrected.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.705, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

deleted text beginGrassdeleted text endnew text begin Permanentnew text end stripnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end inspection and
compliance notice.

(a) The drainage authority having jurisdiction over a drainage system
must inspect the drainage system for violations of section 103E.021. If an inspection
committee of the drainage authority or a drainage inspector determines that permanent
deleted text begin grassdeleted text end stripsnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end are not being maintained in compliance with section
103E.021, a compliance notice must be sent to the property owner.

(b) The notice must state:

(1) the date the ditch was inspected;

(2) the persons making the inspection;

(3) that spoil banks are to be spread in a manner consistent with the plan and function
of the drainage system andnew text begin thatnew text end the drainage system has acquired a deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin permanentnew text end strip
deleted text begin 16-1/2 feet in width or to the crown of the spoil bank, whichever is greaterdeleted text endnew text begin of perennial
vegetation, according to section 103E.021
new text end;

(4) the violations of section 103E.021;

(5) the measures that must be taken by the property owner to comply with section
103E.021 and the date when the property must be in compliance; and

(6) that if the property owner does not comply by the date specified, the drainage
authority will perform the work necessary to bring the area into compliance with section
103E.021 and charge the cost of the work to the property owner.

(c) If a property owner does not bring an area into compliance with section 103E.021
as provided in the compliance notice, the inspection committee or drainage inspector
must notify the drainage authority.

(d) This subdivision applies to property acquired under section 103E.021.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.705, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Drainage inspection report.

For each drainage system that the board
designates and requires the drainage inspector to examine, the drainage inspector shall
make a drainage inspection report in writing to the board after examining a drainage
system, designating portions that need repair or maintenance of deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin the permanentnew text end
stripsnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end and the location and nature of the repair or maintenance.
The board shall consider the drainage inspection report at its next meeting and may repair
all or any part of the drainage system as provided under this chapter. The deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin permanentnew text end
stripsnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end must be maintained in compliance with section 103E.021.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103E.728, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Additional assessment for agricultural practices on deleted text begingrassdeleted text endnew text begin permanentnew text end
stripnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end.

(a) The drainage authority may, after notice and hearing,
charge an additional assessment on property that has agricultural practices on or otherwise
violates provisions related to the permanent deleted text begingrassdeleted text end stripnew text begin of perennial vegetationnew text end acquired
under section 103E.021.

(b) The drainage authority may determine the cost of the repair per mile of open
ditch on the ditch system. Property that is in violation of the grass requirement shall be
assessed a cost of 20 percent of the repair cost per open ditch mile multiplied by the length
of open ditch in miles on the property in violation.

(c) After the amount of the additional assessment is determined and applied to the
repair cost, the balance of the repair cost may be apportioned pro rata as provided in
subdivision 1.