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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1945

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/21/2019 10:46am

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; accelerating public drainage system acquisition and
compensation of ditch buffer strips; providing runoff and sediment option when
charging for public drainage ditch repairs; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018,
sections 17.117, subdivision 11; 103E.021, subdivision 6; 103E.071; 103E.351,
subdivisions 1, 2, 3; 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 2018, section 17.117, subdivision 11, is amended to read:


Subd. 11.

Loans issued to borrower.

(a) Local lenders may issue loans only for projects
that are approved and certified by the local government unit as meeting priority needs
identified in a comprehensive water management plan or other local planning documents,
are in compliance with accepted practices, standards, specifications, or criteria, and are
eligible for financing under Environmental Protection Agency or other applicable guidelines.

(b) The local lender may use any additional criteria considered necessary to determine
the eligibility of borrowers for loans.

(c) Local lenders shall set the terms and conditions of loans to borrowers, except that:

(1) no loan to a borrower may exceed $200,000;new text begin and
new text end

deleted text begin (2) no loan for a project may exceed $200,000; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end no borrower shall, at any time, have multiple loans from this program with a total
outstanding loan balance of more than $200,000.

(d) The maximum term length for projects in this paragraph is ten years.

(e) Fees charged at the time of closing must:

(1) be in compliance with normal and customary practices of the local lender;

(2) be in accordance with published fee schedules issued by the local lender;

(3) not be based on participation program; and

(4) be consistent with fees charged other similar types of loans offered by the local
lender.

(f) The interest rate assessed to an outstanding loan balance by the local lender must not
exceed three percent per year.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103E.021, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Incremental deleted text beginimplementationdeleted text endnew text begin establishmentnew text end; vegetated buffer strips and
side inlet controls.

(a) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter requiring
appointment of viewers and redetermination of benefits and damages, a drainage authority
may deleted text beginimplementdeleted text endnew text begin make findings and order the establishment ofnew text end permanent buffer strips of
perennial vegetation deleted text beginapproved by the drainage authoritydeleted text end 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. new text beginThe drainage
authority's finding that establishing permanent buffer strips of perennial vegetation or side
inlet controls is necessary to control erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, or
maintain the efficiency of the drainage system is sufficient to confer jurisdiction under this
subdivision.
new text endPreference should be given to planting native species of a local ecotype. The
approved perennial vegetation deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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.

(b) A project under this subdivision deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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.

(c) Damages deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end be determined by the drainage authority, or viewers, appointed
by the drainage authority, according to section 103E.315, subdivision 8. A damages statement
deleted text begin shalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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 deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end
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.

(d) After a damages statement is filed, the drainage authority deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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 deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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.

(e) The drainage authority deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end 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.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103E.071, is amended to read:


103E.071 COUNTY ATTORNEY.

The county attorney shall represent the county in all drainage proceedings and related
matters without special compensationnew text begin, except as provided in section 388.09, subdivision 1new text end.
A county attorney, the county attorney's assistant, or any attorney associated with the county
attorney in businessdeleted text begin,deleted text end may not otherwise appear in any drainage proceeding for any interested
person.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103E.351, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Conditions to redetermine benefits and damages; appointing
viewers.

new text begin(a) new text endIf the drainage authority determines that the deleted text beginoriginaldeleted text end benefits or damages new text beginof
record
new text enddetermined in a drainage proceeding do not reflect reasonable deleted text beginpresent daydeleted text endnew text begin present-daynew text end
land values or that the benefited or damaged areas have changed, deleted text beginor if more than 50 percent
of the owners of property benefited or damaged by a drainage system petition for correction
of an error that was made at the time of the proceedings that established the drainage system,
deleted text end
the drainage authority may appoint three viewers to redetermine and report the benefits and
damages and the benefited and damaged areas.

new text begin (b) If more than 26 percent of the owners of property or owners of 26 percent of the
property that is benefited or damaged by a drainage system petition to redetermine benefits
and damages, the drainage authority must make a determination on the petition according
to paragraph (a).
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103E.351, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Hearing and procedure.

(a) The redetermination of benefits and damages
deleted text begin shalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end proceed as provided for viewers and the viewers' report in sections 103E.311 to
103E.321.

(b) The auditor new text beginor secretary new text endmust prepare a property owners' report from the viewers'
report. A copy of the property owners' report must be mailed to each owner of property
affected by the drainage system.

(c) The drainage authority deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end hold a final hearing on the report and confirm the
benefits and damages and benefited and damaged areas. The final hearing deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end proceed
as provided under sections 103E.325, 103E.335, and 103E.341deleted text begin, except that the hearing shall
be held within 30 days after the property owners' report is mailed
deleted text end.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103E.351, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Using redetermined benefits and damages.

The redetermined benefits and
damages and new text beginthe redetermined new text endbenefited and damaged areas must be used in place of the
deleted text begin originaldeleted text end benefits and damages new text beginof record new text endand new text beginthe new text endbenefited and damaged areas new text beginof record new text endin
all subsequent proceedings relating to the drainage system.

Sec. 7.

new text begin [103E.729] APPORTIONING REPAIR COSTS; ALTERNATIVE OPTION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Option. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any conflicting provision of this chapter, a
drainage authority may use the option under this section to apportion repair costs on all
property contributing runoff to the drainage system according to the relative runoff and
relative sediment delivery determined in an approved report to apportion repair costs prepared
according to subdivision 2. Repair costs apportioned using the method in this section are
charges for property contributing runoff to the drainage system that must be considered
repair cost assessments under this chapter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Report to apportion repair costs. new text end

new text begin (a) When the drainage authority determines
that a drainage system repair is necessary, the drainage authority may apportion costs for
repairing a drainage system based on relative runoff and relative sediment delivery from
any property, public road, street, railway, or other utility contributing runoff to the drainage
system as provided in this subdivision. If the method under this subdivision is used, costs
must be determined before ordering the repair of all or any part of a drainage system as
provided in section 103E.705, subdivision 3, or 103E.715, subdivision 4, or before levying
an assessment for a repair fund as provided in section 103E.735, subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin (b) The drainage authority must appoint one or more persons qualified to use geographic
information system technology and applicable digital information, including but not limited
to conditioned topographic data, soils and land use data, and property, road, and utility
corridor identification data, together with appropriate on-site verification, to equitably
apportion repair costs.
new text end

new text begin (c) The person or persons conducting the cost apportionment must file a report to
apportion repair costs with the drainage authority explaining in nontechnical language the
method, data, and interpretations used and the results of the cost apportionment. The report
must present data and results in a format so that individual property owners, political
subdivisions, and utilities can clearly examine the information applicable to their property,
public road, street, railway, or other utility, including for each parcel having a separate
property identification number.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Hearing on report. new text end

new text begin (a) When a report to apportion repair costs is filed, the
drainage authority, in consultation with the auditor or secretary, must set a time, by order,
for a hearing on the report not more than 30 days after the date of the order. At least 20 days
before the hearing, the auditor or secretary must give notice by mail of the time and location
of the hearing to the owners of property, political subdivisions, and utilities proposed to be
assessed in the report. The notice of hearing must include a copy of the portion of the report
explaining in nontechnical language the method, data, and interpretations used; the results
of the cost apportionment applicable to the property owner, political subdivision, or utility
receiving notice; and a statement of the location where the entire report to apportion repair
costs has been filed for public inspection.
new text end

new text begin (b) At the hearing, the drainage authority must hear and consider the testimony presented
by all interested parties. At least one person responsible for preparing the report to apportion
repair costs must be present at the initial hearing.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the drainage authority determines that the apportionment of costs is inequitable,
the drainage authority may amend the report to apportion repair costs and must make
necessary and proper findings and an order in relation to the report, or resubmit matters to
the report preparer for further consideration. If matters are resubmitted, the hearing may be
continued as necessary to make and hear an amended report. The report preparer must
proceed promptly to reconsider resubmitted matters and must make and file an amended
report. The drainage authority may replace the original report with the amended report to
apportion repair costs and make necessary and proper findings and an order to approve the
amended report. The jurisdiction of the drainage authority continues in the property given
proper notice, and new or additional notice is not required for that property.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Findings; approval. new text end

new text begin After considering the report to apportion repair costs, any
amended report, and all evidence presented, the drainage authority must make findings,
approve the report, and apportion repair costs consistent with the values in the report to
apportion repair costs the drainage authority finds that the cost apportionment is equitable
because:
new text end

new text begin (1) the weighting of relative runoff and relative sediment delivery is appropriate for the
type of repair;
new text end

new text begin (2) the data inputs are reliable; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the computation method is reliable.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Report updates. new text end

new text begin The drainage authority may continue to apportion repair costs
consistent with the values in the report to apportion repair costs of record. After a report to
apportion repair costs has been approved under this subdivision, an owner of property, a
political subdivision, or a utility assessed in the report of record may request in writing that
the drainage authority update the report based on changed land use. The request must be
filed with the auditor of the county where the property is located or the secretary. Before
the drainage authority approves a repair cost assessment for the drainage system, the drainage
authority must determine if the report to apportion repair costs of record reasonably reflects
current land use, relative runoff, and relative sediment delivery. If it does not so reflect, the
drainage authority must make findings and must appoint one or more persons to prepare
and file an updated report to apportion repair costs for the drainage system in accordance
with subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Conservation lands. new text end

new text begin Proper consideration must be given to property that is
used for conservation that prohibits development or land use change by ownership, deed
restriction, or conservation easement, or is enrolled in a program that prohibits agricultural
crop production.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Appeals. new text end

new text begin The owner of any property subject to cost apportionment listed in the
adopted report to apportion repair costs may appeal the findings of the drainage authority
under subdivision 4 as provided in section 103E.095.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin For purposes of this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) "relative runoff" means the surface and subsurface runoff potential from a specific
property compared on an equitable basis to all other properties contributing runoff to the
drainage system; and
new text end

new text begin (2) "relative sediment delivery" means the sediment delivery potential from a specific
property compared on an equitable basis to all other properties contributing runoff to the
drainage system.
new text end