Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language


                         Laws of Minnesota 1992 

                        CHAPTER 466-S.F.No. 2298 
           An act relating to watershed districts; requiring 
          counties to provide public notice prior to making 
          watershed district manager appointments; modifying 
          requirements for appointing watershed district 
          managers; exempting watershed districts from permit 
          fees charged by political subdivisions; requiring 
          watershed district audits by certified public 
          accountants or the state auditor under certain 
          circumstances; clarifying procedures for appealing 
          watershed district decisions; allowing recovery of 
          attorney fees; amending Minnesota Statutes 1990, 
          sections 103D.311, subdivisions 2 and 3; 103D.335, by 
          adding a subdivision; 103D.355, subdivision 1; 
          103D.535, subdivision 1; and 103D.545, by adding a 
          subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 103D. 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.311, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [APPOINTMENT.] (a) At least 30 days before the 
terms of office of the first managers named by the board expire, 
the county commissioners of each county affected by responsible 
for appointing a manager to the watershed district must meet and 
appoint successors.  
    (b) The county commissioners must meet at least 30 days 
before the term of office of any manager expires and appoint a 
    (c) A vacancy occurring in an office of a manager must be 
filled by the appointing county board.  
    (d) Appointing county boards shall provide public notice 
before making appointments.  Published notice must be given at 
least once by publication in a newspaper of general circulation 
in the watershed district at least 15 days before an appointment 
or reappointment is made.  The notice must state that persons 
interested in being appointed to serve as a watershed district 
manager may submit their names to the county board for 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.311, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
WATERSHED DISTRICTS.] (a) If the establishment petition that 
initiated the watershed district originated from a majority of 
the cities within the watershed district, the county 
commissioners must appoint the managers from a list of persons 
nominated by one or more of the townships and municipalities 
located within the watershed district.  If the district is 
wholly within the metropolitan area, the county commissioners 
shall appoint the managers from a list of persons nominated 
jointly or severally by the towns and municipalities within the 
district.  The list must contain at least three nominees for 
each manager's position to be filled.  The list must be 
submitted to the county boards affected by the watershed 
district at least 60 days before the manager's term of office 
expires.  The county commissioners may appoint any managers from 
towns and municipalities that fail to submit a list of nominees. 
    (b) If the list is not submitted 60 days before the 
managers' terms of office expire, the county commissioners must 
appoint the managers from eligible persons residing in the 
watershed district. 
    (c) Managers of a watershed district entirely within the 
metropolitan area must be appointed to fairly represent the 
various hydrologic areas within the watershed district by 
residence of the manager appointed.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.335, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
FEES.] A watershed district is exempt from fees charged by 
political subdivisions for permits required for activities 
conducted under subdivisions 8 to 10. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.355, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENT.] The managers must have an 
annual audit completed of the books and accounts of the 
watershed district.  The annual audit may be made by a public 
accountant or by the state auditor.  The annual audit must be 
made by a certified public accountant or the state auditor at 
least once every five years, or when cumulative district 
revenues or expenditures exceed an amount established by the 
board in consultation with the state auditor.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.535, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [WHAT CAN BE APPEALED.] (a) Any party alone 
or jointly may appeal to the district court or to the board an 
order of the managers made in a proceeding relating to a project 
and entered in the watershed district's record that determines: 
    (1) the amount of benefits determined; 
    (2) the amount of damages allowed; 
    (3) the allowance of fees or expenses in any proceedings; 
    (4) a matter in the proceeding that affects a substantial 
right; or 
    (5) an order of the managers authorizing or refusing to 
establish a project in whole or in part. 
    (b) Actions of the managers that do not relate to projects, 
including actions related to permits and actions to enforce 
watershed district rules, are not reviewable under this section. 
    (a) Except as provided in section 103D.535, an interested 
party may appeal a rule, permit decision, or order made by the 
managers by a declaratory judgment action brought under chapter 
555 or by appeal to the board.  The decision on appeal must be 
based on the record made in the proceeding before the managers.  
An appeal of a permit decision must be filed within 30 days of 
the managers' decision. 
    (b) By January 1, 1993, the board shall adopt rules 
governing appeals to the board under paragraph (a).  A decision 
of the board on appeal is subject to judicial review under 
sections 14.63 to 14.69. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103D.545, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.] In any civil action 
arising from or related to a rule, order, or stipulation 
agreement made or a permit issued or denied by the managers 
under this chapter, the court may award the prevailing party 
reasonable attorney fees and costs. 
    Presented to the governor April 14, 1992 
    Signed by the governor April 17, 1992, 9:56 a.m.