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                            CHAPTER 104-H.F.No. 414 
                  An act relating to natural resources; updating soil 
                  and water conservation district law; changing 
                  requirements for petitions and elections relating to 
                  soil and water conservation districts; clarifying 
                  removal provisions for soil and water conservation 
                  district supervisors; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  2002, sections 103A.206; 103C.005; 103C.101, 
                  subdivisions 6, 9, by adding a subdivision; 103C.201, 
                  subdivisions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8; 103C.205; 103C.211; 
                  103C.225, subdivisions 1, 3, 4, 8; 103C.305, 
                  subdivision 1; 103C.311, subdivisions 1, 2; 103C.315, 
                  subdivisions 1, 2, 4, 5; 103C.331, subdivisions 11, 
                  12, 19, by adding a subdivision; 103C.401, 
                  subdivisions 1, 2; 351.14, subdivision 5; repealing 
                  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.301. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103A.206, is 
        amended to read: 
           103A.206 [SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION POLICY.] 
           Improper land use practices have caused serious wind and 
        water erosion of the land of this state, the runoff of polluting 
        materials, increased costs to maintain agricultural 
        productivity, increased energy costs and increased flood 
        damage Maintaining and enhancing the quality of soil and water 
        for the environmental and economic benefits they produce, 
        preventing degradation, and restoring degraded soil and water 
        resources of this state contribute greatly to the health, 
        safety, economic well-being, and general welfare of this state 
        and its citizens.  Land occupiers have the responsibility to 
        implement practices to correct these conditions and that 
        conserve the soil and water resources of the state.  It is Soil 
        and water conservation measures implemented on private lands in 
        this state provide benefits to the general public by reducing 
        erosion, sedimentation, siltation, water pollution, and damages 
        caused by floods.  The soil and water conservation policy of the 
        state is to encourage land occupiers to conserve soil and, water 
        , and the natural resources they support through the 
        implementation of practices that effectively reduce or: 
           (1) control or prevent erosion, sedimentation, siltation 
        and agriculturally related pollution in order to preserve 
        natural resources,; 
           (2) ensure continued soil productivity,; 
           (3) control floods, protect water quality; 
           (4) prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs,; 
           (5) assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and 
        harbors, reduce damages caused by floods; 
           (6) preserve wildlife,; 
           (7) protect the tax base,; and 
           (8) protect public lands and waters. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.005, is 
        amended to read: 
           103C.005 [SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION POLICY.] 
           Improper land use practices have caused serious wind and 
        water erosion of the land of this state, the runoff of polluting 
        materials, increased costs to maintain agricultural 
        productivity, increased energy costs and increased flood 
        damage Maintaining and enhancing the quality of soil and water 
        for the environmental and economic benefits they produce, 
        preventing degradation, and restoring degraded soil and water 
        resources of this state contribute greatly to the health, 
        safety, economic well-being, and general welfare of this state 
        and its citizens.  Land occupiers have the responsibility to 
        implement practices to correct these conditions and that 
        conserve the soil and water resources of the state.  It is Soil 
        and water conservation measures implemented on private lands in 
        this state provide benefits to the general public by reducing 
        erosion, sedimentation, siltation, water pollution, and damages 
        caused by floods.  The soil and water conservation policy of the 
        state is to encourage land occupiers to conserve soil and, water
        , and the natural resources they support through the 
        implementation of practices that effectively reduce or: 
           (1) control or prevent erosion, sedimentation, siltation 
        and agriculturally related pollution in order to preserve 
        natural resources,; 
           (2) ensure continued soil productivity,; 
           (3) control floods, protect water quality; 
           (4) prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs,; 
           (5) assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and 
        harbors, reduce damages caused by floods; 
           (6) preserve wildlife,; 
           (7) protect the tax base,; and 
           (8) protect public lands and waters. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.101, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [FEDERAL.] "Federal" means the United States, the 
        soil natural resources conservation service of the United States 
        Department of Agriculture, and agencies or instrumentalities, 
        corporate or otherwise, of the United States.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.101, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [NOMINATING PETITION.] "Nominating petition" 
        means a petition filed under sections 103C.301, subdivision 1, 
        and section 103C.305, subdivision 2, to nominate candidates for 
        the office of supervisor.  
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.101, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 9a.  [RESIDENT OWNER.] "Resident owner" has the 
        meaning given in section 103D.011, subdivision 25. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PETITION.] (a) Twenty-five land occupiers 
        in an area proposed to be organized into a district may file A 
        petition must be signed by at least 50 resident owners in an 
        area proposed to be organized into a district and filed with the 
        state board requesting that a soil and water conservation 
        district be organized to function in the area described in the 
        petition.  The petition must state: 
           (1) the proposed name of the district; 
           (2) that there is need, in the interest of the public 
        health, safety, and welfare, for a district in the described 
        area; 
           (3) a description of the area proposed to be organized as a 
        district, which need not be by metes and bounds or legal 
        subdivision, but may be by general description that identifies 
        the area; 
           (4) a request that the state board define the boundaries 
        for the district; 
           (5) a request for a referendum to be held in the defined 
        territory on the question of the creation of a district in the 
        territory; and 
           (6) a request by the state board to determine that a 
        district be established.  
           (b) If more than one petition is filed covering parts of 
        the same area, the state board may consolidate the petitions.  
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [HEARINGS.] (a) By 30 days after a petition has 
        been filed with the state board, the state board may give due 
        notice of a proposed hearing, to be held by the state board or a 
        designated agent, on: 
           (1) the question of the desirability and necessity, in the 
        interest of the public health, safety, and welfare, for the 
        establishment of a district; 
           (2) the appropriate boundaries of the district; 
           (3) the propriety of the petition and other proceedings 
        taken under this section; and 
           (4) other questions relevant to clauses (1), (2), and (3).  
           (b) Land occupiers Residents in the area described in the 
        petition and in the area considered for addition to the 
        described area and other interested parties may attend the 
        hearing and be heard.  If after a hearing, the state board 
        determines it may be desirable to include in the proposed 
        district area outside the area where notice of the hearing was 
        given, the hearing must be adjourned and due notice of the 
        continued hearing must be given throughout the entire area 
        considered for inclusion in the district, and the continued 
        hearing held.  
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [REFERENDUM FOR DISTRICT ESTABLISHMENT.] (a) 
        After the state board has made and recorded a determination that 
        there is a need for a district in a particular area and has 
        defined the boundaries, the state board shall consider whether 
        the operation of a district within the boundaries is 
        administratively feasible.  To assist the state board to 
        determine the feasibility, the state board shall, within a 
        reasonable time after entry of the finding that there is a need 
        for the proposed district, give notice of and hold a referendum 
        within the proposed district on the creation of the district 
        schedule the referendum at the next general election and shall 
        cooperate with county election officials to accomplish the 
        election in the most expedient manner.  
           (b) The question shall be submitted by ballots with: 
           (1) the words printed "For creation of a soil and water 
        conservation district of the lands described below in the county 
        (or counties) of ........... and .........." and "Against 
        establishment of a soil and water conservation district of the 
        lands described below in the county (or counties) of ........ 
        and ........"; 
           (2) a square before each proposition and a direction to 
        insert an X mark in the square before one proposition or the 
        other as the voter may favor or oppose establishment of the 
        district; and 
           (3) the boundaries of the proposed district.  
           (c) Only land occupiers in eligible voters residing within 
        the boundaries of the proposed district, as determined by the 
        state board, may vote in the referendum.  
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [ADMINISTRATION OF HEARING AND REFERENDUM.] The 
        state board shall pay the expenses for the notices and the 
        conduct of the hearing and referendum, and supervise their 
        conduct.  The state board shall issue rules governing the 
        conduct of hearings and referenda, and providing for the 
        registration, before the date of the referendum, of all eligible 
        voters, or prescribing some other appropriate procedure to 
        determine eligible voters.  The state board shall schedule the 
        referendum at the next general election and shall cooperate with 
        county election officials to accomplish the election in the most 
        expedient manner.  Informalities in the conduct of a referendum 
        or in a matter related to it do not invalidate the referendum or 
        its result if notice of it has been given substantially as 
        provided by this section and the referendum has been fairly 
        conducted.  
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [DETERMINATION AFTER REFERENDUM.] (a) The state 
        board shall publish the result of the referendum and then 
        determine whether the operation of a district in the defined 
        boundaries is administratively feasible.  In making the 
        determination, the state board must consider the policy in 
        section 103A.206, and: 
           (1) the attitudes of the land occupiers in the defined 
        boundaries; 
           (2) the number of land occupiers eligible to vote eligible 
        voters who voted in the referendum who have voted; 
           (3) the proportion of the votes cast in the referendum in 
        favor of establishing the district to the total number of votes 
        cast; 
           (4) the approximate wealth and income of the land occupiers 
        of the proposed district; 
           (5) the probable expense of carrying on erosion-control 
        operations and related water quality improvements within the 
        district; and 
           (6) other relevant economic and social factors.  The state 
        board may not determine that the operation of the proposed 
        district within the defined boundaries is administratively 
        feasible unless a majority of the votes cast in the referendum 
        on establishment of the district have been cast in favor of 
        establishing the district.  
           (b) If the state board determines that the operation of the 
        district is not administratively feasible, the state board shall 
        record the determination and deny the petition.  Six months 
        after the date of entry of a determination by the state board 
        that operation of a proposed district is not administratively 
        feasible, a new petition may be filed and a new proceeding 
        started.  
           (c) If the state board determines that the operation of the 
        district is administratively feasible, it shall record the 
        determination and proceed with the establishment and 
        organization of the district.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.201, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [APPLICATION BY SUPERVISORS TO SECRETARY OF 
        STATE.] (a) The district shall be a governmental subdivision of 
        this state and a public body corporate and politic after the 
        actions in this subdivision are taken.  
           (b) If the state board determines that the operation of the 
        proposed district within the defined boundaries is 
        administratively feasible, the state board must appoint two 
        supervisors to act, with the three elected supervisors, as the 
        district board within 30 days after the district is 
        established.  A majority of the supervisors' terms must expire 
        after the next general election following their appointments and 
        the remaining supervisors' terms expire after the second general 
        election following their appointments. 
           (c) The two appointed supervisors shall sign and present an 
        application to the secretary of state with the following 
        recitals: 
           (1) a petition for the establishment of a district was 
        filed with the state board; 
           (2) the proper proceedings were taken relating to the 
        petition; 
           (3) the application is being filed to complete the 
        organization of the district as a governmental subdivision and a 
        public body, corporate or politic; 
           (4) the state board has appointed the signers as 
        supervisors; 
           (5) the name and official residence of each supervisor, 
        with a certified copy of the supervisor's appointment; 
           (6) the term of office of each supervisor; 
           (7) the name proposed for the district; and 
           (8) the location of the principal office of the district 
        board.  
           (d) The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by 
        each supervisor before an officer authorized by state law to 
        take oaths.  The officer shall certify upon the application that 
        the officer has personal knowledge of the supervisors, that they 
        are the supervisors named in the application, and that each 
        supervisor has signed the application in the officer's presence. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.205, is 
        amended to read: 
           103C.205 [ANNEXING ADDITIONAL AREA.] 
           (a) Land occupiers Resident owners may file a petition to 
        include additional area within an existing district with the 
        state board.  The procedure for a petition to establish a 
        district shall be followed on a petition to include additional 
        area.  The state board shall prescribe the form for the 
        petition, which shall be as nearly as possible in the form for a 
        petition to organize a district.  
           (b) If the number of land occupiers in the petition for an 
        area proposed for inclusion is less than 25, the petition may be 
        filed when signed by a majority of the land occupiers resident 
        owners in the area and, a referendum need not be held.  
           (c) In a referendum to include additional area, all land 
        occupiers eligible voters within the proposed additional area 
        may vote.  
           (d) It is not necessary to obtain the consent of the fee 
        owners within the district before the additional area is annexed 
        to a district.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.211, is 
        amended to read: 
           103C.211 [CONSOLIDATION AND DIVISION OF DISTRICTS.] 
           (a) A petition to consolidate two or more districts or to 
        separate a district into two or more districts may be filed with 
        the state board by 25 or more land occupiers within the affected 
        districts.  The petition must be signed by the majority of each 
        board of the affected districts or by at least 100 resident 
        owners within the affected districts.  It is not necessary to 
        obtain the consent of fee owners in an established district 
        before districts are consolidated or an existing district is 
        divided.  Proceedings provided for petitions to organize a 
        district shall be followed as far as they are applicable.  The 
        state board shall prescribe the form for a petition, which shall 
        be as nearly as possible in the form for petitions to organize a 
        district.  
           (b) The land occupiers eligible voters within the affected 
        districts may vote in the referendum.  The state board may not 
        determine the administrative feasibility of consolidating or 
        separating districts unless a majority of the votes cast in the 
        referendum within each separate district affected, or within 
        each separate area sought to be made a separate district, is in 
        favor of the consolidation or separation.  
           (c) When districts are consolidated or separated, the 
        corporate existence and terms of office of the officers of the 
        old districts expire upon the issuance and recording by the 
        secretary of state of a certificate of organization of the new 
        districts.  Upon consolidation, the rights and liabilities of 
        the consolidating districts shall be assumed by the consolidated 
        district.  Upon separation, the rights and liabilities of the 
        original district shall be vested in and assumed by the new 
        districts in an equitable proportion determined by the state 
        board.  A separation does not affect the term of office for 
        which a supervisor was elected or appointed.  The supervisor 
        shall continue to represent the district where the supervisor 
        resides for that full term.  
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.225, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PETITION FOR TERMINATION.] (a) After Five 
        years after the organization of a district, 25 occupiers of land 
        in the district may file a district board may, by resolution 
        adopted by a majority of the board, or resident owners may, by a 
        petition filed with the state board asking, ask that the 
        operations and existence of the district be terminated.  The 
        resident owner petition must be signed by the lesser of: 
           (1) at least one percent of the resident owners within the 
        district; or 
           (2) 500 resident owners within the district. 
           (b) The state board may not receive a petition, conduct a 
        referendum, or make a determination on a petition to discontinue 
        a district more often than once in two years.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.225, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [REFERENDUM.] (a) Within 60 days after the 
        petition is received by the state board, it shall give due 
        notice of the holding of a referendum, supervise the referendum, 
        and issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct of the 
        referendum schedule the referendum at the next general election, 
        and cooperate with county election officials to accomplish the 
        election in the most expedient manner.  Prior to the referendum 
        the state board shall facilitate the preparation of a plan to 
        continue the administration of the powers, duties, and 
        responsibilities of the district, including the functions of the 
        district board. 
           (b) The question shall be submitted by ballots, upon which 
        the words "For terminating the existence of the 
        .................. (name of the soil and water conservation 
        district to be here inserted)" and "Against terminating the 
        existence of the .................. (name of the soil and water 
        conservation district to be here inserted)" shall be printed, 
        with a square before each proposition and a direction to insert 
        an X mark in the square before one or the other.  
           (c) Only land occupiers eligible voters in the district may 
        vote in the referendum.  
           (d) Informalities in the conduct of the referendum or 
        matters relating to the referendum do not invalidate the 
        referendum, or result of the referendum, if due notice has been 
        given and the referendum has been fairly conducted.  
           (e) The state board shall publish the result of the 
        referendum.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.225, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [DETERMINATION BY STATE BOARD.] (a) The state 
        board shall determine whether the continued operation of the 
        district board is administratively feasible and give 
        consideration to the public policy under section 103A.206, and:  
           (1) the attitudes of the land occupiers of lands lying 
        within the district; 
           (2) the number of land occupiers eligible to vote eligible 
        voters who voted in the referendum who have voted; 
           (3) the proportion of the votes cast in the referendum in 
        favor of the discontinuance of the district to the total number 
        of votes cast; 
           (4) the approximate wealth and income of the land occupiers 
        of the district; 
           (5) the probable expense of carrying on erosion-control 
        operations and related water quality improvements within the 
        district; and 
           (6) the plan to continue the powers, duties, and 
        responsibilities of the district board; and 
           (7) other economic and social factors relevant to the 
        determination.  
           (b) If the state board determines that the continued 
        operation of the district is administratively feasible, the 
        state shall record the determination and deny the petition.  
           (c) If the state board determines that the continued 
        operation of the district is not administratively feasible, the 
        state board shall record the determination and certify the 
        determination to the district board.  The state board may not 
        determine that the continued operation of the district is not 
        administratively feasible unless only when at least a majority 
        of the votes cast in the referendum have been cast in favor of 
        opposition to continuance and a satisfactory plan to continue 
        the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the district board 
        is completed.  
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.225, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [EFFECT OF DISSOLUTION.] Upon issuance of the 
        certificate of dissolution, the ordinances and regulations in 
        force in the district are of no further force.  All contracts 
        entered into, to which the district or district board were 
        parties, shall remain in force and effect for the period 
        provided in the contracts.  The state board shall be substituted 
        for the district or district board as party to the contracts and 
        succeed to the district's rights and duties.  The state board 
        may delegate the district's rights and duties to a local 
        government unit, as identified in the plan developed under 
        subdivision 3. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.305, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [TIME FOR ELECTION.] Except for elections 
        under section 103C.301 held after the organization of the 
        district, Elections must be held at the state general election 
        specified in section 204D.03, subdivision 2.  A primary may not 
        be held.  
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.311, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SUPERVISORS ELECTED AT LARGE.] (a) The 
        district board, after the initial election has been held, shall, 
        with the approval of the state board, divide a district into 
        five supervisor districts for purposes of nomination for 
        election.  At each election after the division, one or more 
        supervisors shall be nominated from each supervisor district.  A 
        supervisor must be a resident of the supervisor district to be 
        elected. 
           (b) If the boundary of a soil and water conservation 
        district has been substantially changed by a division of the 
        district, the district shall be divided into five supervisor 
        districts for nomination purposes.  
           (c) This subdivision does not disqualify a supervisor 
        during the term for which the supervisor was elected or 
        nominated for election.  Supervisors nominated from the 
        supervisor districts shall be included on the ballot for 
        election from the entire area included in the soil and water 
        conservation district.  
           (d) A certified copy of the minutes or the resolution of 
        the supervisors establishing supervisor districts must be 
        promptly filed by the chair of the district board with the 
        county auditor of the counties where the district is located and 
        with the state board. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.311, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [SUPERVISORS ELECTED BY DISTRICTS.] (a) In the 
        counties of Ramsey and Washington, The district board, with the 
        approval of the state board, may by resolution provide that 
        supervisors will be elected by supervisor districts as provided 
        in this subdivision.  
           (b) The supervisor districts must be composed of precincts 
        established by county and municipal governing bodies under 
        section 204B.14.  The districts must be compact, include only 
        contiguous territory, and be substantially equal in population.  
        The districts must be numbered in a regular series.  The 
        districts must be drawn by the county board of the county 
        containing the largest area of the soil and water conservation 
        district, in consultation with the district board and with the 
        approval of the state board.  The boundaries of the districts 
        must be redrawn after each decennial federal census as provided 
        in section 204B.135.  A certified copy of the resolution 
        establishing supervisor districts must be filed by the chair of 
        the district board with the county auditor of the counties where 
        the soil and water conservation district is located, with the 
        state board, and with the secretary of state at least 30 days 
        before the first date candidates may file for the office of 
        supervisor. 
           (c) Each supervisor district is entitled to elect one 
        supervisor.  A supervisor must be a resident of the district 
        from which elected.  
           (d) The district board shall provide staggered terms for 
        supervisors elected by district.  After each redistricting, 
        there shall be a new election of supervisors in all the 
        districts at the next general election, except that if the 
        change made in the boundaries of a district is less than five 
        percent of the average population of all the districts, the 
        supervisor in office at the time of the redistricting shall 
        serve for the full term for which elected.  The district board 
        shall determine by lot the seats to be filled for a two-year 
        term, a four-year term, and a six-year term. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.315, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [MEMBERS.] (a) Except as provided in 
        paragraph (c), the district board shall consist of five 
        supervisors, elected or appointed as provided in sections 
        103C.201, subdivision 8, 103C.301, and 103C.305. 
           (b) Supervisors must be legal eligible voters residing in 
        the district.  
           (c) In counties where the county board consists of seven 
        members and districts have been divided into supervisor 
        districts, under section 103C.311, subdivision 2, the county 
        board may establish seven supervisor districts, elected or 
        appointed as provided in sections 103C.201, subdivision 8; 
        103C.305; and 103C.311, subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.315, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [TERMS.] The two supervisors appointed by the 
        state board upon the establishment of a district serve terms 
        ending on the first Monday in January following the next general 
        election after their appointment as provided in section 
        103C.201, subdivision 8.  Their successors shall be elected for 
        terms of four years commencing on the first Monday in January 
        and until a successor is elected or appointed and has 
        qualified.  Vacancies in the office of supervisor appointed by 
        the state board shall be filled by the state board. 
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.315, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [COMPENSATION.] A supervisor shall receive 
        compensation for services as the state board may determine up to 
        $75 per day, and may be reimbursed for expenses, including 
        traveling expenses, necessarily incurred in the discharge of 
        duties.  A supervisor may be reimbursed for the use of the 
        supervisor's own automobile in the performance of official 
        duties at a rate up to the maximum tax-deductible mileage rate 
        permitted under the federal Internal Revenue Code. 
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.315, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [REMOVAL OF SUPERVISOR.] A supervisor may be 
        removed by the state board upon notice and hearing, for neglect 
        of duty or from office in accordance with the procedures under 
        sections 351.14 to 351.23 for malfeasance or nonfeasance in 
        office, but for no other reason.  
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.331, 
        subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.] (a) A district may develop 
        and revise a comprehensive plan, specifying practices to 
        implement the state policy specified in section 103A.206, 
        including: 
           (1) the construction, maintenance, and operation of 
        structural measures; 
           (2) methods of cultivation; 
           (3) the use of vegetation; 
           (4) cropping programs; 
           (5) mechanical practices; 
           (6) changes in use of land; 
           (7) water quality improvement practices; 
           (8) other land use, soil erosion reduction, and 
        agricultural practices; and 
           (8) (9) related technical standards and specifications.  
           (b) The plan shall include a classification of the soil 
        types within the district as determined by the Minnesota 
        cooperative soil survey.  
           (c) The plan must identify the areas within the district 
        where erosion, sedimentation, and related water quality problems 
        appear most in need of control methods.  
           (d) The plan shall be consistent with the statewide 
        framework water resources plan, the statewide water quality 
        management plan, and the state board's soil and water program 
        plan.  The plan shall be prepared as required by the rules of 
        the state board. 
           (e) By August 1 of each even-numbered year, each district 
        which applies for cost-sharing funds under section 103C.501 
        shall submit to the state board an amendment of its 
        comprehensive plan that identifies high priority erosion, 
        sedimentation and water quality problems within the district as 
        required by the rules of the state board.  
           (f) By August 1 of each year, Each district that applies 
        for cost-sharing funds under section 103C.501 shall submit to 
        the state board an annual work plan for the high priority 
        erosion, sedimentation, and water quality problems in the 
        district.  The work plan shall be prepared as required by the 
        rules of the state board.  In preparing the annual work plan, 
        the district shall actively identify and seek out land occupiers 
        with high priority erosion problems who have not participated in 
        cost-sharing contracts and encourage their participation in 
        programs to control their erosion problems.  
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.331, 
        subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [ASSUMPTION OF CONSERVATION PROJECTS.] (a) A 
        district may take over by purchase, lease, or otherwise, and may 
        improve, maintain, operate, and administer a soil or water 
        conservation, erosion-control, erosion-prevention, water quality 
        improvement, watershed protection, flood prevention or flood 
        control project in its boundaries undertaken by the United 
        States or by a state agency. 
           (b) A district may accept donations, gifts, grants, or 
        contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise from 
        the United States, a state agency or other source to accomplish 
        the authorization in this section.  A board may enter into a 
        contract or agreement necessary or appropriate to accomplish the 
        transfer.  A board may use or expend money, services, materials, 
        or other things to accomplish an authorized purpose.  
           Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.331, 
        subdivision 19, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 19.  [ADMINISTRATION OF OFFICIAL CONTROLS.] A 
        district may, under a joint powers agreement under section 
        471.59, accept delegation from the state, a county, or a city of 
        authority to administer soil and water conservation-related 
        official controls, as defined in section 103B.305, subdivision 
        7, of the county or city as specified in the agreement.  The 
        Prior to the delegation, the district and the state, county, or 
        city agreement must include provisions requiring that: 
           (1) all costs incurred by the district in administering the 
        controls will be reimbursed by the county or city provide for 
        the source of funding for administering the official controls; 
           (2) the district will provide notice and hearing in the 
        same instances that the county or city would; and 
           (3) the county or city identify who will provide legal 
        advice and support when requested by the district for 
        administration and enforcement. 
           Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.331, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 20.  [COORDINATION AND COOPERATION.] In implementing 
        its authorities, a district shall cooperate as far as possible 
        with federal, state, and local agencies and with private 
        organizations in order to avoid duplication and to enhance 
        implementation of public and private conservation initiatives 
        within its jurisdiction. 
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.401, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [POWERS AND DUTIES.] In addition to the 
        powers and duties of the state board provided by other law, the 
        state board shall:  
           (1) offer to assist the district boards to implement their 
        programs; 
           (2) keep the district boards of the state informed of the 
        activities and experience of other districts and facilitate 
        cooperation and an interchange of advice and experience among 
        the districts; 
           (3) coordinate the programs and activities of the districts 
        with appropriate agencies by advice and consultation; 
           (4) approve or disapprove the plans or programs of 
        districts relating to the use of state funds administered by the 
        state board; 
           (5) secure the cooperation and assistance of agencies in 
        the work of the districts and develop a program to advise and 
        assist appropriate agencies in obtaining state and federal funds 
        for erosion, sedimentation, flooding, and agriculturally related 
        pollution control programs; 
           (6) develop and implement a public information program 
        concerning the districts' activities and programs, the problems 
        and preventive practices relating to erosion control, 
        sedimentation, agriculturally related pollution, flood 
        prevention, and the advantages of formation of districts in 
        areas where their organization is desirable; 
           (7) divide and consolidate districts without a hearing or a 
        referendum to confine districts within county limits, without 
        allowing a district, if feasible and practicable, to contain 
        less than four full or fractional congressional townships; 
           (8) assist the statewide program to inventory and classify 
        the types of soils in the state as determined by the Minnesota 
        cooperative soil survey; 
           (9) identify research needs and cooperate with other public 
        agencies in research concerning the nature and extent of 
        erosion, sedimentation, flooding and agriculturally related 
        pollution, the amounts and sources of sediment and pollutants 
        delivered to the waters of the state, and long-term soil 
        productivity; 
           (10) develop structural, land use management practice, and 
        other programs to reduce or prevent soil erosion, sedimentation, 
        flooding, and agriculturally related pollution; 
           (11) develop a system of priorities to identify the 
        erosion, flooding, sediment, and agriculturally related 
        pollution problem areas that most need control systems; and 
           (12) ensure compliance with statewide programs and policies 
        established by the state board by advice, consultation, and 
        approval of grant agreements with the districts; and 
           (13) service requests from districts to consolidate 
        districts across county boundaries and facilitate other 
        agreed-to reorganizations of districts with other districts or 
        other local units of government, including making grants, within 
        the limits of available funds, to offset the cost of 
        consolidation or reorganization. 
           Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.401, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [USE OF FUNDS.] (a) Funds made available to a 
        district from the state for expenditures necessary for its 
        operations may be used only for purposes authorized by the state 
        board.  
           (b) A district may designate the board of county 
        commissioners to act as the agent of the district to receive and 
        expend the funds at the direction and with the approval of the 
        district board. 
           (c) At least annually The state board shall audit, in a 
        manner it prescribes, provide closeout reports to the districts 
        regarding the expenditure of the funds.  
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 351.14, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIAL.] "Elected county 
        official" means any public official who is elected to countywide 
        office or appointed to an elective countywide office, including 
        county attorney, county sheriff, county auditor, county 
        recorder, and county treasurer, and soil and water conservation 
        supervisor.  "Elected county official" also means a county 
        commissioner elected or appointed from a commissioner 
        district or a soil and water conservation district supervisor 
        elected or appointed from a supervisor district established 
        under section 103C.311, subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 32.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 103C.301, is repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 23, 2003 
           Signed by the governor May 25, 2003, 9:51 p.m.

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