103E.021 DITCHES MUST BE PLANTED WITH PERENNIAL VEGETATION.
Subdivision 1. Spoil banks must be spread and permanent vegetation established.
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 ditch side slopes and that a permanent strip of perennial
vegetation approved by the drainage authority be established on each side of the ditch. Preference
should be given to planting native species of a local ecotype. 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 constructed channel
resulting from the proceeding, or to the crown of the leveled spoil bank, whichever is the greater,
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
the acreage and additional property required for the permanent strips must be acquired by the
authority having jurisdiction.
Subd. 2. Reseeding and harvesting perennial vegetation.
The authority having jurisdiction
over the repair and maintenance of the drainage system shall supervise all necessary reseeding.
The permanent strips of perennial vegetation must be maintained in the same manner as other
drainage system repairs. Harvest of the vegetation from the permanent strip in a manner not
harmful to the vegetation or the drainage system is the privilege of the fee owner or assigns. The
drainage inspector shall establish rules for the fee owner and assigns to harvest the vegetation.
Subd. 3. Agricultural practices prohibited.
Agricultural practices, other than those
required for the maintenance of a permanent growth of perennial vegetation, are not permitted on
any portion of the property acquired for perennial vegetation.
Subd. 4. Compliance work by drainage authority.
If a property owner does not bring
an area into compliance with this section as provided in the compliance notice, the inspection
committee or drainage inspector must notify the drainage authority. If a property owner does not
bring an area into compliance after being notified under section
103E.705, subdivision 2
drainage authority must issue an order to have the work performed to bring the property into
compliance. After the work is completed, the drainage authority must send a statement of the
expenses incurred to bring the property into compliance to the auditor of the county where the
property is located and to the property owner.
Subd. 5. Collection of compliance expenses.
(a) The amount of the expenses to bring an
area into compliance with this section is a lien in favor of the drainage authority against the
property where the expenses were incurred. The auditor must certify the expenses and enter the
amount in the same manner as other drainage liens on the tax list for the following year. The
amount must be collected in the same manner as real estate taxes for the property. The provisions
of law relating to the collection of real estate taxes shall be used to enforce payment of amounts
due under this section. The auditor must include a notice of collection of compliance expenses
with the tax statement.
(b) The amounts collected under this subdivision must be deposited in the drainage system
Subd. 6. Incremental implementation of vegetated ditch buffer strips and side inlet
(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. Preference should be
given to planting native species of a local ecotype. 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.
(b) A project under this subdivision shall be implemented as a repair according to section
, 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 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.
(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.
(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
History: 1990 c 391 art 5 s 4; 2007 c 57 art 1 s 107-110