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County Board hears complaints of construction causing ditch damage

By Staff | Aug 12, 2018

Winnebago city councilman Scott Robertson gave the Faribault County Board of Commissioners a piece of his mind at the last drainage authority meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Robertson expressed his concerns regarding the abundance of standing water in Jo Daviess Township between 330th and 340th Avenue in the northwest side of the township near Interstate 90.

The standing water happens to be affecting 155 acres of property which belongs to landowner David Finnegan. According to Robertson, the problem began during the rain event of Sunday, June 24.

“I cannot believe that (the contractor) let something like this happen. We had a drone up in the air and it looked like Fairmont,” Robertson, who farms the land, said to the board. “The lakes are still there. I planted about 150 acres out there, and I sprayed about 125 acres. I think there should be some compensation.”

While the board did not take any action on the matter, commissioner Greg Young, who expressed empathy for Robertson’s dilemma, stated the contractor for the project, Northern Lines Contracting, has already been paid $2 million for the work which has been completed.

Meanwhile, county drainage manager Merissa Lore indicated her department is doing their due diligence in preparation for any possible legal action.

“We had a meeting with our attorney, and went over where we are at with the project,” Lore said. “Northern Lines has until Dec. 31 to complete the project. We know that there’s been a lot of damage out there, so we have been documenting it.”

Also at the meeting, the board approved a contract with David Schaefer to provide ditch inspection services for $15,600. The contract, which is contingent upon approval by the county attorney, calls for 13 weeks of service from September until the end of November. Additionally, Schaefer will be responsible for furnishing his own equipment.

Other items from the meeting included:

The board approved a bid from Hodgman Drainage Company in the amount of $65,320 for the tile replacement project of County Ditch 25A.

A drainage repair invoice totalling $34,157.49 was approved by the board.