Murray County Board approves ditch repairs

SLAYTON — The Murray County Board Tuesday approved a pay application to Loo Con, Inc. for the Judicial Ditch (JD) 8 improvement project for $93,706.75.

The original contract amount was $378,212.14. Two previous pay applications had been made: $83,565.58 was approved on Aug. 15, and $149,685.55 had been approved on Sept. 19.

This improvement project is in sections 1, 2, 11 and 12 of Cameron Township.

Additionally, five of six other ditches in Murray County were approved for repairs by the board Tuesday.

The commissioners had met with the appointed county ditch inspector and inspected portions of the foregoing ditches: JD 14 in Chanarambie Township, County Ditch (CD) 40, CD 40 in Bondin Township, JD 14, JD 11 in Belfast Township and Chanarambie Township in, Sec. 9, District 2.

Summaries of findings for three ditch inspections were included in the agenda packet.

The first, for CD 40 from Murray County Ditch Inspector Howard Konkol stated that he had inspected CD 40 Lateral 10 for a reported plugged tile with water gushing out of the tile intake.

“My inspection found that there is an obstruction in the tile line that is causing the water to boil out of the intake,” Konkol’s report said. “I inspected another tile intake on the same lateral approximately 1,500 feet north of the intake where water is boiling out and the tile line is only running 60 percent full of water.”

Konkol reported that he recommends the tile line be videoed to determine the location of the obstruction.

“When the obstruction has been located, the contractor will need to dig up the tile line, remove the obstruction and repair the tile line,” he said.

This inspection was done on Oct. 3.

On Oct. 10, Konkol met with Mark and Andy Beck and Mark Vogel to inspect a reported plugged tile on JD 14.

“My inspection found water standing in the field just east of a center line culvert under County Road 26,” Konkol said in his report. “Upon further inspection of the supposed outlet pipe for the tile, it was discovered that the outlet pipe was for a side inlet pipe structure. We located the intake for the structure and concluded that there is no tile line installed in the direction of the water standing, as the intake tee for the structure is capped off.”

Konkol then determined the drainage problem is not part of the county ditch system and the landowner will have to install their own private tile to get rid of the standing water.

“I have denied this tile repair request,” Konkol said.

While inspecting the drop inlet pipe, Konkol said he also discovered part of the ditch bank north of the drop inlet structure had collapsed and had left a large hole in the ditch bank.

“It appears the collapse of the ditch bank was caused by excessive surface water accumulation in this area that breached the ditch bank and eroded away all the dirt in this area,” Konkol said. “I recommend the ditch bank be fixed as follows: the large eroded area will need to have dirt fill brought in and the contractor will need to re-build and re-shape the ditch bank to as close as possible to as-built specifications. I have verified this open ditch repair request.”

Also on Oct. 10, Konkol met with a petitioner to inspect JD 14 for a reported plugged or broken tile line with water bubbling out of the ground at a different location.

“My inspection found a large area of flooded ground with water boiling out of a hole in the bean field,” Konkol said. “The outlet pipe was checked and it was only running approximately full. With all the rain recently, there should have been a lot more water running out of it.

“It should also be noted,” he said, “that the water boiling up in the bean field has created its own outlet to the open ditch using a low ford rock crossing driveway. The driveway is now gullied out and usable due to the channelized water flow from the flooded field.”

Konkol wrote that he has verified this tile repair request as well.

The sixth petition was for CD 68, Slayton Township. It was pulled from the agenda because the landowner has decided to put in a private outlet since the county tile in the area he wants to do is not large enough for his needs, as he is planning to put a solar farm in that area.