Lyon County Board OKs ditch repair at School Grove Lake

MARSHALL — The agenda was relatively short at the Lyon County Board’s first meeting of 2018, but it did include a request for ditch repairs from a county property owner. County commissioners received a petition asking for repairs to an aging drainage system on County Ditch 5. The ditch drains into School Grove Lake, said Todd Hammer, Lyon County assistant planning and zoning administrator.

Commissioners approved an engineering firm for the repairs but turned down the petition in order to save landowners the expense of putting up a bond to go with it.

Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg told county commissioners that a ditch repair petition, from Lyon County property owner Ronald Van Lerberghe, was received for County Ditch 5 last week.

Hammer said County Ditch 5 drains about 750 acres of land in Lucas Township. The ditch is open, and it has a wet well and pumps that outlet into School Grove Lake. The pumps are failing, he said, and the electrical controls for the pumps are out of date. Landowners served by the ditch were requesting that the county appoint an engineer to report on repairs for the system.

“I thought the best way to handle this was under a repair petition,” Hammer said. Hammer said he met with affected landowners. “They have been working with Hydro Engineering,” of Norwood Young America, on getting cost estimates for the repairs, he said.

Hammer said estimated costs for the repair project were around $60,000.

In discussion of the petition, Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes pointed out that the petition process would also require the landowners to file a bond.

Commissioner Charlie Sanow said he agreed the ditch needed the repairs but thought the county should move forward on them without going through the petition process. Commissioner Rick Anderson moved that the county appoint Hydro Engineering as the engineering firm for the ditch repairs. That motion passed, and so did a motion by Sanow for the county to reject the ditch petition, but still proceed with the repairs.

“Basically, the denial is to save the landowners the $10,000 bond,” Anderson clarified.