Sept. 4, 2006

County sets hearing on Delano drainage

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Continued development northwest of Delano led the Wright County Board to review a drainage issue during its meeting Tuesday.

The board considered a request from the City of Delano to allow the city to discharge storm water to Wright County Ditch 34 in Franklin Township.

The request was prompted by Delano Industrial Partners, which proposes to develop approximately 60 acres northwest of the city.

The ditch consists of clay drain tile varying in diameter from 8 inches to 24 inches.

Because of potential capacity limits of the drain tile system, the city required Delano Industrial Partners to limit its site discharge to pre-settlement (meadow) conditions, according to Todd Shoemaker, water resources engineer with Wenck Associates, who forwarded the request to the county on behalf of the City of Delano.

This rate of discharge is significantly less than existing agriculture discharge, Shoemaker noted in his request.

Shoemaker stated that in addition to the Northwest Industrial Park, the CPDC and Murphy properties are slated for development, prompting Wenck to recommend that the city prepare a storm water management plan for the County Ditch 34 drainage area.

This plan may include diversion of storm water to adjacent watersheds, replacement of the drain tile system, or creating an open channel for the ditch, according to Shoemaker.

“The ditch is in bad shape,” commented board member Jack Russek.

“The system is not in great condition, but the city feels they are not making it any worse with this request,” Shoemaker responded.

Russek stated that he would like Kerry Saxton (of the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District) to review and comment on the proposal before the board takes any action.

The board directed that the proposal be forwarded to Saxton, and scheduled a public hearing on the matter Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m.

Jail project moves forward

Despite some lingering concerns about language in the construction management contract, the board unanimously approved the contract with Adolphson and Peterson.

Board Chair Karla Heeter said she is “extremely comfortable” with the re-written contract that includes revisions requested by the board at its last meeting.

“We will have to put our faith in them,” Heeter said.

“If they hadn’t changed three things already, I would be a lot more comfortable,” board member Dick Mattson responded.

During the meeting, board member Pat Sawatzke expressed concern that the language of the contract still provides too many circumstances that would allow A&P to extend the project and request additional compensation.

“Including, but not limited to, are the only words I have a concern about,” Sawatzke commented.

“If a tsunami hits here, they probably are entitled to some extra money,” Sawatzke quipped, as he read through the list of circumstances included in the contract.

Jail Administrator Gary Torfin urged the board to approve the contract, noting that it contains provisions for resolving conflicts that may arise.

In the end, the board agreed with Heeter and board member Elmer Eichelberg, who commented that it is time to move forward.

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