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Petition for work on drain near Walkerton denied

March 22, 2011

By Rusty Nixon


PLYMOUTH – An old contract that appears to be binding is causing debate over county drainage work in the Walkerton area.

Residents in the area of the Morris drain, also known as the Sarber ditch that runs near the intersection of Redwood Road and 3B Road in Marshall County are in disagreement of who should pay for work that is necessary in the area. The Morris ditch was constructed by mutual agreement of four property owners and a contract for maintenance entered into in May of 1965.

Subsequently the ownership of all four properties involved has changed hands, however the contract states that the responsibility for maintenance of the ditch remains with the properties involved and transfers with that ownership. For the second time in the last five years property owners have petitioned the Marshall County Drainage Board to add the ditch to the county maintenance rolls and for the second time fellow residents of the watershed objected.

Marshall County Surveyor Larry Fisher reported to the Board that the estimated cost for the county to maintain the ditch would be $2000 to be paid for by an assessment of $4 per acre on all property in the watershed.

Residents of the watershed showed up to the public meeting Monday to express their objection to the project and to state they desired to keep the status quo in the area with the four property owners bearing the cost of any cleanup as stipulated by the 1965 agreement.

The Board denied the petition finding no public support for the action and stating that the expense out weighed any benefits that would be derived from proceeding.

In other action;

The Marshall County Drainage Board entered into a contractural agreement for $49,000 with R.W. Armstrong to begin work on a project to slow erosion on the Yellow River between the footbridge in Plymouth and the Suseland ditch.