The board has been working on this issued since November and in January addressed a petition concerning the obstruction and entered an order and instructed the petitioners to bring some estimates on removing the obstruction.
On Monday, David Fortin representing the petitioners told the drainage board the Kline Ditch is a mutual drain and the petitioners have worked with the property owner for at least 2 years to have the obstruction taken care of by themselves. He said, “We are looking for the least friction lowest cost way to get water flowing through there again.” He also indication the petitioners would like to have the drain put on maintenance and become a regulated drain to be sure in the future issues could be fixed in a timely manner.
Fortin said if there was some way to keep it a mutual drain and those involved had the right to address issues when they occur they would not see the petition to regulate the drain.
The petitioners brought forth estimates from two companies, Ingham and Wagner and Sons. The Wagner quote was $22,392 to place a 12 inch pipe for about 2,000 feet while Ingham offered two quotes, $6,900 for 700 feet or $19,690 for 2,000. The petitioners would like to share the cost between the 4 property owners in the watershed proportionally on the acres they own.
Fred Jones representing Al Collins and Miami Farms said there are discrepancies in the size of the tile needed, amount of footage the project will take and how the spoils will be handled. Jones also indicated the removal of trees to replace the drain would have an estimated value of $40,000 to $50,000 in damages to Miami Farms.
An alternative Miami Farms offered was to relocate the drain tile along the north edge of 110 to Queen Road and then north along the edge of the property. Jones said, “This would significantly minimize the damage to the trees although this proposal would increase the length of the drainage tile.”
Drainage Board member Dan Voreis asked Mr. Jones how the trees got over the tile and he said they grew there. Voreis asked if they were planted and he said “Yes I believe they were.” The attorney his understanding was that Mr. Collins did not know the tile was there when he planted the trees. Mr. Voreis asked about the easement for the tile indicating that nothing is to be planted in the easement of a drainage tile and said, “The trees being planted in the easement isn’t the responsibility of the petitioners.”
After further discussion the Marshall County Drainage Board motioned to award the project with 2,000 feet to Ingham at a cost of $19,690. The cost will be apportioned based on the acreage of tracks of land that benefit from the project. It was noted that the trees removed to replace the drain will be stacked on the property.
The petitioners can begin the work immediately and may petition later on the move the drain from a mutual drain to a regulated drain. Mr. Collins will have 30 days to appeal the drainage Board’s decision.