Sibley County Commissioners, last week, approved adding drainage from 41 acres in the City of Gaylord to the stormwater pond in east Gaylord.
During a public hearing, Justin Black of SEH explained that in 1995, the stormwater pond was constructed, diverting drainage from 200 acres into the pond. The acreage was from the Wolf Motors – Agri Fleet area.
A hearing was held to redirect water from 41 acres, that previously flowed into Lake Titloe, to the stormwater pond in east Gaylord. The storm water project is part of Gaylord’s street and utility project this summer.
“The City is trying to improve the water quality of Lake Titloe,” Doug Parrott, engineer with SEH, said. “It is right and fair for the city to pay a charge to enter Branch 3 of Lateral C of County Ditch 55.”
Black said that the stormwater pond is designed to meet Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards, that that it is large enough for the extra water.
Project viewers Le Roy Messner and Jeff Majeski, Sibley County’s environmental services director, recommended that the outlet benefits for the City of Gaylord be set at $5,450.
The viewers based this charge on the original system from 1959 which assessed agricultural lands at about $100/acre. Benefits per acre, based on the typical runoff for the different types of land, were set at $100/acre for agricultural land, $130/acre for residential, $170/acre for commercial property, and $260/acre for industrial property.
There are approximately 119 homes plus one acre of city park in the watershed. It was determined that there were 38 acres of residential-type benefits, and three acres of commercial-type benefits with two acres at the courthouse and one acre at the nursing home.
SEH admitted that they should have held this public hearing sooner. Black said that the firm considered the changes to the County Ditch 55 system as a whole, and did not consider the changes to the laterals separately.
Area property owner Jim Huffman said that he felt the City of Gaylord should be fined for working on this project before receiving proper approval. He also felt that the city’s charge for entering the system was too low.