Commissioners discuss drainage concerns after spring flooding
June 13, 2022
With overland flooding having wreaked havoc through much of Eddy County since their last meeting, culverts and drainage concerns were a big topic of discussion for county commissioners on Tuesday, June 7.
Road Superintendent, Todd Weber, brought to the commission’s attention a few concerns that arose after last month’s flooding, along with potential remedies.
Of particular concern was the portion of Eddy County along County Road 2, and Weber discussed culverts in that area with commissioners, adding that residents there are eager to see changes.
“We’re just lucky that the roads didn’t wash out,” said Commissioner Dave Gehrtz. “It took time, but the system is working, and now it’s time to fix some of these issues that we see and know need to be done.”
The commissioners and road superintendent agreed there’s not enough information to begin fixing issues just yet, and Weber added that the water, while receding, isn’t entirely gone.
However, the commission will begin the process of potential changes by having discussions with Interstate Engineering.
The ongoing saga regarding culverts at the Oak Creek crossing took another turn as Darren Peterka and Mike May of Interstate Engineering provided an update.
In attendance for the discussion were Kris Skadberg and the Skadberg’s attorney, Zachary Burmeister, who attended via phone.
According to Peterka, though it’s been established that Eddy County is required to make changes to culverts at the Oak Creek crossing, those changes don’t need to be made until construction is done on that stretch of road, not including regular maintenance.
Peterka also suggested that property owners downstream be given plenty of notice in advance before any changes are made, due to the different requirements for culverts on country roads and township roads.
Burmeister expressed concern about waiting five or 10 years before the culverts are upgraded, and asked if a property owner, who may need culverts upgraded sooner, must simply wait and accrue damages in the meantime.
Peterka and May said they would put together a cost estimate for the project and place it on their list of priorities with the Department of Transportation, and the commissioners agreed that notice will be given to downstream property owners and townships.
Also discussed by commissioners was $4,140.97 in damages to the courthouse’s roof caused by high winds, as well as a gaming site authorization for the New Rockford Lions Club, which was approved.
Commissioners evaluated potential improvements to the Warsing Dam Park after a list of concerns was sent by Tim Hartl.
Hartl’s concerns included pot holes, which he believes would require a “pretty decent” dump truck of gravel to fill in, as well as asphalt shingles coming off shelters and outhouses, beavers deforesting a section of the park and people tearing up turf with their vehicles.
Commissioners discussed what could be done about these problems, and also floated the idea of applying for grant money to get new bathrooms and a playground.
Also discussed was the county tax equalization report presented by Tax Director Kristy O’Connor.
The county’s taxable valuation totals $14,339,630, an increase of $258,912. Broken down into different classes, the county’s taxable property is 16.40 percent residential, 10.97 percent commercial and 72.64 percent agricultural.
The next regular county commission meeting is scheduled for July 5 at 8:30 p.m. in the Eddy County Courthouse.