Petition for ditch abandonment on County Board agenda

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners will take public testimony and consider a petition for partial abandonment of County Ditch 28 at 10:30 a.m. today in the courthouse.

The hearing deals with a petition by Gary Tauer and Daniel Tauer for partial abandonment of a public drainage system in Section 27, Mulligan Township. The Tauers farm their properties together, according to the RBA (Request for Board Action).

The petition reads that the location and configuration of the open ditch on Daniel Tauer’s property interferes with and makes impractical petitioner’s use of the irrigation system on both of their properties.

The petition proposes a portion of the open ditch of CD 28 crossing Daniel Tauer’s property be abandoned and filled in, and that the Tauers build a private tile line to replace the portion of the open ditch that will be abandoned.

The private tile line will be of sufficient capacity and design to drain and serve as an outlet for that portion of the open ditch of CD 28, located in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of Section 27. The private tile line will drain the Tauers’ property and outlet into the open portion of CD 28, according to the petition.

All lands to be drained by the proposed private tile line currently are assessed benefits for CD 28 and are part of the CD 28 ditch system. After the private tile line is built, the open ditch portion of CD 28 crossing Daniel Tauer’s property will no longer serve any substantial purpose and should be abandoned, according to the petition.

The open ditch of CD 28 has sufficient capacity and is an adequate outlet for the proposed private tile line, according to the petition which state laws as legal references.

Commissioners will also consider:

Placing an assessment on CD 28. The County Board approved the redetermination of benefits on the ditch system at its June 18 meeting. The appeal period expires on July 18.

Damages to landowners for land acquisition amounts to $200,230, projected repair costs $60,000; and seeding ditch banks $28,000, totaling $288,230. There is a current deficit of $11,000. A minimum of a $300,000 assessment would be needed, which would not allow for future repairs. Current policy gives landowners the option to pay in full up front or three- and five-year liens.

The purchase of 13 individual Soldiers Rest burial plots from the City of New Ulm and six plots from the Springfield Cemetery Association.

The board meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the courthouse commissioners room.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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