Hey, Happy New Year! The committee came together to discuss blending a couple of Century Code (CC) chapters that contain discrepancies. That portion of the task before them seems to be moving along fine and will probably be a stand-alone bill next year.
Then they launched into a wide ranging conversation which some thought went way “into the weeds,” to quote one of the senators. Topics included an aside on who is responsible for forcing a reluctant landowner to break up a beaver dam on a waterway that is not in an assessment district, a legal drain and non-navigable. We believe the answer was the Water Resource District.
There was also a short course on the term “Watercourse” which is used too freely in our CC according to counsel for the Water Department and was meant to refer to a large piece of water like the Red or Missouri rivers, for example. It was suggested that the committee consider changing to “Waterway” when addressing lesser types of water to bring clarity to our CC because as it continued to grow, our Code incrementally (ahem) watered down the meaning.
Bridge and culvert responsibilities were discussed as was the topic of cost/benefit analysis when it comes to water projects. There is a lot of education to be done on how to apply this analysis to different sized projects. Should there be a dollar threshold so that smaller projects are not bothered with it? What should that number be? Will the committee decide that the ratio be applied to the project as a whole rather than carry it all the way down to each landowner? The committee has much to discuss this summer and fall.
Okay, this is a continuation of reporting from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) meeting that I spoke of in Murphy’s Law...