A public hearing was held this week at the Pennington County Justice Center, to discuss a turning over County Ditch #70 to the City of Thief River Falls.
Ten concerned citizens turned up to the thirty minute meeting to hear details related to plans for the system that runs along Highway 1 and 59 from Highway 59, north to Barzen Avenue-outlets to the east, along Greenwood Street to the Red Lake River. The resolution is part of a flood-damage-reduction-project being undertaken by the Red Lake Watershed District, Pennington County and the City of Thief River Falls, known as Improvement Project 178.
Pennington County Engineer Mike Flaagan says the transition is contingent on approval from the City of Thief River Falls and the Red Lake Watershed District.
According to County Auditor / Treasurer Ken Olson, the “system has a history of flood damage northwest of the of the City, and does not have adequate capacity for anticipated growth, and expansion in the southwest part of the City.” Olson says the “partnership between the City, County, and Watershed District is complemented by the Minnesota Department of Transportation through cost-sharing of drainage-improvements.
TRF Public Works Director, Mark Borseth says a future construction project will create a new outlet for County Ditch 70, in the city limits, east of Oakland Park Road. He says the Watershed District is planning on opening bids for the project sometime this summer.
The Red Lake Watershed set a date for a public information meeting concerning Ditch 70 at their Board meeting this morning (Thursday.) According to Red Lake Watershed District Administrator Myron Jesme, the meeting has been set for May 23rd, 6PM at the Quality Inn meeting room on Highway 32 South Thief River Falls. He says the District will have probable cost estimates for landowners related to the project at that meeting.
Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.