In 2018 and 2019 Redwood County experienced significant flooding that led to damage in myriad locations.

Among those areas that are in need of repair are the ditches that are part of the county landscape.

In fact, according to Scott Wold, Redwood County director of planning and environmental services, there are 1,500 different areas in need of repair.

Wold talked to the Redwood County commissioners about this issue during its Feb. 18 meeting.

While not all of the repairs require major work, when taken together the necessary repairs could cost the system in the area of $8-10 million. That funding would come from the county’s ditch system fund.

To alleviate that funding challenge, the Redwood County environmental offices has been communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to secure funding to repair the damage.

Wold told the commissioners that it recently received a funding estimate from FEMA of $172,000 for those repairs. The gap between the offer and the initial estimate is significant, and so Wold presented a request to the board to hire WENCK Engineering at a cost of $16,580 to have it come in and assess the damage and come up with a cost estimate for the repairs. The hope is that having a reputable company come in and develop an estimate will go further toward securing more funding from FEMA.

The board approved the request, with the funding coming from the ditch system apportioned to each ditch based on damage that has been done. 

In other action, the county board:

• Heard from Al Forsberg, interim Redwood County engineer, that a change has been made on DeKalb Street. Under the change, traffic may now travel both directions on the frontage roads that exist on either side of DeKalb Street.

• Approved a request to purchase a Polaris ranger, trailer and sprayer at a cost of $23,662 for the ditch system and zoning program. Wold told the board the equipment will be used to spray weeds on the buffers and to access areas in the county where other vehicles can’t go. The board also declared a 2013 Honda four-wheeler as excess property.

• Approved a 2019 emergency management performance grant for the county sheriff’s department in the amount of $20,097.

• Accepted a donation of $100 from Schwartz Farms, Inc. for the sheriff’s department.

• Approved the purchase of new GeoComm E-911 computer software for the county E-911 system as a cost of $21,360. Randy Hanson, county sheriff, told the board that the funds will come from the E-911 fund.

• Approved a request to hire WENCK Engineering for E-911 consulting as the county moves toward standardization of the system at a cost of $24,326.