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Senior Advisor

Wondering about locations?

Section 5 of Liberty township of Wright county Iowa. Thats our homestead. That measily little 350 acres paid $41K for a drainage improvement for an 1875 acre land base. Sound like alot? The other 1525 acres paid less than we  did.


After a request for relief and a investigation with a prominent drainage lawyer, we found out we had no recourse.


Lesson learned. Before any drainage project in which you are included, Be sure you examine all the acres that benefit from the project before it is approved and the bids let. If additional acres benefit you can request their inclusion into the district. Failure to do that prevents you and the county for including them after the fact.


People that are not officially in the district must be asked to the hearings or they are forever excluded from any responsibility.


BTW that little oversight cost us $29K too much.

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3 Replies

Re: Wondering about locations?

what  does it mean when you say "
officially not in the drainage district"? I'd like to open up a drainage issue where i live but hate to irritate my neighbors. That said, I help pay for draining THEIR farms.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Wondering about locations?

Too bad that they got the benefits, and you got the cost.   Since you paid for most of it, do you 'own' the drain, so to speak?

Or is it maintained by some sort of drainage district, who just makes you pay the bill?  I'm kind of curious, because out here, it is a scramble for the right to add water, rather than have it removed.


PS, sounds like you have done well for yourself.   Hopefully, when I get near retirement age, I can consider 350 acres of crop ground to be 'measily', LOL.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Wondering about locations?

There water comes our way. But surface drainage and tiles. Their district paid a routing fee a number of years ago in that they get the benefit of sending thier water without the responsibility of maintenance.


When the project was first proposed I should have been at the hearing and declared that surface water is what damaged the outlet and the required replacement.. I should have demanded that all that benefit from the outlet should be required to fund it. As it was those beneficiaries were not invited to the hearing before the decision was made and the bid let.


However, I have ancient drainafge maps that include those properties in the district. Unfortunately they were in the district but not responsible for the cost because of the supposed routing deal of many years past.


The mistake was made before the bid letting and not including those folks in the hearing process. 


If you have any drainage issues is is important to have all your ducks in a row which probably means the help pf a drainage proficient lawyer. It took a couple of visits with one to find out  that logical reasoning isn't enough.


Most any drainage project will never get done without the disapproval of some neighbors. I think you can win approval if you cn sell it with sound logic.   Of course, you will always have those that won't support it even if it is logical. I rent my land for $300 without it drained. Why would I care if its drained?

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