Water Projects Work – An Example
Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects, Inc.
1400 East Lyon Street
P.O. Box 267
Marshall, MN 56258
Area II has a technical office managed by a Coordinator who oversees the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Bolton & Menk, Inc., along with a full-time Engineering Technician, provide the engineering services and inspection necessary for the design and construction of floodwater retention structures. Direction and policy is set by the 18- member Board of Directors, comprised of elected county commissioners.
Area II receives annual administration allocations from the State of Minnesota. Currently, that allocation is $105,000, reduced from $189,000 in 2003. The nine member counties jointly match this allocation, and any other funding allocations from the State of Minnesota, at 25%. Through statute, Area II is allowed to cost-share with South Dakota at 50%.
Flooding damages are very severe within Area II as caused by the steep escarpment formed by the Coteau des Prairies (Buffalo Ridge). This escarpment ranges from 4 to 6 miles in width with elevation ranging from 90 feet/mile [Yellow Bank Subbasin] to 50 feet/mile [Redwood Subbasin].
The Public Law 87-639 Study revealed total annual damages of $4, 197, 448* by flooding alone. These damages vary from $197,800* for the Redwood Subbasin to $2,847,960* for the Lac qui Parle Subbasin.
*Monetary figures are in 1989 dollars.
Approximately 112,500 acres are flooded during the 100-year storm events with 30,100 acres being recurrently flooded every two (2) years. Flooding of croplands and pasturelands account for 80% of flood damages, while road and bridge destruction comprise the remaining percentage.
As the awareness of environmental impacts has grown, flood damage reduction efforts have been more successful in the form of smaller road retention structures that serve as temporary impoundments for the floodwaters. Area II continues to support the larger, multi-purpose dams and reservoirs that have been, and continue to be, a sound flood damage reduction practice.
Area II recognizes the importance of ecological systems — the relationship between soil, air, water, human life, and wildlife — and will implement water quality measures wherever practicable. Wetlands serve as Nature’s own filtering and retention basins and shall be incorporated into Area II’s mission while creating additional benefits of wildlife refuge and groundwater recharge.