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County Board orders repairs for County Ditch 20 near Hutch

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners approved spending up to $525,000 to replace about 9,500 feet of tile in County Ditch 20, located near Hutchinson between Highway 15 and County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 12.
 
The decision came after a public hearing during the Board’s regular meeting Tuesday morning, Aug. 18.
 
Chuck Vermeersch, an engineer with Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), who was tasked to study the ditch, said the original tile varies in diameter from 12 inches to 18 inches. It will be replaced with concrete pipe of as similar size as possible, he said.
 
Scott Exsted, who owns land in the area, said the current tile is “grossly undersized” for draining the area. Exsted said 31-inch to 33-inch tile is needed to “adequately drain this area.”
 
However, Vermeersch said that upsizing the pipe will turn the project into an improvement, rather than a repair, and that asking various authorities permission to enlarge the pipe “will really be an uphill battle.”
 
Mark Ludowese, who also farms in the area, agreed that enlarging the pipe would be ideal, but also agreed with Vermeersch that it would probably never be approved.
 
For more see the Aug. 26 print edition of The Chronicle.