The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors along with an engineer from Jacobsen-Westergaard Engineering took park in a bid letting where bids on a drainage project were opened. Two separate contractors had the lowest bids on two separate options for the work to be done. Those bids will now be sent to the Drainage District 18 Trustees who will decide on the options and the final contractor. The two options deal with different coefficients. One coefficient offers landowners drainage of a half-inch of rain per 24 hours. The other coefficient offers drainage of a full inch of rain in 24 hours. Once the coefficient is determined by the district board, the contract will be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The bids will be valid for 30 days and the county will mail out itemized bids to landowners along Lateral 11 where the work will be done.
The board has scheduled an informational meeting for February 25th at 9:30 am.
A second project was also considered in Drainage District 11. A drainage ditch needs to be re-dug in order to increase water flow and make the system more efficient. The new ditch in question runs along Highway 9 before turning south along 120th Avenue. Two drainage ditches were considered. A longer one and a shorter one. The longer one would be less expensive to make at a cost of $1.8 million while the shorter one would cost district landowners $2.5 million in total. Like DD 18, drainage coefficients come into play of either a half-inch or a full one inch.
In both cases, wetland rules will come into play. The district or the county must mitigate with the state conservation board on wetland properties. State law mandates that if a potential wetland area is to be converted over to farmland, the same amount of potential wetland acreage in the project must be added to an established wetland project so that the state does not lose any wetland. The district board or the landowners will have to pay to have wetland added to a current project like the one in the Dows and Clarion area. The district could split the cost 50-50 with landowners or either party can shoulder the expense. That cost will be added to either the $1.8 million or the $2.5 million in current estimated costs. The project is on hold pending wetland mitigation