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S.F. No. 2380 - Drainage Law; Repair by Petition
Author: Senator Torrey N. Westrom
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: April 7, 2016


Senate File 2380 makes modifications to the process for a repair of a drainage system by petition to a drainage authority (county, watershed district, or joint county authority) under the Drainage Law.


Under current law, a drainage authority is required to order the repair of a drainage system after a petition is submitted under two options.  The first option is when the drainage authority makes a determination that the recommended repairs are necessary for the best interest of the affected property owners.  Under the first option, no limit on the cost of the repair is provided.  Under the second option, the drainage authority is required to order the repair when:  (1) the petition is signed by the owners of at least 26 percent of the property area affected by the system and assessed for the original construction of the system; (2) the drainage authority determines that the drainage system no longer serves its original purpose; and (3) the cost of the repair does not exceed the total benefits in the original drainage system proceeding.  Under current law, the total benefits limits the cost of any repair for the second option.  If the repair costs more than the original benefits and causes a problem in ordering a repair under the second option, a drainage authority has the option of updating the benefits by ordering a redetermination of benefits under Minnesota Statutes, section 103E.351.  The redetermined benefits replace the original benefits for the drainage system.

Changes in SF 2380

The bill makes two changes to requirements for drainage authorities ordering a repair by petition under the second option (discussed above).  The first change is to the determination required under the second option.  The bill provides that it be based on whether the repair would allow the drainage system to serve its original purpose, instead of under current law where the required determination is that the system no longer serves its original purpose.  The second change is to require for the purposes of the calculation for repair that the total benefits be increased by updating land values to the most recent estimated market value.



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