Troublesome ditch causes more problems

Workers from the Mille Lacs County Public Works Department erected an orange fence around a large hole connected with Ditch No. 14 north of Long Siding on Tuesday of last week.

The continuing saga of County Ditch No. 14 north of Long Siding took another turn at the County Board’s June 19 meeting when problems on the east side of Highway 169 were discussed.

The past two years the county has spent about $30,000 repairing the ditch on the west side of the road on Wilhelm Farms property.

This time a number of problems have been spotted on the other side of the road where there is a flow problem.

County engineer Bruce Cochran told county commissioners that a day earlier he had walked through the area with Commission Roger Tellinghuisen and landowners Al Bekius and Virgil Schmatz.

He brought aerial photographs to show commissioners and told of at least three problems that were easy to see in the stretch they walked.

There is a large hole where there is a broken pipe, there is another 15-foot stretch farther east that needs repair, and farther east there is a manhole broken down and damaged.

“We can make some repairs during the growing season,” he suggested to commissioners, “or we can do a long-term reassessment of the ditch.”

Cochran said he would eventually like to do a reassessment of the county’s whole ditch system by sending a camera through the ditches.

Tellinghuisen said “the hole is deep enough to bury a Volkswagen. That could be a problem.The big question is, if this gets fixed, is everybody going to be happy again?”

For the full story, see the Thursday, June 28 print edition of the Times.