FERGUS FALLS -- Plans for ditch repairs at various locations in Otter Tail County were outlined on July 30 to county board members by County Ditch Inspector Kevin Fellbaum.

Included will be ditch repairs, and in some cases cleanouts, of Ditch 56 near Rothsay, ditches 18 and 37 between Fergus Falls and Underwood, Ditch 21 south of West Lost Lake and Ditch 16 near Clitherall Lake.

Water issues at Nelson Lake, and Ditch 45 west of Parkers Prairie, were also addressed.

Funding for most of these repairs is available, in light of recent redetermination of benefits to adjacent land owners.

Once the benefited property owners are determined, all costs incurred by the ditch system (for repairs, maintenance and inspections) are assessed back to the benefited property owners.

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“We have large open ditches and tile systems throughout Otter Tail County,” said Fellbaum.

Repairs and cleanout of county ditches are an ongoing process, coordinated by county employees in coordination with the five-person Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.

All county drainage ditches were built from 1900 to 1923. Otter Tail County had 70 systems that were petitioned in the early 1900s to be built by the local property owners. Of those 70, a total of 60 ditches were constructed.

Current ditch work in Otter Tail County includes, but is not limited to, removal of bog material, culvert replacement, general cleaning and building rock weir for flood prevention.