Drain Commissioner gives annual report

St. Joseph County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wenzel issued 13 drain-maintenance permits to area farmers, and 132 soil-erosion and sediment-control permits in 2016.
Wenzel appeared Wednesday before county leaders to provide his annual report during their executive committee meeting.
He said soil-erosion permits were approved only after a site visit and review of plans. Thirty were issued in Fabius Township, with the second most going to Nottawa Township. None were issued in Florence or Sturgis townships.
Wenzel said there were no petitioned drain projects in 2016 in the county.
Meanwhile, he received 15 permission letters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to trap beavers in 2016. The trapping is done in established county drains when necessary in the off-season.
Finally, Wenzel said three assessments were filed in 2016: year 12 of 15 for the Grover and Coohon Drain in Colon Township, year 10 of 10 for the Colon No. 1 Drain in Colon and Nottawa townships, and year one of one for the Lake Templene and Sand Lake in Nottawa and Sherman townships.
Total drain assessments in 2016 was in excess of $65,000.

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