Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Assessments


Oct. 4th, 2013: Annandale, Minn. – Below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding special assessments the District has levied for 2013.

  1. Why am I being assessed?
  2. As stated in the prepayment option notice sent by U.S. Mail, you are being assessed because a property you own was determined by appraisal to be benefitted by a project of the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD). The laws of the State of Minnesota that govern watershed districts (MN Statutes 103D) are clear that the costs of a project undertaken by a watershed district must undergo a appraisal process. This process determines whether the costs do not exceed the benefits derived by the project, and which properties are benefitted by the project. These are the properties which will bare the costs of the project. Watershed law is also clear that projects are to be operated and maintained to their originally desired level of operating efficiency, and all future operation and maintenance costs are to be borne by those properties determined to have a benefit by said appraisal process.


  3. How many special assessments are being levied this year?
  4. For the year 2014, levied in 2013, there are seven special assessments. Other special assessment may be levied from time to time, dependent on needs determined by the Board of Managers.


  5. What are the total amounts of each special assessment?
  6. Clearwater/Grass Lakes Bog Control Assessment: $2,000.00

    School Section Lake Outlet Control Structure Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Assessment: $2,000.00

    Clearwater Chain of Lakes (1980) Restoration Project O&M Assessment: $156,430.00

    Cedar, Albion, Swartout, Henshaw Project #06-1 O&M Assessment: $30,000.00

    Cedar Lake Watershed Protection and Improvement Project Assessment: $176,300.00

    Clearwater Lake Milfoil Treatment Project O&M Assessment: $36,800.00

    Lake Augusta Milfoil Treatment Project O&M Assessment: $3,250.00


  7. Where can I find a copy of the appraisal reports?
  8. Appraisal reports can be reviewed at the District's office during normal business hours. Please click here to contact the office to set up a time to review the report. Also, several of the appraisal reports are available under each individual project's page on the District's website. For ease, a link to each appraisal currently available on the website has been given below:

    Cedar, Albion, Swartout, Henshaw Project #06-1 Appraisal Report - October 2006

    Clearwater River Chain of Lakes (1980) Restoration Project Appraisal Report - February 3, 1982


  9. Where can I find an explanation on what these projects accomplish?
  10. Clearwater Chain of Lakes (1980) Restoration Project - The Chain of Lakes Restoration Project was a 4.4 million project spanning the 1980s-1990s designed to significantly improve water quality on Clearwater Lake and several smaller lakes that make up the chain. The operation and maintenance assessment is used by the District to maintain the many sub-projects that make up this larger Restoration Project. Click here to learn more. Recently, the District was awarded two grants for the operation and maintenance of two of these sub-projects: the Kingston Wetland Re-meandering Project, and the Targeted Fertilizer Application Project. These grants require local matches to cover part of the total cost of the operation and maintenance to be expended. As such, the operation and maintenance assessment was raised for the year 2011, levied in 2010, and again for the year 2012, levied in 2011. It is not being raised for the year 2014, levied in 2013. It is expected for the assessment to remain at its current amount for the next two years.


    Clearwater Lake Milfoil Project - When Eurasian Watermilfoil (an aquatic invasive species, learn more at: MN DNR's website) was discovered in Clearwater Lake, the decision was made to institute a project (click here to learn more) whereby every riparian parcel would contribute to financing the cost of treating Eurasian Watermilfoil. Since treatment is an ongoing process, this assessment is typically made yearly, dependent on the need for treatment. The Clearwater Lake Property Owners leads the effort to treat Eurasian Watermilfoil yearly, with the MN DNR providing treatment oversight, and the District overseeing the financing of the treatment. Though "operation and maintenance" is not in the assessment title, this assessment functions as an operation and maintenance assessment.


    Lake Augusta Milfoil Project - When Eurasian Watermilfoil an aquatic invasive species, learn more at: MN DNR's website) was discovered in Lake Augusta, the decision was made to institute a project (click here to learn more) whereby every riparian parcel would contribute to financing the cost of treating Eurasian Watermilfoil. Since treatment is an ongoing process, this assessment is typically made yearly, dependent on the need for treatment. The Lake Augusta Association leads the effort to treat Eurasian Watermilfoil yearly, with the MN DNR providing treatment oversight, and the District overseeing the financing of the treatment. Though "operation and maintenance" is not in the assessment title, this assessment functions as an operation and maintenance assessment.


    Cedar, Albion, Swartout, Henshaw Project #06-1 - The Clearwater River Watershed District was petitioned by the Cedar Lake Conservation Club on July 12, 2006 to develop and implement measures designed to reduce the phosphorous loading and carp population in Cedar Lake. Based on several years of monitoring, historical data, and the input of affected property owners, the Cedar, Albion, Swartout, Henshaw Project #06-1 (CASH P#06-1) was created. The operation and maintenance assessment is used by the District to maintain the project, which is made up of several sub-projects. Click here to learn more. The assessment remains the same as last year, $30,000.00.


    Cedar Lake Watershed Protection and Improvement Project - In Summer 2012, the Clearwater River Watershed District Board of Managers was approached by concerned citizens regarding additional steps to undertake in the Cedar Lake watershed to continue to build on the existing Project #06-1. The District submitted a grant proposal to the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources, and received $277,900.00 for the construction of a capital water quality improvement project in the watershed. The District held a public hearing on September 11th, 2013. At that hearing, an amendment of the existing Project #06-1 to include the capital improvement known as the Cedar Lake Watershed Protection & Improvement Project was ordered by the Board of Managers. All together, this improvement project is estimated to remove around 1,200 pounds of phosphorus per year from this sub-watershed, thereby greatly improving water quality. The total assessment for project establishment is $175,800.00. Click here to learn more.


    Clearwater / Grass Bog Control Project - In response to high water levels in the mid-1980s that caused severe floating bog problems in these lakes (which lead to several emergency bog removal activities), this bog control projects was set up with the cooperation of the lake property owners involved. These project included acquisition and improvement of access areas for bog removal, and the funding (via assessment) and process for removal of floating bogs deemed harmful. Though "operation and maintenance" is not in the assessment title, this assessment functions as an operation and maintenance assessment. To ensure there are funds available for control of bogs, an assessment of $2,000.00 is being levied this year, based upon the original assessment for the project. Click here to learn more.


    The CRWD reminds all citizens that the CRWD will not remove bogs from private property. The District will only become involved with removing bogs when they threaten to block the flow of the Clearwater River.


    School Section Lake Outlet Control Project - In response to the high water experienced in the early 1980s, the Clearwater River Watershed District was petitioned by property owners on School Section Lake to create an outlet control structure to help control the water level of School Section Lake. The outlet is permitted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and operation of the outlet follows strict DNR guidelines to protect the waters and properties downstream as well as School Section Lake. To ensure there are funds available for operation and maintenance of the outlet, an assessment of $2,000.00 is being levied this year, based upon the original assessment for the project. Click here to learn more.


  11. Where are these projects located?
  12. Locations of constructed District projects can be found here.


  13. If I wish to voice concern or disagreement with my assessment, where do I go?
  14. Start with the District office. Click here to learn more. Meeting of the Board of Managers are open to the public, and are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm at the Annandale Middle School and Kimball City Hall, respectively.


  15. What is the Clearwater River Watershed District?
  16. The Clearwater River Watershed District has been working to promote, protect, and preserve the waters of the District since its establishment as a unit of local government on April 9, 1975, by order of the Minnesota Water Resources Board, acting under authority of the Chapter 112, MSA (the Minnesota Watershed Act). Though the original thrust of the CRWD was the improvement of water quality in the Clearwater River Chain of Lakes, its scope has grown into a complete program of water management within its boundaries. To learn more about the CRWD, visit our website at: www.crwd.org.