Proposed Dissolution of Certain Jefferson County Drainage Districts

Drainage District Maps

: Chapter 88 of the Wisconsin Statutes allows for landowners throughout Wisconsin to petition and form drainage districts on their lands. A drainage district can be advantageous for certain communities. With a district, farmers can coordinate drainage systems to work for all landowners in the district, allowing for proper drainage of lands. This, in turn, can lead to better farming conditions. Considering that many of the districts we have today were formed almost a century ago, however, some drainage districts are no longer useful. Subsequently, the State of Wisconsin is seeking to eliminate inactive or suspended districts.

Dissolution: Effective July 14, 2015, the Wisconsin legislature required that the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) initiate the dissolution of suspended drainage districts throughout the state. The purpose behind the law was to either dissolve or reactivate drains in those districts. In Jefferson County, there are seven suspended districts: Drain Nos. 1, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19 and No. 24. On June 15, 2017 DATCP filed notice of administrative dissolution of those districts. Wisconsin law required that Jefferson County’s Drainage Board (the Board) provide notice to all affected landowners and interested parties.

Hearing: Wisconsin law affords landowners and interested parties the option to attend a hearing and object to dissolution. DATCP and the Board will hold this hearing at the following location, date and time:

Drainage District Dissolution Hearing

Location:      Jefferson County Fair Park Activity Center
                       503 N. Jackson Avenue
                       Jefferson, WI 53549

Date:             Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Time:             1:00 p.m.

At the hearing, landowners and interested parties can state why they either agree or disagree with dissolution. The Board must then decide whether the public welfare will be promoted by reinstatement of any of the suspended districts. If the Board finds that the public welfare will not be promoted, they will provide notice of dissolution to the Court. Otherwise, the board will seek to reinstate those districts.

If you are a landowner in any of the above districts, you may attend the hearing and state your objection to dissolution. If you wish to object to the court’s jurisdiction or the sufficiency or legality of DATCP’s notice, you must file your written objection with the Court prior to the October 9th hearing. You must clearly state your objection in detail. However, you do not need to file this objection to attend the hearing and object to dissolution.