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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 15, 2011, 09:56 PM

Homeowners ask for more help from Cass County

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's only been a day since Cass County saw its first snowfall, but some farmers are already preparing for next year's spring melt by cleaning ditches. But is it their responsibility to do so?

It's only been a day since Cass County saw its first snowfall, but some farmers are already preparing for next year's spring melt by cleaning ditches. But is it their responsibility to do so?

Many farmers haven't been able to clean ditches for several years because of all the wet weather. A dry fall changed that. But some farmers believe it's a problem they shouldn't be dealing with in the first place.

Sally Jo Eide – West Fargo: “I want Cass County to help us out, I want them to be more responsible.”

Sally Jo Eide has lived on this land in West Fargo for 17 years. The evidence of flooding is everywhere. Now for the first time, a neighboring farmer is cleaning this ditch along Cass County 10, hoping to help water flow more smoothly into the Sheyenne next spring. It will lower the ditch by about 5 inches, but Eide doesn't feel this should be a farmers job.

Sally Jo Eide: “That's wrong, that's totally wrong.”

Cass County Engineer Jason Benson says the county simply does not have the man power to clean every ditch in the county.

Jason Benson – Cass County Engineer: “We only have so much that we can do besides all the other maintenance that we are doing.”

Maintenance like keeping up with 650 miles of county roads. There are 1,300 miles of ditches.

Jason Benson: “Unless it's a significant drainage issue, we'll just work with the farmer and allow the farmer through our ditch cleaning permit to go out and clean.”

Cass County says if you are interested in cleaning out a ditch before winter kicks into full gear, you can pick up a permit at the Highway Department in West Fargo.

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