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  Date of enactment: November 30, 2017
2017 Senate Bill 177   Date of publication*: December 1, 2017
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
2017 WISCONSIN ACT 115
An Act to repeal 88.83 (1m) and 88.83 (1r); to renumber and amend 87.30 (1m) and 88.83 (1); to amend 88.13, 88.24 (intro.), 88.62 (3) (a), 88.63 (2), 88.83 (title), 88.83 (3), 88.83 (4), 88.83 (5), 281.36 (3b) (b), 281.36 (3m) (a), 281.36 (6) (a) (intro.), 281.36 (9) (a) (intro.) and 283.33 (1) (intro.); and to create 30.20 (1g) (d), 70.32 (5), 87.30 (1m) (am), 88.17 (2h) (c), 88.17 (2h) (d), 88.17 (2r), 88.212 (4), 88.31 (7r), 88.74, 88.785, 88.817, 88.83 (1c), 88.83 (2m), 281.36 (4r) and 283.33 (1m) of the statutes; relating to: drainage districts and regulating the removal of material from certain drainage ditches.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
115,1 Section 1. 30.20 (1g) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
30.20 (1g) (d) The removal of material by a drainage district from the bed of a ditch operated by the drainage district is exempt from the individual and general permit requirements under this section if all of the following apply:
1. The material is removed for the purpose of maintaining the ditch.
2. The material is not removed from an area that is listed in a database maintained by the department identifying contaminated properties and other activities related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated soil or groundwater in this state.
3. If the removed material is spread on land, all of the following apply:
a. The material is graded and smoothed to blend into cultivated lands.
b. The surface slope of the material does not exceed a slope of 8 to 1.
c. The material is not more than 2 feet deep at the top of the bank of the ditch.
4. If the removed material is placed in a district corridor established under s. 88.74, no portion of a pile of the removed material is closer than 12 feet from the top of the bank of the ditch, is piled at any angle other than a stable angle of repose for that material, nor has a slope exceeding a slope of 2 to 1.
5. The drainage district, in maintaining the drainage ditch, does all of the following in order to prevent the spread of invasive species or the spread of viruses from one navigable water to another:
a. Removes plants, animals, and mud and other debris from all equipment it uses to maintain the drainage ditch before the equipment is placed in any other navigable water.
b. Washes all equipment that it uses to maintain the drainage ditch with high pressure water of not less than 2,000 pounds per square inch before it is placed in any other navigable water or allows the equipment to dry for not less than 5 days before it is placed in any other navigable water.
6. The material is not discharged into a wetland that is identified by the department under s. 281.36 (3g) (d) 1. to 7.
7. Except as provided in this subdivision, the removal activity does not occur between March 15 and the immediately following June 1. A department fish biologist assigned to the area in which the removal activity is located may waive the requirement that the limitation in this subdivision apply to an exemption under this paragraph.
8. If the drainage ditch is classified by the department as a trout stream or tributary of a trout stream, the drainage district coordinates the time of its removal activities with department fisheries staff.
115,2 Section 2. 70.32 (5) of the statutes is created to read:
70.32 (5) Beginning with the assessments as of January 1, 2017, the assessor shall assess the land within a district corridor described under s. 88.74 in the same class under sub. (2) (a) as the land adjoining the corridor, if the adjoining land and the land within the corridor are owned by the same person.
115,3m Section 3m. 87.30 (1m) of the statutes is renumbered 87.30 (1m) (ag), and 87.30 (1m) (ag) (intro.), 1. and 2., as renumbered, are amended to read:
87.30 (1m) (ag) (intro.) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or administrative rule promulgated thereunder, a floodplain zoning ordinance required under sub. (1) does not apply to lands adjacent to farm drainage ditches if all of the following apply:
1. Such lands are not within the floodplain of a natural navigable stream or river;.
2. Those parts of the drainage ditches adjacent to these lands were nonnavigable streams before ditching; and.
115,4m Section 4m. 87.30 (1m) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
87.30 (1m) (am) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or administrative rule promulgated thereunder, a floodplain zoning ordinance required under sub. (1) does not apply to lands adjacent to farm drainage ditches if all of the following apply, except to the extent necessary for the municipality to which the floodplain zoning ordinance applies to maintain eligibility for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program:
1. The farm drainage ditch is subject to the jurisdiction of a drainage district under ch. 88.
2. The disposal of material in a floodplain is within the drainage district corridor under s. 88.74.
3. The lands adjacent to the corridor are maintained in nonstructural agricultural use or other nonstructural use.
115,8 Section 8. 88.13 of the statutes is amended to read:
88.13 Right to enter lands of drainage district. Whenever necessary for any purpose connected with the organization of a district or the construction, maintenance or repair of drains and other works, members of the board, representatives of the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, and persons intending to bid on or to whom contracts have been let for the construction of the works within a district or on former district lands transferred under s. 88.83 and their respective agents and employees may go upon any lands proposed for inclusion or included within a district or on adjoining lands or on former district lands transferred under s. 88.83, and are not guilty of trespass therefor but are liable for unnecessary damage caused to crops or structures.
115,9 Section 9. 88.17 (2h) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
88.17 (2h) (c) Local or statewide agriculture, engineering, local government, or real estate organizations, including the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the Wisconsin Farmers Union, the Dairy Business Association, and the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association.
115,10 Section 10. 88.17 (2h) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
88.17 (2h) (d) The department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, which may recommend persons who have engineering experience related to water resources and agriculture.
115,11 Section 11. 88.17 (2r) of the statutes is created to read:
88.17 (2r) (a) If the board has jurisdiction of a drainage district that is located entirely or partially within the corporate limits of a city or village and a city or village the corporate limits of which contains any portion of a drainage district that is under the jurisdiction of the board notifies the court that the city or village will recommend a drainage board member, all of the following apply:
1. Notwithstanding subs. (1) and (2), the board shall consist of 5 persons. If the number of members of a board is increased under this paragraph, the board shall provide by rule for staggered terms, with all members serving terms of 5 years.
2. a. Notwithstanding subs. (1) and (2h), the court shall appoint one drainage board member from the list of persons recommended under this subd. 2. a. by cities and villages the corporate limits of which contains any portion of a drainage district that is under the jurisdiction of the board. Each city and village may recommend a member and, if the city or village recommends a member, shall recommend the chief executive of the city or village or the designee of the chief executive. In appointing a member under this subd. 2. a., the court shall attempt to assure that the member has experience in farming, familiarity with drainage, or familiarity with drainage engineering.
b. If drainage districts under the jurisdiction of the board are located entirely or partially within the corporate limits of more than one city or village, the appointment under subd. 2. a. shall rotate among the cities and villages.
c. Notwithstanding subs. (7) and (8), a member appointed under this paragraph may not be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of the member's duties and may not receive a per diem.
(b) If the position under par. (a) 2. becomes vacant and no city or village the corporate limits of which contains any portion of a drainage district that is under the jurisdiction of the board recommends a drainage board member under par. (a) 2., the board may, by rule, reduce the number of members to 3, but only if the size of the board is reduced as vacancies occur on the board.
115,12 Section 12. 88.212 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
88.212 (4) If any portion of a drainage district that is a subject matter of a drainage board meeting is located in a city, village, or town, notify the city, village, or town of the date, time, and subject matter of the meeting. A notification under this subsection may be in an electronic format.
115,13 Section 13. 88.24 (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
88.24 Board to file annual report. (intro.) On or before December 1 of each year the board shall file with the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection; the town board or town zoning committee; the city council, plan commission, or plan committee; and the county zoning administrator, in which district territory is located, a separate report, for the preceding fiscal year ending August 31, on each drainage district under the board's jurisdiction. Unless the board selects a different fiscal year and notifies the department of the selection, the board's fiscal year begins on September 1 and ends on the following August 31. All local units of government that receive the report shall consider it before making any zoning or planning decisions that may affect a drainage district that is located within its boundaries. The reports shall constitute part of the records of the districts reported on, shall be verified by the oath of one or more of the board members, and shall contain:
115,14 Section 14. 88.31 (7r) of the statutes is created to read:
88.31 (7r) A drainage district that is exempt from the individual and general permit requirements under s. 30.20 as specified under s. 30.20 (1g) (d) is exempt from the permit requirements and procedures under subs. (1) to (7) with respect to that removal.
115,15 Section 15. 88.62 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
88.62 (3) (a) If Except for a removal of material that is exempt from the individual and general permit requirements under s. 30.20 as specified under s. 30.20 (1g) (d) and except as provided under par. (b), if drainage work is undertaken in navigable waters, the drainage board shall obtain a permit under s. 30.20 or 88.31 or ch. 31, as directed by the department of natural resources, except as provided in par. (b).
115,16 Section 16. 88.63 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
88.63 (2) The board shall may establish and maintain a fund for the payment of costs of maintenance and repair. Whenever the amount of the fund falls below an amount equivalent to 5 percent of the confirmed benefits currently in effect in the district, the board shall levy an additional assessment under s. 88.23 for maintenance and repair. Assessments for costs of maintenance and repair shall be apportioned on the basis of the confirmed benefits then in effect in the district but may be made notwithstanding the fact that assessments of benefits in the district may have been exhausted by previous assessments for other costs. Assessments for costs of maintenance and repair, including costs incurred and per diems earned by board members under sub. (1m), are not limited by the extent of unexhausted assessments of benefits in the district and shall not be counted in determining whether there are unexhausted assessments of benefits against which assessments for costs other than those authorized by this section may be made for the payment of the costs of normal operations and maintenance and repair and for emergency expenses. Moneys in a fund under this subsection may not exceed amounts reasonably necessary for the purposes under this subsection.
115,17 Section 17. 88.74 of the statutes is created to read:
88.74 District corridors. (1) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), the board shall establish all of the following as district corridors:
1. A corridor which extends 20 feet from the top of the ditch bank on each side of a district ditch.
2. A corridor extending 20 feet from the centerline on each side of any other district drain or facility.
(b) Upon notice to affected landowners, the board may establish and maintain a wider corridor if a wider corridor is necessary to meet any of the purposes specified under sub. (3).
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