The non-emergency number for the sheriff’s office is 651-385-3155.
Potential new homeowners in rural areas should be aware of the sights, sounds and smells of country living before moving into rural areas. County planning and zoning staff can provide information about where livestock operations are located. But it is important to note that every field will likely get a dose of manure each year, so they will smell for a short period of time. Also, planting and harvesting require large equipment, so noise during these times is normal and required.
Your septic system (also known as an on-site sewage treatment system) is not a maintenance-free system. Septic tanks should be pumped out periodically by a licensed pumper. The required frequency of pumping depends on the quantity and type of things you put down the drain. A free brochure containing helpful information about your septic system is available at the Goodhue County Office.(http://www.septic.umn.edu/owners/index.htm)
The quality of your well water is affected by many things. It is important to know that your water is safe for consumption. Having a sample of your water analyzed will tell you whether there are any health concerns. Analysis is done for a fee by Goodhue County and private testing laboratories. (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/test.html)
Winter plowing and sanding of township roads is prioritized for safety and to ensure high-use roads are attended to before less-used roads. Your township road will be attended to, but it may not be immediately. Be aware that some roads are cared for by two or more townships, so they may be cared for at different times.
Gravel roads require grading to keep them in good shape, but grading is ineffective unless the surface is loose or damp. If your gravel road is washboard, you can request grading, but don’t expect it if the road is dry and compacted. Gravel will typically be added to each road every 3 years. High speeds create more washboarding and potholes than low speeds. Maintaining speeds below the posted limit will reduce the need for regrading.
Roadside ditch clean up is usually scheduled on Earth Day. A Township contractor will pick up trash bags you have filled with ditch garbage (only) during a following weekday.
A gravel road can be sprayed with calcium chloride or other chemicals at the landowner’s expense to control dust. (The Township does not spray.) This is often done in the spring as people begin to open windows. The road should be graded first because the chemical should not be removed until dust is no longer an issue, which is usually late fall or early winter. If safety concerns arise, however, the township will grade after the chloride has been placed and the benefit of the chloride may be lost. The landowner will not be compensated. If you have your road sprayed, please contact the Township Clerk to obtain markers you can place on the shoulder of your road so your road is not graded accidentally.
“Road right of way” (ROW) is a term used to describe the width of land on either side of the centerline of a road that is dedicated for use by the township, county, or state. The ROW always extends beyond the road surface itself. The area is used for snow placement, storm water control, utility easements, and other purposes. The township or county has the right to do maintenance and improvements in the ROW without your permission. A landowner is not allowed to do grading, plant or remove trees, add or remove driveway approaches, or do anything that has storm water impact in the ROW. The width of the ROW along your property may be shown on your property survey. Rough dimensions for the ROW may be available on the County GIS website or at the Goodhue County Land Use Management Office. Exact locations should be determined by a land surveyor.
Help protect our streams. They are vulnerable to pollution from runoff and erosion. Avoid applying any chemicals to your land that can make their way into the streams. Do not use ravines as garbage dumps. Avoid disturbing the ground near stream banks. Consider plantings along streams on your property that improve water quality. Several state and county agencies can advise you on good stream bank practices. (http://www.extension.umn.edu/environment/water/watersheds/)
There are 27 plant species regulated as noxious weeds in Minnesota, 19 of which are prohibited noxious weeds you must remove if they are found on your property. (http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/badplants/~/media/Files/plants/weeds/noxiouslists.pdf)
You need a burning permit to burn dry leaves, plant clippings, brush, and clean untreated-unpainted wood as long as weather conditions do not pose a fire hazard–you don’t want your neighbor calling the fire department. See web site for details (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/questions.html).
There are many private companies that collect garbage if you do not wish to bring it to a dump or the Integrated Solid Waste Management Campus.
See “Township Business” for more information on Hay Creek Township. Attending meetings, or joining the Board or the Planning Commission are ways of affecting policy.