Bill to extend ditch-mowing moratorium approved

Legislation Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, authored to extend for another year a moratorium on new rules governing mowing or haying trunk highway rights-of-way has been signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton.

The moratorium, which expired this month, now will be in place until April 30, 2019.

The mowing and haying issue came to a head in 2016, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced plans to change its statewide permitting standards for mowing and baling in ditches along Minnesota’s state roadways. Widespread concerns brought forward by property owners led Swedzinski to successfully author a bill in 2017 placing the original one-year moratorium on new mowing rules.

“This is great news because it will provide more time to address public concerns on what is a rather complicated issue,” Swedzinski said. “The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a report in March following a series of meetings with citizens and now extending the moratorium will allow for due process to take place in determining the best path forward. My main objective is to ensure that the rights of property owners are respected.”

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