The Hugus-Mullison Ditch runs northerly through the western part of Saratoga and conveys
irrigation water to users in and north of Saratoga. Urban surface water runoff from the developed
area west of the ditch and the airport drains into the ditch causing it to function as a storm sewer as
well as an irrigation ditch. There are two manually controlled ditch overflows that can divert water
from the ditch to the North Platte River. The ditch appears to be leaking and contributing to the
problems of adjoining buildings, property and streets that have developed along the ditch. Under
sized culverts and elevated turnouts require ditch operation practices that contribute to the seepage.
In 1999 the WWDC conducted a Level I reconnaissance study of the ditch that evaluated the entire
ditch system within the town, investigated alternatives and recommend needed improvements. The
needs of the community and the ditch owners/users were addressed in this study. The irrigation
water users formed the Hugus Watershed Improvement District in 1999 which is the sponsor for the
Level II project.
The Hugus Watershed Improvement District would like to move forward with the recommended
improvements to the Hugus-Mullison Ditch as recommended in the Level II study completed in
2000. The district would like to pursue phases 1 and 2 of a 5 phase rehabilitation project. Phase 1
consists primarily of replacing box culverts at street crossings to increase flow capacity and Phase 2
focuses on providing a concrete lining in portions of the ditch where leakage is most prevalent.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends that the project be advanced to Level III status in the Rehabilitation
Program with an appropriation of $325,000. The financing plan is a 50% grant, $325,000, and a
50% loan, $325,000, to be secured by the sponsor through other sources.