The Drain Commissioner is an elected official serving a 4 year term. The Drain Commissioner serves on the Board of Public Works, Parks and Recreation Board, Colon Lake Board (Palmer and Long Lake), Fish Lake Board, and the Lake Templene Lake Board. He is responsible for managing over 180 county drains and all lakes that have a court ordered legal lake level. If you would like to meet with the Drain Commissioner please call the office for an appointment.
Jeffery Wenzel, Drain Commissioner
Traci L. Balyeat , Deputy Drain Commissioner
As of May 15, 2012 the County Drain Commissioner is also the County Enforcement Agent (CEA) for Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control serving all of St. Joseph County under Part 91, Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 452, as Amended. The primary objective is to protect the watercourses within the county from sediment loads caused by unchecked soil erosion. The Soil Erosion County Enforcement Agent (CEA) is responsible for the administration, management and enforcement of the provisions of the Act. The CEA has the responsibility of overseeing all non-agricultural earth change activities within St. Joseph County, that are one or more acres in area and/or within 500 feet of a watercourse or lake.
Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Documents/Forms:
Petitioned drainage projects must go through numerous steps before they actually become a project:
Note: If you would like a petition for a county drain please contact our office and we will supply you with a petition. You will need to circulate the petition and 5 or more signatures must be collected from property owners in the assessment district. Finally the circulator will need to sign the petition in the presence of a notary public before submitting to the Drain Commissioner.
Note: We also have many other smaller drainage projects that are considered maintenance. If you would like more information on these or any other projects in our office please contact us.
If you are planning to do any work on your property that involves connecting into, crossing over, under, or through a county drain, please contact the Drain Commissioner’s office to obtain a permit.