Barnes County Commission removes Duane Lettenmaier from the local water board for expanding a project budget without approval.

The Barnes County Commission has removed a member of the local water board over a project to clean up cattails northeast of Sanborn.

Officials say the water board approved having Duane Lettenmaier spend up to $10,000 for the project but that he expanded it without approval and the cost more than doubled. County Commissioner John Froelich says Lettenmaier used his position on the board to push through a larger project to benefit himself and his neighbors.

Lettenmaier says he offered to pay the extra $13,000 cost himself, and that he did put nearly $9,000 of his own money toward the ditch cleanup. But he says he won't appeal the decision to kick him off the board.