In a proceeding to establish or terminate a watershed district where the board elected not to refer the proceeding to the Office of Administrative Hearings, a local unit of government or 25 or more residents within the area affected by the proceeding may, prior to judicial appeal of the board's decision, demand a contested case hearing to be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings. In the report of the administrative law judge, the fees of the Office of Administrative Hearings and transcript fees may be apportioned among the parties and the board. Apportionment must be based on the degree to which the parties and the board prevailed, or caused unnecessary delay or expense. Following receipt of the report of the administrative law judge, the board shall make a final decision in accordance with chapter 14.
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