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September 3, 2013

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A. M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana. Board members present were: Chairman Steve Burton, Drainage Board Member John Heimlich and Drainage Board Member David Diener. Also present were Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Bradley E. Ward and Drainage Assistant Mary E. Sterrett.

Also in attendance were:

B. J. Propes-White County Highway Department Wayne Schroeder

Sharon Watson-White County Soil and Water Galen Schroeder

Mike Kyburz-White County Highway Department Andy Kyburz

Cindy Muffett-District Conservationist & her Assistant

The September 3, 2013 White County Drainage Board was called to order by Chairman Steve Burton.

The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the August 19, 2013 White County Drainage Board Meeting. Board Member David Diener so moved. Board Member John Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Next on the agenda-Approve Petition for Maintenance of the Carter-Hines Drain #693

Surveyor Ward explained the location of the Carter-Hines Drain and that it is a shared drain with Cass County. The petition was carried by Robert Ellis.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve and accept the Petition for Maintenance/Reconstruction of the Carter-Hines Drain #693. Board Member Diener seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Surveyor Ward asked the Board if he could get a few estimates on hiring a firm to do the surveying and permitting on the Carter-Hines project. The Board had no problem with him checking into the costs of the surveying and permitting of the Carter-Hines Drain #693.

Other Discussions:

  1. Indian Creek meeting: 9/4/2013

  1. Wayne Schroeder: Plugged Regulated Drain. What do I got to do? (Robert McWilliams Drain)

Attorney Loy: Have you spoken to Mr. Blaney lately? For starters I would give Dan a call. I spoke to him Wednesday regarding the letter and the costs.

Surveyor Ward sent to the Schroeders and others a letter from Banning Engineering explaining what the costs were on a similar project they had done in Montgomery County. The letter was just to give them an idea of what the Railroad charges could be for permitting and engineering.

Chairman Burton: The costs are escalating for a project and this is a small water shed approximately eight hundred (800) acres.

Surveyor Ward: Excluding the boring cost itself, the physical work, I think the numbers are going to be pretty close to what it is going to cost. You will have to have it surveyed and engineered everything that goes along with that and permits from the Railroad. Without doing any work at all you are still at thirty-four to thirty-six thousand dollars ($34,000.00 to $36,000.00). I don’t know if you would have to have highway permits pulled or not. It is the Railroad that is holding us up.

Chairman Burton: You can see how the cost is escalating because of the Railroad and the Highway situation. Putting it bluntly are you comfortable with those figures in proceeding with the project?

Wayne Schroeder: You are wanting me to pay for that?

Attorney Loy: The costs cannot exceed the benefits is one (1) of the things this Board will determine. Is whether or not it is worth it basically. Do the costs of the project exceed the benefits? The costs are paid by the landowners.

Wayne Schroeder: The problem has been the Railroad.

Attorney Loy: The Railroad is not going to be accessed one hundred percent (100 %) of these costs. That is why you need to talk to Attorney Dan Blaney.

Wayne Schroeder: Is it an option of boring through the three (3) foot cast iron culvert under the Railroad now. It has ten (10) inches of room in the top of it and the rest is full of dirt. Is that an option of boring through that?

Surveyor Ward: I don’t think it is low enough to pick up the tile on the north side of the Highway.

Wayne Schroeder: I am guessing it being an inch lower on the north side of the Highway. That is what I am guessing.

Surveyor Ward: Any time you get in the Railroad right-of-way you are going to have to pull those permits. I don’t see where they are going to let us doing anything whether it jeopardizes their track or not. I don’t think there is anything we can do without pulling permits on that and getting approval from the Railroad.

Chairman Burton: I am asking seeing these numbers come through are you comfortable that you want to support it with the dollars per acre with your ground to continue?

Wayne Schroder: I think I ought to be entitled to drainage if everybody else is. Now it has created where NRCS has thirteen (13) acres of wet lands on us. I could see it if the tile was broke down on us and created a problem there but the tile is broke down under the Railroad. Now we have got a problem there because of the Railroad.

Attorney Loy: Because it is on Railroad property? It is no secret that dealing with Railroads we have said from the start and I am sure Dan will tell you and I am sure he has told you this already. Dealing with Railroads there are different laws that are involved, different permitting processes and a far different level of cooperation then if you were dealing with your neighbor. Railroads are tough to deal with.

Wayne Schroeder: Lewis said he would do it for three or four thousand ($3,000.00 or $4000.00) if the tile, the backhoe was there, and permitting from the Railroad. That is just on the Railroad right-of-way. He was pulling a casing under the Railroad bed, is that what we need?

Surveyor Ward: Since I have not heard from the Railroad I cannot comment on what the Railroad will require or not require. I don’t know if we can get a casing between the Railroad and the Highway. Get the equipment in there with fiber optics and everything else to do the project that way. It is nothing that I have experienced before so I can’t comment knowledgeably either way. I just don’t know all the variables that are involved.

Wayne Schroeder: If we are going to do it the smart thing would be instead of running at an angle would be shoot straight across everybody.

Surveyor Ward: It would probably cut the distance in half (½). It would be a shorter distance to go north and south than to go at a forty-five (45) degree angle across all three (3) branches.

Attorney Loy: The Railroad will have their own engineering firm.

Board Member Heimlich: Who are we dealing with at the Railroad?

Surveyor Ward: Donna Killingsworth out of Florida.

Chairman Burton: George do you have some suggestions on maybe how to move on this?

Attorney Loy: Seriously, do give Dan a call. He can perhaps better advise you cost verses benefits. Again every drainage problem doesn’t necessarily have a solution here. If the benefits to the property are this much but the cost is this much by law the Board has to reject the plan. I am not saying that is where you are at but it maybe. It is premature to say that but the holdup is obviously the Railroad.

John Heimlich: When was the last contact we had with the Railroad?

Surveyor Ward: Through an e-mail in June they were going to look into what they could do. At the June 3rd Drainage Board Meeting I was advised to send them a letter stating that we believe it was their problem. Can you fix it? I sent that letter to the Railroad and she wanted to know exactly where it was at and she said she would get back with me. I sent her information and I have not heard back from her or a Railroad representative.

John Heimlich: That e-mail was sent to Donna Killingsworth?

Surveyor Ward: Yes, I believe it was Donna. She is the person I had the phone call conversation with.

Wayne Schroeder: Now we are going to up the maintenance on this? If the cost is more than the benefit I am stuck with the way it is but yet I am going to have to pay maintenance on ground that hasn’t got drainage?

Attorney Loy: Could very well be, yes. That is not what you want to hear but the simple answer to that question is, yes. I am not saying that is the case.

John Heimlich: If there is no drainage under the Railroad.

Wayne Schroeder: The tile is not hooked up to the catch basin on the south side of the Railroad under the tracks. Wredes were out there and tile is collapsed under the tracks.

Chairman Burton: But yet you said you felt you could bore through that because there is ten (10) inches left.

Wayne Schroeder: There is a big three (3) foot surface drain culvert. By just eyeballing it I am guessing it is pretty close to level with the County Tile on the north side of the Highway. I am saying can we bore under the Highway and through the bottom of that three (3) foot cast iron culvert which ten (10) inches of open space left on top and the rest is filled with dirt. So, can we bore through the bottom of it then we have got our drainage with our casing under the Railroad right? Is that an option to eliminate …I could see if we wanted to put in a new tile under the Railroad all these cost but when there is an existing tile there and it is broke down because of the train traffic then I think they need to back off their costs some because their traffic is what caused the problem. That is rerouting the…

Attorney Loy: That is a Reconstruction.

Surveyor Ward: I could look into it. I would venture to say even if we want to bore through that we would still have to have a permit from the Railroad. I don’t know. I guess it is an option.

Board Member Heimlich: We need to have another conversation with Donna Killingsworth. A conference call with Attorney Loy, Donna Killingsworth and a Board Member.

Attorney Loy: When did you purchase the property?

Wayne Schroeder: Two (2) years ago. It was a problem in 1983 and they have known about it. Some where they ran a new tile down the north side of the County Road and stopped. So it has been a problem for fifty-sixty (50-60) years and nobody has ever solved it.

Chairman Burton: We will try to make contact with them again.

Attorney Loy: Keep in touch with Attorney Blaney he knows the laws well. After you talk to Attorney Blaney have him give me a call.

With nothing more for the Drainage Board Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.