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May 19, 2003 Tape #010

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M. EST in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana, with Board Members Ronald A. Schmierer, John C. Heimlich and O. D. “Bud” Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Others attending were Christopher J. Brennan, Jo W. Thompson, John Thompson, Jack Pherson, Mike Ezra, Eric Morris, Robert Swygman, Russell Swygman, Vernon N. Furrer, Trent Pherson, Charles Lucterhand, Charles Mellon and White County Highway Superintendent, Steve Brooke.

Chairman Schmierer opened the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the Joseph Conway Tile Drain in Round Grove Township. Chairman Schmierer read data on the drain: Maintenance on the Joseph Conway Drain is currently $1.00 per acre. It collects $653.00 a year and it is $1,796.49 in debt. There are ten landowners. He reviewed the recent claims to the ditch account (see tape). If maintenance is raised to $2.00 an acre and $15.00 minimum, there would be three minimum parcels and it would bring in $1,330.00 yearly and the debt would be paid off in one and a third years.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “At the May 5, 2003 meeting the Board decided to set the rate at $2.00 an acre and $15.00 a lot. Is there anyone here wishing to address this Hearing on maintenance on the Joseph Conway Tile Drain in Round Grove Township?”

John Thompson stated that the ditch that the Joseph Conway Tile drains into has been up to be cleaned for a couple of years and it hasn’t been dipped and we do have some drainage issues there. Chairman Schmierer asked what ditch it drains into. John Thompson answered the Vanatta (Br. 1 J.C. Vanatta). Chairman Schmierer asked if we have a petition on the Vanatta. Secretary Kiser said that there is a petition in for it. Chairman Schmierer explained that we try to work on the ditches in the order that petitions come in unless we get an emergency. He asked if they would come to the Surveyor’s office after the meeting to see what the petition is for and where we are on it. John Thompson stated they have talked to other neighbors and they are in favor of raising the maintenance so it can be worked on.

Chairman Schmierer read the Adoption of Maintenance Modification from Indiana Code §36-9-27-42, “The White County Drainage Board having heard and considered all of the evidence and any objections submitted in these proceedings, the Chairman would now consider a motion finding that the current estimate of maintaining the Joseph Conway Tile Drain #525 is insufficient and that therefore the annual assessments for periodic maintenance of said drain should be increased as proposed in these proceedings (raise to $2.00 an acre and $15.00 minimum).” Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. Chairman Schmierer continued, “The motion has been made and seconded to raise this maintenance to $2.00 and acre and $15.00 a parcel. All in favor say aye. The White County Drainage Board by a vote of 3 in favor and 0 opposed now hereby adopts the schedule of modified assessments as originally filed herein. The White County Drainage Board issues its written Findings and Order declaring the proposed maintenance modification schedule in these proceedings established, a copy of which will be mailed to all owners affected. Meeting adjourned.” The Board signed the related documents.

Chairman Schmierer recognized Robert Swygman who had concerns on drainage problems on the Stoller Ditch. Chairman Schmierer told Mr. Swygman that he and Surveyor Sterrett have been over there with Ned Fulkerson on his property and went clear to Wolcott on the Stoller Ditch. Chairman Schmierer stated, “We definitely will fix where it is washed in, that we need to do. I told Ned we will need a petition if he wants to petition to shove the banks up to try to avoid water over the banks. Someone will have to go over with Denny and walk the bank and see how far back we want to go. We don’t want to shove the banks up high enough that we just create water over the banks on another farm up the road a ways. What I am saying is, whatever we do we have to do so it benefits everybody. I told Ned it would be nice if he and Rick would petition to have that done and then we can put it in motion and see what we can do with it. Ned seems to think that he doesn’t really want us to tear up his crops to fix it right now. Does your side need fixed before you plant or have you planted?”

Robert Swygman answered, “I’ve planted it, but it is pretty washed out back there to where it isn’t going to make any difference if they fixed it now. The only thing, I was talking to Eric (Morris) and kind of what we thought on that was what we push up we need to set back ten feet from the ditch rather than push it right up to the ditch. So as that water gets higher it actually got a little more room. I don’t know if you noticed when you were out there I don’t know if you walked on down farther west, part of the bank IS back which when the water comes up it gives it more volume so that it can handle it better instead of just farming right up to the ditch you know the way they’re doing now why not push it up so it is back ten or twelve feet. Also when the ditch gets high, it will give it more volume because it will be wider at the side.”

Chairman Schmierer said we are going to have to look at it. He said never since he has been on the Board have they raised a ditch bank, it is an unusual request. He said he can see why they want to raise it. Robert Swygman stated that it (Stoller Ditch) needs to be as high as the Hoagland Ditch and it is lower right now than what the Hoagland is.

Chairman Schmierer advised Robert Swygman that he should stop by the Surveyor’s office and get a petition. He stated that the Hoagland Ditch is on a different Board. Robert Swygman said we still need the Stoller Ditch that high. He said we will probably have to get an engineer out there to tell us what we can do with it. He said there is no reason why we can’t fix the washouts right away. Robert Swygman said they might want to get a hold of the County Highway and get some surplus dirt that they are bringing from some place. Chairman Schmierer stated that Steve Brooke is already aware of that situation, but at this time he doesn’t know of any projects he has over that way.

Robert Swygman asked, “What about that County Road there? When that water goes out of the ditch it crosses the County Road there and takes the next 40 acres and puts it under water. I think you would want to build that road up a little so it won’t take out both 40’s.” Chairman Schmierer said he didn’t know if it was feasible to build the road up or not. Robert Swygman said there is a culvert there in the bank, if you could hold that water, when the ditch goes down it will all go back into the ditch instead of flooding the other 40 acres. I think when the County put that bridge in they put culverts at all four corners. He said the way it is now, when the water comes out it takes both of those 40’s plus goes on down on Irvin Furrer’s ground. Someone spoke up and said about a fifty yard stretch of that County Road needs to be about a foot higher. Steve Brooke asked, “CR 500 West? I don’t know that it has ever been lowered.” Robert Swygman said it washed about 5 loads of stone out of that road back in 1998 when it cut through there.

Chairman Schmierer said we will address it and we’ll get you a petition.

Next on the agenda was Vernon Furrer to address the Jamroz Tile situation. Mr. Furrer stated, “It is south of Seafield, it cuts through Richard Primmer’s. An outlet isn’t carrying water good. Down there in front of Richard Primmer’s house there is a catch-well. That is either a ten or a twelve inch tile. I would say it was running two to three inches of water in volume at that time. Where that tile goes through the Schwab farm, we put a stand-pipe in the fence row and there the water is two and a half to three foot up in that stand-pipe, which basically tells me that outlet isn’t carrying water through it. I just wondered if you can possibly check it out.”

Chairman Schmierer asked if that is quite a ways off the road. Vernon Furrer answered, “You’re going to be more than half a mile from the road in front of Richard’s house.” Chairman Schmierer asked if there was any way that they could get the wash-truck back in there. Steve Brooke said if it was dry enough. Chairman Schmierer explained that the County has a jet truck now that we can wash some tiles out with. He said we have never blown tiles out of the ground with it. He said that might be something we can get over there and do. Vernon Furrer stated, “I don’t know what the problem is, the tile is carrying a real small volume of water, but when it is three foot up in the stand-pipe and on down it is almost empty, why it tells me that it is not carrying water right.”

Chairman Schmierer said he thinks that is a good candidate to take the County truck over there and try to power wash it out some. Surveyor Sterrett stated he was over there on Friday, and walked back to that air well. He asked Mr. Furrer if he was trying to drain that low hole into that tile. Mr. Furrer stated that it is hooked to the tile. He said he wasn’t going to say that it would drain that low hole fast, but that low hole has always been there and had a tile into it. The tile that was in it wasn’t working so a few years ago we put in a new tile. He thought that hole would go down a lot faster if that tile was carrying it.

Chairman Schmierer said, “I think that is an old tile, when we put the new section in there at Primmer’s house and went across with it, at that time I think the question was whether or not that tile would carry water across there. I think we drained Primmer’s property but that is the only thing we got drained.” Vernon Furrer said that Richard doesn’t think he is draining good back in the back.

Chairman Schmierer said we would start with the power wash and then we will see what else we can do. He asked if Mr. Furrer cared if they went across the field. Mr. Furrer stated that basically none of the problem is in his field. He said it just barely catches the corner of where Dave Hall farms and most of it is in Richard Primmer’s and the Foutch boys farm that, so you would probably have to work out something with them. Mr. Furrer said he wouldn’t complain if they wait until the crops are done, but from what Richard Primmer told him, he would like to have something done because he doesn’t think he is getting drained proper back there in the back.

Steve Brooke stated, “We can only go 500 feet so we’ll have to dig a hole to go any farther than 500 feet.” Vernon Furrer said that is why he isn’t going to be upset if they wait until after the crops are harvested. He said it is Foutch’s crop out there and they might be in favor is someone gets a hold of them. Chairman Schmierer said Surveyor Sterrett should get in touch with them.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Mark Heiny approached him about changing a pipe under the road on the Burget Branch 2 of the Carter-Hines Ditch. He said that Steve Brooke had been over there and looked at it. Surveyor Sterrett stated when the reconstruction of the Carter-Hines was planned, that pipe was going to be replaced, but to cheapen the project up, that branch wasn’t done. He said after the fact, we did Burget Branch 2 out of maintenance, that’s the one that Mike Ezra dipped out. Mark Heiny reports that water is backing up at this pipe and it was alright until now. Surveyor Sterrett said on the reconstruction plans they had recommended to raise the pipe size from 36 inches to a 54 inch pipe. Chairman Schmierer asked if it really needs to go to a 54 inch.

Mike Ezra said, “Let me tell you what Mark Heiny told me. He said the culvert is not really the problem. He said they have two pipes going into that at the road right in front of that culvert and it is causing a whirling action and it holds the water from coming through like it should. He said the way the two pipes causes whirling it just refuses to let the water come through. He said as soon as those two culverts (pipes) quit letting water in, it’s gone.” Chairman Schmierer asked if they were road ditch tiles. Mike Ezra said he didn’t know, he didn’t see them. Steve Brooke said he was aware that there was a lot of water there.

Surveyor Sterrett asked what he should tell Mark Heiny. Chairman Schmierer said, “I don’t know what to tell him, but I don’t think we are going to put a 54 inch culvert in where there is a 36 inch at the present time. What is the favor of the Board? I think the road crossing is something Steve (Brooke, White County Highway Superintendent) ought to be able to engineer without us.” Surveyor Sterrett stated that Steve thought we should bring it to the Board. Superintendent Brooke said he’s no engineer; it should be up to the Board. He said it has been there several years.

Chairman Schmierer asked what has caused the problem, is it since we cleaned the ditch? Mike Ezra said Mark Heiny told him the problem started when they put those two pipes in. Chairman Schmierer asked, “They’ve been there for some time haven’t they?” Superintendent Brooke said, “As far as I can remember.” Superintendent Brooke said he wonders where the water went before. He said they might have just had a rip-rap spill there that kept washing out. Conversation between Ezra and Brooke inaudible, see tape. Steve Brooke stated he would have to get off of the County Road right-of-way to fix it. Mike Ezra said the tile needs turned. Steve said they will try that, they’ll turn it. Chairman Schmierer said he still thinks it is something Superintendent Brooke can look at and see what needs to be done with it, and if we need to participate, we can if cost is a factor.

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Who said we needed the 54 inch culvert?” Surveyor Sterrett said that was in the engineering study. They had sized all the pipes along that road, along CR 1400 and most of them were adequate. Chairman Schmierer said, “Why don’t you go to work and see if you can direct the water.” Steve Brooke said these pipes were going at a wrong angle to the water flow.

Surveyor Sterrett presented the drainage plans for Brookston Horse Facility on County Road 1050 S in Prairie Township for approval. He showed a drawing of the proposed facility. Chairman Schmierer said this is west of his house. He said it is right on Moots Creek. Surveyor Sterrett said that some of the drainage goes to Chilton Ditch. Surveyor Sterrett stated that Engineer Frauhiger is recommending approval of the drainage plan.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for the Brookston Horse Facility for Chris Brennan. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Surveyor Sterrett said he needs to stop by the Surveyor’s office and get a drainage permit.

Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans on the Wolcott Mini Storage for Ronald Stoller. The proposed site is north of Wolcott on the Pugh Drain. Surveyor Sterrett stated that the site is north of the Pugh Drain and this detention facility will hold a 100 year post development. Engineer Frauhiger recommends it for approval.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for the Wolcott Mini Storage. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans for Dahlenburg Production Site (Hog Operation) at County Road 800 North, Liberty Township. Chairman Schmierer asked if they have a detention pond. Surveyor Sterrett said there is a retention swale. Surveyor Sterrett said the approval is subject to them installing an equalizer pipe in the side ditch. Paul Couts, Engineer, has been advised about the pipe and he will revise the plans accordingly.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for the Dahlenburg Production Site, Liberty Township, with the stipulation that they must install an equalizer pipe in the side ditch. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2003 meeting. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer explained that at the last Commissioners’ meeting, they withheld payment on a CTE Engineers claim for $995.00 for drainage assistance, because it didn’t have an itemized bill. The Surveyor’s office has received an itemized list of charges for this claim: 1.75 hr. for (Ron) Stoller on the Pugh Drain; 1.75 hr. for Hendrickson Chrysler-Plymouth on the Buss Drain; 2 hrs. for West Side Commercial (Jordan, Mursener & Duncan) on the James Carter Drain; and one half hour (.5) for West Side Commercial (Jordan, Mursener & Duncan) on the James Carter Drain; and one half hour (.5) charged to the Unroe Drain for a letter to INDOT. Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t have any quarrels with the one for the letter to INDOT on the Unroe Drain because the State is doing the repair work on the Unroe tile in Wolcott (in conjunction with our maintenance project). That one I don’t have any quarrel with, but these other charges here on the Stoller property where Todd went over and did engineering with them to talk about the engineering for the drainage at the industrial park, and for engineering drainage to the Buss Ditch for Hendrickson’s Chrysler-Plymouth dealership, and for Jordan’s (West Side Commercial) to the James Carter for finishing the drainage pond out there, I think that these ought to be billed to these particular locations.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “Those should be billed to the development, not to the drains.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “Do we want to go ahead and pay him out of the drains and then bill them, or do we want HIM to bill them?” Attorney Loy stated, “I would suggest you first tell him to bill them.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That is what I thought. The developer needs to pay for the engineering fees, not the drains. So what we want to do is, we want to direct him (Engineer Frauhiger of CTE Engineers) to bill these people, other than the Unroe Drain letter to INDOT, because that is drainage that the State is going to do for us, but the rest of these up here where he has gone out and called on these people, he’ll bill those direct.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I requested his help on those, I don’t know if that makes any difference or not.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That doesn’t make any difference. They’re the ones that have to have the drainage permit, let him bill them direct, then if they come and quarrel with us we’ll sit down and talk to them.” Attorney Loy asked, “All of those developments were in the course of getting a drainage permit?” Board Member Heimlich said, “They should be part of that basic fee and if they’re above that fee they’re still going to have to pay.” Chairman Schmierer said that West Side Commercial hasn’t finished their work on their drainage and that’s what we had to have Engineer Frauhiger take care of. Chairman Schmierer told Secretary Kiser to send it to Engineer Frauhiger and tell him to bill them direct.

Concerning another claim on West Side Commercial and Hubbard GM Center drainage plan review that came in later, Chairman Schmierer said, “The West Side Commercial needs to be billed direct and the Hubbard bill is part of the drainage plan, so Hubbard already knows that. So those won’t come off of any of the ditches either.” Secretary Kiser stated, “Our problem was that there is no account open for West Side Commercial. West Side Commercial was refunded $56.00 when Engineer Frauhiger and Surveyor Raderstorf thought they were done with them. Surveyor Sterrett and I see that we aren’t going to send out any refunds to anybody until they are done.” Chairman Schmierer said if Engineer Frauhiger has any questions he can call me.

Secretary Kiser asked what do we use the Contractual Engineering account for. She said Engineer Frauhiger thought he was billing to ditches when he could and when he couldn’t he was billing to Contractual Engineering. Attorney Loy stated, “Contractual Engineering would be for non-drainage permit type, if we needed advice on reconstruction or maintenance service.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, we took money out of there when we had a problem out at Girtz’s when Girtz put the parking lot in and the other people downstream were upset with it. We paid for that out of that. That is the kind of stuff we use that for. We used it out at Shafer’s when we were trying to correct that problem on Shafer Drive.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “What about Hendrickson’s? If he’s going to blacktop he is probably going to have a drainage plan. Could we take it out then?” Chairman Schmierer said, “I would just have Todd send them a bill for it, let Todd bill them direct. If they have questions, they’ll call and if they call I’ll explain it to them if I have to, because I don’t see where the assessment on the ditch should have to pay for it to benefit one person.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I was out to the Brechbiel Drain with Phersons Saturday morning and I talked to John and Bud this morning and if I understand you fellas right, Greg Bossaer (White County Agriculture Agent) tried to hook you up with someone down at Purdue. Did you have any luck getting a hold of that person this morning, Jack (Pherson)?” Jack Pherson answered, “I got a hold of the secretary in the office of Jane Frankenburger, the drainage engineer specialist down there, and she is out in Washington, D.C. at this time finishing up her sabbatical. She is supposed to be back sometime towards the end of the week. The secretary was going to E-mail her my phone number and everything and she would contact me before she came back and …inaudible…. That is what the secretary shared with me this morning.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “I was out there Saturday morning and a couple of questions were asked by Jack and Trent, and I think they’re good questions. We haven’t got anyplace with the answers on Brechbiel Drain. They asked me what the possibilities were, they talked to Greg Bossaer and he got them hooked up with the drainage specialist at Purdue, if we can’t get any answers there, what’s the possibility of using a different engineering firm to come along and tell us what has to be done?” Attorney Loy said, “No problem.” It was the consensus of the Board that a different engineering firm can be brought in to see what it would take to fix it. Board Member Ferguson said, “We’d have to do the whole job over then.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Well, we don’t know what we’re going to have to do.”

Jack Pherson stated, “Greg Bossaer said a question to ask is what do we need to do to repair this to get the adequate discharge flow. I will present her with all the information we can possibly get and I would like to present the invitation to her to come out and actually see the lay of the land and how it will flow.” Board Member Heimlich said, “She probably will, she’s been up here two or three times.” Trent Pherson asked, “Were you satisfied with her?” The Board’s answer was yes. Jack Pherson stated that it never hurts to get two opinions. Chairman Schmierer said, “Well that’s the consensus. We know it is not right now.”

Board Member Heimlich said that Greg Bossaer talked to him about the Ag Association building a new goat barn at the White County Fairgrounds. They need a survey of the County Road because they can’t meet the setback requirements and they need a variance. It was the opinion of the Board that the White County Surveyor has permission to do that survey for the White County Ag Association.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.