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September 15, 2003 Tape #018

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 Schmierer, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer Todd Frauhiger and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Charles Mellon, Trent Pherson, Jack Pherson, Brad Stockment, Jeff Haynes and Doug Barnard.

Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting. Surveyor Sterrett presented a petition for the reconstruction of the Renwick Drain from landowner Milt Cole. The Renwick Drain is north of Highway US 24 at County Road 900 East. Chairman Schmierer said the ditch is right along the road. Chairman Schmierer asked how many landowners, is there more than Milt Cole? Secretary Kiser stated that Allen Howe told them in the office that Mr. Cole has bought up all the land on the Renwick Drain. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept the petition from Milton Cole for the reconstruction of the H. D. Renwick Open Ditch. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Doug Barnard, Town of Chalmers Councilman, addressed the Board asking permission to put a check valve on the A. Friday Drain. Surveyor Sterrett stated that the regulated drain ends right at Walnut Street on the south side at the manhole we looked at. Chairman Schmierer asked where they are proposing to put the check valve. Doug Barnard said, “To propose an exact location, we want our engineer with (name not audible – see tape) to help us determine that exact location where the easiest and quickest and cheapest….. what we’ve got and I think you are all aware, there’s a major drainage issue on the west side of Chalmers, especially towards the north end there. We are just wanting to do something, and I think the quickest, cheapest, easiest thing to show immediate…..long term there needs to be a bigger drain, either that or a force main. I think that is pretty much a given. I know Todd did a study two years ago on that drainage system. It sure appears what’s happening is there is some back flow through that system so if we can prevent some of that, and if that’s not a problem I can’t see where a back check valve would hamper the existing system.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “You think the water is coming back up the tile, I thought it drained to the north there didn’t it? You think it is coming from the north back into the town?” Doug Barnard answered, “It has to.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I thought there was a riser, they put a riser on that air well back….” Doug Barnard said, “We put a riser in between Walnut and Main in the alley…..” (Board Member Heimlich said, “To prevent water from coming back into that area”) Doug Barnard continued, “….and it’s not spilling out of the top of that, it’s spilling out of all the other manholes. When it rains, it bubbles back and I can attest personally to the fact that even on the east side of town, the drain is supposed to flow south, I had fish in my basement over Labor Day. It is backing up from somewhere.”

Board Member Heimlich asked how many other manholes there are beyond that. Doug Barnard said they uncovered at least two more manholes on the west side when they had the Monticello Street Department come down and run their jet-vac through our storm system. Jeff Haynes, Town of Chalmers Street Department Superintendent, said that there are a total of eight manholes.

Chairman Schmierer asked where they would put a check valve on the tile. Engineer Frauhiger said you could go to any structure at the downstream end of the system. He said the only way you would have water backing up is if you had water ponding above the pipe on down stream.

Board Member Heimlich said just looking at that, he thinks the area west of there like out at Chuck Bossung has to be lower than it is in town. Todd agreed and said conceivably if you had a pond of water that filled up that field and got to an elevation that was higher than some of the grading inlet elevations back in town, you could have water flowing back. Engineer Frauhiger said it won’t hurt anything to put the check valve in. Board Member Heimlich said he doesn’t see how that water could come back, it has to be lower out there than it is in town and water won’t run uphill. Doug Barnard said, “Either that or the drain wasn’t put in sloping down.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated that there have been elevations taken on that manhole at Walnut Street and where it comes together out there. He thinks it was two and a half foot of fall in two thousand feet. Chairman Schmierer said that is plenty of fall. Engineer Frauhiger said it is a small tile and it has a number of surface inlets tied into it and it just can’t carry all the water. Doug Barnard said it is a ten or twelve inch tile. Engineer Frauhiger said one reason you see water coming out of it is head pressure on it. He said you have flooding situations occurring upstream in some of those structures and you might have flooding situations occurring downstream, but he still thinks that head pressure is what is bringing it out of the inlets and not the backup.

Doug Barnard said that logically he has a hard time believing that we generate enough head pressure from storm water in town to create our manholes to bubble up the way they do. Engineer Frauhiger said as soon as they bubble up and flood then sometime you’re going to equalize the pressure between whatever is downstream and what is upstream and I don’t know how quick that occurs. He said there are computer programs that can analyze the entire system by going down to the outlet end where the ditch is, put different tailwaters on the outlet end and calculate the hydraulic profile clear up to the furthest upstream inlet in town and tell exactly which way the water is coming and what inlets need to be attacked to try to make the situation better. Engineer Frauhiger said surely putting some type of check valve, flat gate or Tide Flex or something between the Town’s Drainage and where it goes down stream can’t hurt anything.

Doug Barnard said, “That’s my point. We promised the Town’s residents that we are going to do something. It was discussed at the Town Council meeting that is what some of the residents from the west side would like to see, you know, put a check back in because they believe that it is not all storm water. They believe that they are getting water from all of the surrounding fields are coming back into town.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Did you know that the downside of that plan if it is true, when that flapper closes it is not going to open back up until pressure is equalized, so basically the town has no drainage at that particular point.” Doug Barnard said, “But if it is coming back this way we don’t have drainage anyway.” Jeff Haynes said that is what he had said at the town meeting, that would happen. Doug said he can’t see where that would hurt us.

Chairman Schmierer and the Board agreed that they do not have a problem with the Town of Chalmers trying the check valve on our tile (A. Friday Tile). Doug Barnard said that’s all they’re asking, they want to do something that will give them a little relief over there. Surveyor Sterrett asked if they will put the gate in town. Jeff Haynes said they plan to put it at the end of Walnut Street at the last manhole. Surveyor Sterrett said that is the end of our drain and he just did not want them to put it out in the country.

Town of Wolcott was next on the agenda. No one representing Town of Wolcott appeared.

Engineer Frauhiger stated he contacted the State Highway Department and had looked into Art Anderson’s drainage concern near Wolcott. He said that there is an existing side ditch and the State Highway told him that all they did was put an equivalent size pipe in the side ditch and fill the side ditch in. The water is still going the direction it used to be going.

Engineer Frauhiger presented drainage plans for Schwan’s on Sixth Street. He stated, “They are proposing to do is expand the existing parking lot, it’s a gravel parking lot back in here, they are just putting additional gravel down to make the parking lot larger. If you remember, there is a concrete pad for a driving range back here. What they did, and actually it works out better, I talked to Engineer Paul Couts about it, they took the entire site and they are going to detain the entire site in the detention pond back here. That detention pond then is going to drain into the existing 30 inch tile, Albert Altman Tile. Surveyor Sterrett said it runs through Hornback’s property and dumps into James Carter Ditch.

Board Member Ferguson made the motion to approve the drainage plans for the Schwan’s parking lot expansion project on Sixth Street. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously with a vote of 3 in favor 0 opposed.

Brad Stockment, manager of Excel Co-op Elevators in Reynolds addressed the Board. The Co-op would like to fill in the open ditch that goes through their property south of Reynolds and replace it with a tile drain. It is the K. Kelyla Ditch, a branch of the Esther Fraser Drain.

Brad Stockment thought there was some survey work done on it in the past. He recalled that Engineer Frauhiger was involved with it at that time. He didn’t know how much information there was left on it. Chairman Schmierer stated we don’t have any survey records on it at all, former Surveyor Raderstorf had stated in minutes that there was enough fall. Engineer Frauhiger stated that he thinks just Surveyor Raderstorf went up and took a couple of shots and he doesn’t know who he took with him.


Engineer Frauhiger recalled, “The biggest problem we have, we can design it and make it work, there are a number of tiles that come into that open ditch and you don’t want to penetrate that pipe that you put in, in a number of places where all those tiles come in. You will have to have those tiles dump into one structure. That was the only difficult thing I saw about it.”


Chairman Schmierer said he thought we had said there would have to be a catch basin there at the road and put those tiles into an open box. Board Member Heimlich said, “There is one now on the east side of the road. There’s a box culvert there now with three tile coming into it.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I think that is what we said. You can’t close that but you can put tile from there on.” Engineer Frauhiger said if you closed it in you still have to build some type of custom structure to collect all those tiles because you don’t want three penetrations into your pipe.


Chairman Schmierer explained, “First thing you have to do is petition to do it. Since it is just going to affect you, it will be Co-op’s expense. It has to be engineered, so I would say you have to hire an engineering firm to come in and engineer what size it needs to be and get it approved. Bring it in for the approval.”


Brad Stockment stated, “As I believe there’s some farm ground that does drain into that ditch besides us. I realize it will be our expense if we are going to do anything but clean it or improve it as far as an open ditch is concerned. But, this thing, it is slid in so bad on that south side it is going to have to be cleaned out pretty extensively before they could ever get a bed to lay a tile in. And then, on the west end it more or less dumps into an open kind of a catch basin affair from another drainage ditch on the west side of the property and then goes underneath the CSX Railroad and then back over Highway 43 and I tell you they’ve got problems of their own there. They have a big cast pipe underneath the railroad track that is tilted, running back downhill to the east. The ditch is lower than the pipe that goes underneath the railroad track there now. So the grade of the ditch is not hampering drainage as I see it, it is more or less just weeds and the situation where it needs to be shaped up. We either need to clean it and rip rap the sides of it or do something like that to keep the banks from caving in or we need to put a tile in it.”


Chairman Schmierer asked if they were wanting to use it for parking? Brad Stockment said, “What we propose to do is re-locate a ground tile north of it. If we would lay a tile in it and fill it back in, what kind of setbacks would be involved with that tile, what kind of restrictions would we have as far as structures go?” Surveyor Sterrett said right now we have 75 feet from the top of the bank, if you put tile in there it would be 75 feet from the tile. Chairman Schmierer stated that we can give them a variance down to 35 feet. Brad asked how that will impact truck traffic over the top of it. Chairman Schmierer said, “I don’t think that would impact truck traffic as long as you put something in that would support the truck traffic, I don’t think we care if you drive over it.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Do you mean easement-wise? It is your land; we just have an easement for repairs.” Board Member Heimlich explained it would just mean that if something would happen and that tile would break down, we could come in and tear up whatever is there. Brad said, “So a variance would allow us to get within 35 feet.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Of a structure, you could make a parking lot out of it but we would still have an easement to tear up your parking lot if we had to work on it. But if you want to put a structure in you can get a variance down to 35 feet, we keep that so we can work on it (tile).”


Board Member Heimlich said, “In talking about the petition for reconstruction, as I remember one of the questions we had before, if they put the tile in, who had to be notified and who took part in that Hearing. Just the people upstream who would be affected from changing from an open ditch to a tile, or everybody on the Kelyla that would have to be included in the Hearing. I don’t remember whether Attorney Loy gave us an opinion at that time.”


Chairman Schmierer said he thought everybody on the ditch had to be notified and we had to have a Hearing on it for reconstruction if they are going to put a tile in. Secretary Kiser said that in previous minutes Attorney Loy said all landowners in the watershed had to be notified. Board Member Heimlich said, “The watershed of the Kelyla.” Secretary Kiser said he didn’t specify, but she would take it that way. Board Member Heimlich said there is a lot of them on the Kelyla because half the town of Reynolds is on it. Board Member Heimlich said obviously it is not going to matter to people downstream whether it is an open ditch or a tile, but it sounds like they do have to be notified.


Brad Stockment asked how they proceed with engineering; do you have a set of specs that we have to abide by as far as tile? Engineer Frauhiger said, “Basically what we have to do, we have to show that whatever tile is put in the ground will have the same capacity as the open ditch we are covering in. I think you mentioned you want it under a parking lot, I don’t know if we are going to get by with a smooth core corrugated plastic or if we’re going to have to go to concrete. It just depends on how much cover we end up with on it. The County Drainage Ordinance has some different size tiles with the minimum coverage you can have on top of them and different surfaces. I think most of what needs to be done is pretty well spelled out in the Ordinance. I think Denny or I could help you sometime after this meeting and try to point you in the right direction.”


Brad Stockment said, “That’s basically what we are asking, just a set of specs or whatever so we can take bids and see how much it is going to cost.”


Chairman Schmierer stated he had a letter from Engineer Paul Couts addressing the Christian Brechbiel Tile Drain drainage problem. (See letter attached to hard copy filed minutes) Engineer Frauhiger explained the letter was received this morning. He said he and Jack Pherson had a chance to talk before the meeting. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Based upon the contents of the letter, I think Jack said he supported this, too. Paul called and told me he was sending the letter in and also notice the last sentence in the letter he said if you need anything else, please give him a call. He said that if he, myself, Jack, Trent, Allen Howe and Denny wanted to sit down sometime this couple of weeks and try to get a course of action put together for your consideration he would be glad to do that.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That is fine, we have a meeting three weeks from today so as long as you guys get it done before three weeks so we have something in here to work with.” Todd said they would do that and he thought Jack was all right with that too.


Engineer Frauhiger addressed the issue of an outstanding bill owed by West Side Commercial Subdivision owners Dave Jordan, B. J. Mursener and Lloyd Duncan. Chairman Schmierer stated that we were in here on this two weeks ago and asked Engineer Frauhiger if he has talked to them. Engineer Frauhiger explained, “I have heard all about it. I have not talked to them, but there are a couple of things that were said that were just totally inaccurate. We tried to get a hold of both Dave and B.J. numerous times and couldn’t get a hold of them. That money that is roughly a thousand dollars, if I remember correctly, was not for a few site visits. We visited the site twice, we attended a couple of Drainage Board meetings, we met with George Loy and wrote the letter. The silly thing, like I am going to explain to them as soon as I have the chance to meet with them, had they built the thing (drainage system) in the first place none of this ever would have happened.” Chairman Schmierer said that was the consensus. That was what he told B. J. personally before he came before the Drainage Board. Chairman Schmierer said, “We are going to leave that in your hands to contact them and tell them what it was for.” Engineer Frauhiger said, “Which I will be glad to do, I don’t have any power to collect the money from them because I don’t have a contract with them. But, I will be definitely glad to contact them and show them the error of their ways.”


Secretary Kiser stated, “My question was, we got that invoice and I paid everything to CTE Engineers on that invoice except what is charged up to West Side Commercial Subdivision. CTE’s fiscal year ends October 1, 2003 and CTE has not been paid. Can I go ahead and pay them out of Contractual Engineering until we recoup from West Side Commercial?” Engineer Frauhiger stated, “We will recoup. There is an occupancy permit that is not going to be issued until that debt is solved.” Chairman Schmierer and the other Board Members did not have a problem with paying CTE. Secretary Kiser was directed to go ahead and pay CTE out of Contractual Engineering for those charges.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that he went in a boat with Don Bonnett to a site where a large tree is laying across the McKillip Ditch (photos of site shown). The tree is blocking the ditch and backing up debris. He said our regulation stops before you get to the tree. Chairman Schmierer questioned whether we can touch it because that is the Monon Creek then. Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t know how you would ever get down in there to get the tree out. He said you might be able to tell a little better this winter. Attorney Loy said that offhand he would say we couldn’t do anything with it since it isn’t in our regulated area. Attorney Loy said the outlet is the McKillip, right? The answer is yes. Engineer Frauhiger said the interesting thing is downstream from your outlet, so if it restricts your outlet you can claim jurisdiction to attempt to clean your outlet. Chairman Schmierer said he would say you couldn’t do anything with it until winter anyhow. Attorney Loy asked how much trouble it is causing. Surveyor Sterrett said it might eventually; it is kind of like a beaver dam. Surveyor Sterrett asked what they want him to do about it. Chairman Schmierer said wait until winter and see if you can get back there and get it out. Attorney Loy suggested asking the landowner to cooperate and take it out. Board Member Heimlich asked if you could get machinery back there or if they were just going to have to cut it up. Surveyor Sterrett thought probably cut it up right there.


Surveyor Sterrett reported he called Reiff’s about the cattle panel on the C. Hook Drain. He said they said they would raise it up or cut the bottom off of it. Chairman Schmierer said it was causing the water to back up.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that he and Chairman Schmierer met with Robert Hunt on the Yount Ditch about his tile being under water and about ¾ mile needs cleaned out. Also Howard Blackman reported a wash on the Yount Ditch that was going to cost between $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 to fix. Surveyor Sterrett said there is $700.00 in the maintenance fund and it brings in $1,600.00 a year. Chairman Schmierer said so you are going to use all of that and more. He said they told Robert Hunt there wasn’t enough money in it and he was probably going to have to petition to get it reconstructed so now we should contact him by letter and inform him of the situation that there isn’t going to be any money left after we fix the wash and what he needs is going to have to be reconstruction. Chairman Schmierer thinks it will cost seven or eight thousand dollars to do what he wants done. Surveyor Sterrett said it would cost at least one dollar a foot. Attorney Loy said what exactly are you going to be doing? Chairman Schmierer said dredging, bringing it back to original level. He said you can’t get in there to look at it now. There may be another slide somewhere that is backing his water up. Chairman Schmierer said we don’t have any choice but to fix the one. Surveyor Sterrett said it is in the process of being fixed. It had the water backed up maybe a foot and a half. Board Member Heimlich said we could do it under maintenance but would still have to raise the maintenance rate enough to cover it. Surveyor Sterrett was directed to send Robert Hunt a letter to notify him that we are fixing a slide and there won’t be any money in it and we will have to raise maintenance to get that done.


Board Member Ferguson voiced concern about dredging the Renwick Drain since it is so close to the road now. Trent Pherson said it seemed they need to either move the road or the ditch. He wonders about the road slipping in. (see tape for discussion)


Surveyor Sterrett reported Randy DeVault is on site in Monon taking out trees that are down on the McKillip Ditch as follow up to a letter from Austins. He said that he believes this to be the location they were speaking of.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that the spraying of the regulated ditches is done. He said that Dan Alexander of Shideler Spray Service called and reported that Charlie Geier would not let him spray on the James Carter Drain west of Sixth Street to the end there at Charlie Geier’s. Charlie had crops in there and cattle in the ditch. He is going to try dormant spray after the crops are out. That way we could have a test to see what it looked like next Spring. Dan says it will look better than what we do now. He said he would do that for the same price. Chairman Schmierer said try it and see. Trent Pherson asked, “You can’t keep anybody out from spraying right?” Chairman Schmierer said no. Trent said he saw where they went through on them and they didn’t knock down hardly anything. Chairman Schmierer said it is cheaper to spray it than to have to go in and cut the trees down ten years later.


Chairman Schmierer stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett looked at the pipe Charles Geier referred to needing taken out on the James Carter Ditch. Chairman Schmierer stated that it is right down at the railroad, part of the railroad tracks right behind the fertilizer plant out on Sixth Street. Surveyor Sterrett said they are not thirty-six inch pipes, one is five foot, the one at Sixth Street is six foot, one at the railroad is five foot and the one that goes under the railroad was a box culvert and it looks like they slid a 48 inch in there, grouted over the top of it so if the water gets too high it just goes over the top of it.


Surveyor Sterrett had a question on whether Monty Moss needs a drainage plan to build another 5,850 square foot hog confinement building. He is on his own property, says he is 600 feet from his neighbor’s land and 700 feet from the road. Chairman Schmierer said he wouldn’t need a drainage plan for that small of a building would he? He has not brought a site plan in yet. Charlie Mellon said he has a ditch awfully close to the last one he built. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “There’s not enough square footage to make them, but if there is an existing drainage situation if there is a concern of impacting a neighbor then exert jurisdiction. The only way to know is go out and look at it.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “First of all I told him to submit where he is going to build it so when I go out and look at it I will know where he is building it. He hasn’t done that yet but I thought I would bring it to the Board’s attention. That’s up to me to decide if I think it is going to impact some neighbors?” (Studied map of location.) Chairman Schmierer said that Surveyor Sterrett should go out and look at it.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that he had Engineer Frauhiger show him how to size pipes. He asked if it was all right to pay him out of Contractual Engineering. The Board agreed to that.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.