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October 20, 2003 Tape #020

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

Charles Mellon and Greg Jacobs were also in attendance.

Chairman Schmierer opened the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the Earl Diener Drain in Honey Creek and Union Townships. The Board read over the handout of information on the drain from the Surveyor’s office. Chairman Schmierer commented that a lot of work has been done on the drain. Chairman Schmierer read, “It is currently on variable rate of fifty cents to a dollar an acre with a five dollar minimum. It brings in $1,099.67 yearly and is in debt $3,145.42 and there are 1243.168 benefited acres – 58 parcels of which 14 are small parcels or lots. If we put it on a flat rate of $2.00 an acre and $10.00 minimum and small parcel and lots, the assessment would get it out of debt in a year and a half. If we raised it fifty percent it would take it out of debt in two years. I think we have been trying to get away from variable rates anyhow as much as we can. What is the Board’s favor on that, do you want to go to $2.00 an acre and $10.00 a parcel?”

Board Member Heimlich said he wondered why it was on variable rate in the first place. Chairman Schmierer said it probably hadn’t been touched since the 1930’s; they did a lot of that in the 1930’s. Attorney Loy asked if they figured everybody gets roughly equal benefit on a per acre basis. Chairman Schmierer said the watershed is pretty much equal.

In looking at the claims Chairman Schmierer felt that we would keep spending money on it. He said in 2002 there’s five claims. Surveyor Sterrett said when he first came here in 2002 Dale Kelly had just dredged out Branch 2. He said we had done a lot of work down by Division Road. Chairman Schmierer stated there were 7 repair claims on the Bailey property for tenant Fleck. Board Member Heimlich asked if there were stretches of tile on both Branch 1 and Branch 2 and then part of it is open ditch. Secretary Kiser stated that the main is open ditch. Surveyor Sterrett stated that the open ditch comes clear down to Division Road and goes over behind Diener Seeds. Chairman Schmierer asked if Branch 2 is open. Surveyor Sterrett answered yes. Chairman Schmierer asked if Branch 1 is the only tile. Surveyor Sterrett said there is Branch 1 of 2 that is tile. He said there are some Branches over by the Range Line Road that are tile. Chairman Schmierer said, “So, Branch 1, part of it is open and part of it is tile.” Surveyor Sterrett answered yes.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the maintenance rate on the Earl Diener Drain in Honey Creek and Union Townships at $2.00 an acre and $10.00 minimum for small parcels and lots. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Charlie Mellon asked if the damages were all on the upper end. Chairman Schmierer said it has been worked on all over the place. Charlie said that’s where a variable rate comes in. Board Member Heimlich stated there will be a Hearing on it.

Chairman Schmierer recognized Greg Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs addressed the Board saying, “I was here a couple of years ago discussing the possibility of silt trap installation on the Snow Ditch and reviewing the minutes, there seemed to be some question about, a couple of questions that were brought up, one who is going to pay for it and two where the jurisdiction ends for White County. Looking at the minutes (from a previous Board meeting last year), it says something about meandering down to the Tippecanoe River (legal description). However what brief time Denny and I spent looking at it (legal description) last week, seems like it might end towards the County line 800 and some feet south of Chalmers Road. So we’re not exactly sure of where it ends. I would like to open up for discussion, this whole County drainage ditch thing is really new to me, what I have come to experience and learn in the last couple of years is that this ditch in particular is a very serious contributor to silt in the lake. And I see, the SFLECC a couple of years ago we talked to them, I kind of dropped the ball on this, and at that time, this may have changed, their funding, I think they might have lost some funding, but I see them out there spending millions dredging and doing underwater silt traps which we can’t see and are equally hard to get to. In my experience, at the end of the Snow Ditch it seems to me, what little experience I’ve got, in talking to the SFLECC that silt traps in the ditch make more sense and would be much easier to clean out. I realize this was probably a hundred year rain we got this year. Last year was probably more normal, We have taken the opportunity when the lake was down to remove the silt in our area. I would like to appeal to the Board to consider some contribution. The silt is coming from the fields and the rate seems, at least in the Snow Ditch which is primarily the one I am concerned about today, it’s pretty plush. I’m not sure, I’ve only looked for about three years and today it has over $16,000.00 in it and is due to have another $4,000.00 coming in. It is only drawing a $1.00 an acre, which I’m not sure if that’s the average or not, it seems on the low side. What I would like to do is see what we can do as the Drainage Board, as the SFLECC, and put some silt traps where they make sense. To me where they make sense is the easiest in and out to remove this silt. Which, to me, just south of Chalmers Road it affects no crops whatsoever, there’s a spot there. I sent two or three letters to the property owner and got no response. The Twin Lakes Sewer District seems like another natural spot to me. They expressed interest that would be acceptable to them; obviously they are going to want to know who is cleaning it out. And then another spot that looks like it makes sense is up close to Range Line Road (CR 300 E). I’m not sure how often this stuff accumulates but back in 2000 the County spent little over $10,000.00 cleaning that ditch out which looks like it was cleaned out between CR 400 E and CR 400 S, so it might already be somewhat accumulated with silt. We have really a major problem that affects all of us and I just think we should go back into these ditches and try to stop this silt before it gets to the lake. It’s got to be a lot more efficient to clean this silt out from smaller silt traps that we can see, than operating the dredge. I know that dredge has nothing to do with the Drainage Board but this silt does affect all of us in the community and it is not going to go away. I’d just like to re-open this problem up for discussion, as this winter I want to try to come up with a solution to it that isn’t entirely out of my pocket. And yes, I do have a development down there and we are obviously trying to prevent this from happening.” Secretary Kiser stated that the maintenance project done on the Snow Ditch that Greg Jacobs mentioned was a clearing project, not dredging.

Chairman Schmierer said, “This ground where you are talking about that this could go in….Board Member Ferguson said, “Would be south of Hicks’s Corner.” Greg Jacobs said, “And another spot, if you would accept jurisdiction, I would probably put this one in, is at the foot of Snow Ditch where it does meander down to the Tippecanoe River. I can understand why you guys would stop at the County line, that makes sense and there really isn’t any maintenance needed past the County line. But, without the Board’s permission, the property owner is absolutely against it down there. A gentleman by the name of Jack Hewitt out of Missouri. He was up a couple of weeks ago while the lake was down and I spoke with him personally and he didn’t even want to discuss it.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “As near as I can tell, our jurisdiction ends 878 feet south of Chalmers Road.” Greg Jacobs said, “Which would be about the County line, at least if you took the County line over there where I am on Oakdale Road. I’ve not talked to an engineer. I have gone down and looked at the cofferdams; they put a series of three of them in, at the City Park. (Buss Ditch) Whether or not they need to be concrete with those wood slats in the middle of them or whether they could be done with a series of rip rap and earth around them, I’m not sure. We’d have to get someone smarter than me to figure that out. But it seems to me if we have a large enough area that we wouldn’t have to, we could possibly do it with earth and rip rap. With 150 foot of maintenance width it just seems to me that we could come up with a large enough area that would pool that we could get around it on two sides or three sides and easily remove the silt as it becomes necessary.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Did you say you removed some silt down there while the lake was down?” Greg Jacobs answered, “Yes, several tri-axle loads. It was amazing. We had probably four foot of depth starting this year, and I know this was a hundred year storm, we had less than a foot of water…..” Chairman Schmierer asked, “There where you put the boat launches in?” Greg Jacobs said, “Yes, we probably picked up a foot and a half of silt under normal conditions last year right there. So we already have a silt trap, it’s just that it’s very difficult to; you gotta wait and hope that NIPSCO dips it out. We built our boat ramp to hold up to an excavator going down it and are prepared when you lower the lake, but it’s pretty inefficient when you try and dip it out of the lake when the water is up. What we’re hoping to do is obviously, we are planning for that expense and not looking for anybody to foot the bill for that expense, we knew going into this project that silt was a problem for us there and we were just hoping that maybe two, three, four thousand dollars a year would handle it, but boy there’s just a lot of silt coming in there. I really think that the landowners have a responsibility to this. I know nobody wants to see a dollar rate go to more, but hopefully we can work together on this. And, I’m going to SFLECC again. I met with Mr. Cripe and I don’t know if he still chairs that committee but they at that point and time were interested in prevention. They didn’t even want to talk about removal at this point and time and we know we are at the end of the list down there. But, removal is pretty much been taken care of. Prevention now is what it is about and I’m hoping they still have some funds available. Because two years ago they were interested in prevention and that meant contribution toward the construction of a trap or two.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you. That is something the Drainage Board has never done or been involved in silt traps in the ditches. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m saying we have never done it. I know where you’re coming from, the silt is a problem. The landowners that own the farm ground are going to tell you that they don’t give a darn about the silt going to the lake, you know that as well as I do. As to raising it a dollar an acre so you can put silt traps in, I’ll let you do that, I’m not going to try to do that because they’ll just have a fit. What is the rest of the Board’s take on it? It’s a problem but I don’t know how to handle the problem. I know when the park put those in down there we did give them $5,000.00 toward that.”

Board Member Heimlich stated those weren’t really silt traps. They were to keep the water from eroding places where the ditch curved. Greg Jacobs said that was the example that Joe Roach gave him that allows for an area for the water to pool and to some degree it slows the flow down. The theory behind it is what he was trying to explain, not that it would be the actual construction. Board Member Heimlich said that’s a little different than what we are talking about here. He said with drainage ditches, you’re not wanting to slow the flow down; you want the water to get away as fast as possible. Greg Jacobs said, as long as it doesn’t back up and plug their drains, I don’t see why they would care. He said, “And I appreciate the fact that this is the way it has always been, but as far as the argument that the farmer would have……” Board Member Heimlich said the argument that the farmer would have is the cost because you’re paying for something other than drainage. Greg Jacobs said, “But we are also taking that farmer’s land and I realize nobody like erosion, but a strong argument can be made as far as where this is at and whether it is the Drainage Board, SFLECC or the State, we’re spending the money to clean up these lakes and I might just be talking about Snow Ditch today, but I think we have to go to the Big Monon Bay and whatever major contributors of silt that we’ve got and try to come up with a better solution because I just can’t believe that dredge out there is the best solution. We’re all in this together and I’m not looking to say ‘Mr. Farmer, this is your baby’ at all, but I think that unless somebody says differently, it seems to me that it makes a lot of sense to stop it in the ditch before it gets out to the lakes. I know that it’s different, it is change, and nobody likes change. But I think we all have to accept responsibility for it and maybe it’s not the best. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. It seems like it makes more sense to try to clean it out with a fast moving excavator than a slow moving barge. But until it is done, and I’ve seen the engineer drawings of an underwater silt trap, and all it is, is an unseen deep hole at the mouth so it can accumulate a little bit longer so instead of being in there every four years or five years it can accumulate another three or four feet, and that’s all it is. I just think prevention before it hits the mouth of that water is what we should be looking at. And this ditch, a dollar an acre, it’s obviously flush. I mean, I don’t know what the average is, whether it is $2.00 an acre of $3.00 why shouldn’t they pay a little more and contribute towards solving this problem? It seems like they’re getting a pretty good deal now and when this installment is paid, they’ll have $21,000.00 and it doesn’t seem to have, maybe there are some repairs that need to happen, but….”

Charles Mellon stated he felt that would be awful expensive. He thought it might cause damage and bank problems and take more of the farmers’ ground and they wouldn’t stand for it. He said, “You have the outfits cleaning the lake now and it’s to his advantage that’s being done.” He asked Mr. Jacobs how much land he owns out there. Mr. Jacobs answered 35 acres. Charlie Mellon said, “You wouldn’t have to be paying as much on it as the landlords with all the ground. That’s got a big coverage.”

Greg Jacobs stated, “I’m here to say that I would contribute, I’m willing to contribute because I’m spending the money anyway. I plan on spending two-thirds of your budget for 4,757 acres, so I’m not here saying that I want a handout at all. I’m trying to bring up that, I realize it might take a little bit of land and it’s going to be, thinking out of a box as we know drainage ditches to be, but I do know at least what this 4,800 acres is doing and that there are some good spots and if you stair step this and pool this water out, that silt will settle out there and it will be much easier to take care of. Right now, no, that isn’t the farmers’ concern, but it should be somebody’s concern. We should not have to continue to have maintenance.”

Charlie Mellon said, “You haven’t got a cost estimate.” Greg Jacobs said, “No, I’m just trying to open this up for….it seems to me that the argument makes some sense, and I’m not just talking about the Snow Ditch, I think, like I said, wherever there’s a major contributor of silt to our lakes because we’re…this problem is not going to go away and let’s face it, we’re spending taxpayer dollars to do this, nobody else’s. It just seems ridiculous to me to, and I know we own the barges and I have no idea what their annual budget is for it, but I know you could move a heck of a lot more silt with an excavator than you can with a barge. I think if we looked long range with this thing that the barges should be a thing of the past. We’re always going to get some down the Tippecanoe River, but….” Board Member Heimlich said, “That was going to be my next question, “Just because we did that, you’re going to get more than some, you’re going to get a lot coming down the Tippecanoe River that we have no control over.” Greg Jacobs said, “But you’re going to…….inaudible…’re certainly going to……inaudible….. (is he saying limit it?) I haven’t done any research, but I learned just last week that the Snow Ditch contributes 4,800 acres, but even if we just take one step at a time and approach it, and maybe I’m all wet, I don’t think so, because I know we can pool the water and the silt has time to settle.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That’s what they’re trying to do at the mouth of the McKillip Ditch and they tried to do that at a couple of other ditches.”

Greg Jacobs stated, “I think what I need, I don’t have any landowner that is willing to say yes we need to do this. I would like to think that we go all the way down to the mouth of the Tippecanoe. I’d love to see that legal that Rick (former Surveyor Raderstorf) was reading from, obviously the one Denny (Surveyor Sterrett) had if it’s right it is 800 and some feet south and that doesn’t do anything. But just south of the Chalmers Road, or even better yet, at the mouth there that’s Carroll County side, I’d say right now I would foot the bill for the maintenance to see how it would work, but I need help from the Drainage Board. The Drainage Board controls 150 foot through there and for this thing to get off the ground I just feel that the Drainage Board is going to have to say ‘yes, we can do this in our 150 foot easement’ and I’m hoping secondly that ‘yes we’re willing to contribute a little bit towards it’, but at least, at the very least, ‘yes we are willing to work within this 150 feet’.” Board Member Heimlich asked if 150 feet will do it. Greg Jacobs said, “Well, it’s a heck of a lot better than nothing. It will definitely do it just before you get to CR 1250. As I walk that ditch back in there, this creek is a ten foot wall of sand, and 90’s back in, so I know at the mouth there, which is a major contributor, but then as I look to the south of Chalmers Road it makes a lot of sense, there’s a large area to the west that’s all thick grass, erosion control I guess. They are not even farming it at this point and time. On the left there’s some trees that would probably have to be cleared a little, but it just seems to me that, I don’t know, 300 feet downstream, that an earthen dam could be, the ditch widened there, you know an earthen dam backed by rip rap, a spillway you know so it’s not backing up. We obviously have to be concerned for the pony farm there, I’m sure when it backs up he does not want a five foot creek flowing through there, even though he doesn’t have any tile, that’s got to be a concern. But, it looks to me like it would have a lot of merit. I don’t think it would cost that much to try.”

Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy if he had anything to add. Attorney Loy said no, that he fully understood what Greg Jacobs said. Chairman Schmierer said he knows what he is fighting; he just doesn’t understand how to go about starting the project because we have never done a project like this before. Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett if he had anything to add. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know if Soil and Water would have anything to do with that.” Chairman Schmierer said that might be a good place to start. Greg Jacobs said he has been in there and talked to them and they don’t have a program for a silt trap. Chairman Schmierer said Tom Wagner is in Carroll County now, he designed that down at the park and Greg might want to talk to him about the project.

Greg Jacobs stated, “I’ll talk to the Drainage Board. I would love to find that meandering description and let’s say that’s it and I’ll do everything down there and but I need permission. That’s the problem I’ve got. I’ve got nobody that owns the property; I need the Board that controls the 150 feet to say that ‘yes we think it’s got merit’. That’s the first thing. If there isn’t any desire to do that then I’m back to square one.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “But do we control that? (Surveyor Sterrett answered no) So we can’t give permission for something that we don’t control.” Greg Jacobs asked, “So could you decide that it’s a necessary?” Chairman Schmierer said, “One of the problems we just got into, well, we didn’t get into it, right out here off of Airport Road the guy petitioned but he went to work and started changing the water flow and everything to slow the water down through his property and now he’s got a big problem with DNR. You have to go through DNR, too when you’re doing that, even though they are a dug ditch. We have problems with DNR now with a water crossing in a dug ditch. So, I mean there are so many regulatory places and I don’t know down where you are who really controls that. Does Carroll County? Is that part of Carroll County’s drainage?” Surveyor Sterrett said they sent him to us. Greg Jacobs said they are not claiming any jurisdiction. They have a ditch just to the top of the hill, to the west there that drains 80 acres or so.

Surveyor Sterrett said he looked at the assessment roll and nobody south of Chalmers blacktop was being assessed. Chairman Schmierer said it is not regulated. Board Member Heimlich said a lot of those once they get close to the lake they are not regulated. Chairman Schmierer said we have the same thing up at Honey Creek. He said when you get up to 275 N from there on in (to the lake) it is not regulated. SFLECC put those silt traps in up there. Chairman Schmierer told Mr. Jacobs, “What you are saying makes sense, but what we can do with it I’m not sure. I don’t even know where to start researching, that’s my problem. Would we want to get DNR involved in it?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I would say they might have to be involved in it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, I would think if you were going to do anything they would have to be involved.”

Greg Jacobs said, “When I met with Tom (Wagner of Soil & Water Conservation) he was at White County at that time and it wasn’t unless you got into buildings and doing some stuff that affected the drains, of course I don’t know if he, he’s not DNR is he? (No) So I guess I was talking to someone at Soil Conservation. So, is it reasonable for the Drainage Board to allow something like this to happen inside that 150 foot maintenance easement?” Board Member Heimlich answered, “Not in that area if we don’t have control of it.” Greg Jacobs said he was talking about south of Chalmers Road where you do have. Chairman Schmierer asked we don’t have anyone assessed on it from where? Surveyor Sterrett answered, “From Chalmers blacktop south.” Greg Jacobs said, “That’s not true, there’s some, that farm that DeVault's just sold there’s probably 80 acres south of Chalmers Road, west of Oakdale. That flows heavily in there. There’s a tributary that’s deep into the Snow Ditch. I’m not sure how much of that acreage to the west of Buckles, Buckles owns, it contributes there. But there is some acreage that should be contributing to it. Well, I guess with the exception of the Twin Lakes Sewer District, which, they’re willing. It’s not as wide it’s kind of narrow in there and it just seems to me that it doesn’t offer the large pooling affect that is needed. Right now they are the only property owner that’s even talked about it.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I really don’t even know what to tell you what we can do with it. I would say we have to get DNR involved in it, I know you will, because we have the same problem with the Faris Ditch. Our Faris Ditch runs into a stream similar to this and it’s not regulated from that point on and that’s where this guy was starting to change the water route to stop his erosion of washing his bank out because it was threatening his property and his home. And DNR has got involved with him.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “His neighbors didn’t like what he was doing and turned him into DNR.”

Greg Jacobs stated, “I will go to DNR this week and I’m going to go to SFLECC this next week but I think there is only one organization that has jurisdiction over anything and that’s the Drainage Board. And I think in fact this does have something to do with the drainage ditches although silt traps aren’t something that you are accustomed to dealing with. I think the argument can be made that it does have something to do with the drainage ditch and you still control that 150 foot which we need to be able to access it to clean it out. So I think that before anything, I really feel like at this point that the hard decision is going to have to be made by this Board. That’s whether or not…..” Board Member Heimlich said, “But you’re talking two different things. One, would we allow the trap to be put in, but the second is who is going to pay for it?” Greg Jacobs said, “Right. Today I would just like (you) to say yes we will allow the trap to be in and we can access it then I’ll take the harder question which is who’s going to pay for it, but really, if I don’t have…..” Board Member Heimlich said we would want to know up front who is going to pay for it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “And what it would look like.” Greg Jacobs said, “Exactly, So is there a willingness to, because I don’t want to go through all the motions if that question is dead in the water, it doesn’t make sense. Unless you allow that to happen, I really don’t feel like I’ve got a lot of options at this point. DNR isn’t going to say yes you can do it, because they don’t have 150 foot easement.”

Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, not having seen any plans or anything, I don’t think we can give that kind of go ahead.” Greg Jacobs said, “I’m not asking you to approve it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I think we would be willing to listen to that, but I said the second part of that, that we’ve been discussing most of the time is who’s going to pay for it and whether we are going to assess the landowners in that watershed for it. I think that’s a different question.”

Greg Jacobs said, “Since you bring it up, you’re going to be flushed with $21,000.00 at the beginning of the year, is there any willingness to contribute, can you contribute towards it?” Board Member Heimlich said, “The assessments are based on cost benefits to the landowners (for maintenance of that ditch). You’d have to show that there’s benefits to those people who are being assessed. I think that’s a legal question that would be problematic there, assessing people to put in a silt trap that’s not going to benefit.” Greg Jacobs said, “Indirectly, can we make the argument…..” Board Member Heimlich said, “You can make the argument, yes, that it benefits everybody, taxpayers, but all the taxpayers aren’t paying into that assessment on that ditch, it is just whoever is in that watershed.”

Greg Jacobs said, “And I guess I’m just looking at, can we look at this to some degree, how small it may be, a contributor to it. SFLECC is already willing to do silt prevention and investing dollars, so I don’t think that they as an organization are looking at the source, which really, I really think we should be looking at the source and take some responsibility, not all of it, but some responsibility because I know most of those who farm don’t even have a boat and don’t even care about it, but this Board should care about it. I mean, we are spending those dollars, whether we see it or not, whether they’re coming out of here or coming out of there, we are spending them, and we are spending a lot more than we should be spending because of the way we are doing it. The dredge is not the way to do it. We’ll come back in five years and ……” Chairman Schmierer said we’re trying to cure a problem with the dredge instead of prevent a problem.

Board Member Heimlich stated, “A lot has been done with addressing the problem, farming practices are a lot different today than they were thirty years ago, you know, nobody is clean plowing anymore, but no matter what they do, you know, you get rains like that there is going to be silt coming through the ditches.” Greg Jacobs stated, “You’re not going to stop a hundred year storm, and I appreciate that, and I’m not meaning to say that this is all the farmer’s, I’m just, if you allow the use of the drainage ditch that’s something, that’s better than what we have today.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “You check with DNR and we’ll have to do a little research on it to see where we’re at. Probably before giving you the OK we will have to go physically look at it, because I can’t physically see it.”

Greg Jacobs said, “There is some dollars at this point and time that I would have to spend and before I could come back to you with any, I mean I could come back to you with conceptual, but basically what we are talking about is a earthen dam south there as far as we can go south to the waters of that pool, in affect instead of having all that green grass, we’re going to have a little pond. Where that water hits it, and it’s hitting a pool of water, it’s not hitting the dam, it’s hitting a pool of water to allow that, in order to settle out and then that’s why they said that the step down effect you know instead of just having one at the bottom where all that water is rushing. You could move it up here, and put one here, and then go up maybe a third of the way and you’re hitting more than one pool and you’re giving it more opportunity to pool out. But that’s basically what we’re talking about, is just earthen dam with probably rip rap overflow where if it hit hard it is spilling over it’s not going back up into the fields or at an elevation higher than anybody’s drainage tile. We would have to get a surveyor out there and engineer and survey the elevations of the tile to make sure…inaudible… there’s considerable expense that would have to go into the drawing that the Board would have to approve. Just please take a look at that area through there and any research….inaudible….I’d love to hear you say that the end is where it meanders down to the Tippecanoe. I would rather start there and I would start there and I would foot the bill a hundred percent. Carroll County doesn’t really care, it’s not his ditch and if you say it’s not yours then he is going to say well it’s nobody’s ditch.” Chairman Schmierer said to check with Tom Wagner.

The White County Drainage Board signed the Assessments to the Auditor for the Maintenance Modification on the Amelia Suits Ditch.

The White County Drainage Board has already signed the C. Bossung Ditch maintenance contract.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he is working on surveying the Robinson Ditch in preparation for a project. He stated last week he got a public notice from the Army Corp of Engineers; evidently Dean Fleck wants to tile part of that private ditch of his. From what the notice says he is assuming Dean wants to close in his private ditch. Surveyor Sterrett said he doesn’t see any problem with it. Attorney Loy said if for some reason it is not alright, you can prohibit it, you can deny connections to our regulated drain if there’s reason for doing so. Surveyor Sterrett said the open ditch ties in along the road, CR 400 North in Honey Creek Township. Chairman Schmierer said he didn’t think it affects us any.

Surveyor Sterrett also got a DNR public notice for a new 8 foot culvert under Main Street at Ghost Hollow on the James Carter Ditch. He said he didn’t believe that involves us because our legal drain ends at the west right-of-way of Main Street.

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

John Heimlich reported that he had a Monon Joint Ditch Board meeting last Thursday. He said there was a court action that was withdrawn. They are still waiting for final approval from IDEM. He thought that everything was set for the Army Corp permit, but they are still waiting for IDEM. They wanted some clarification on some issue. Charlie Mellon wanted to know if the guys on the upper end were going to have to pay as much as on the lower end. Board Member Heimlich said as it stands right now, yes. He said everybody that came to the meetings argued, all the while we’ve been discussing variable rate, they argued flat rate. Then they argued afterwards that they’re not getting benefit, why should they be paying that much money, but they argued for the flat rate.

Attorney Loy asked if the Board was aware of what the Maintenance Modification is for on the Nov. 3, 2003 agenda. Surveyor Sterrett explained, “We have two, one is Don Ward (Northbrooke Condominiums), they weren’t on the assessment roll on James Carter Ditch. (Chairman Schmierer asked how that happened.) I don’t know, I traced back and when it was, Teeter owned it at one time, and they were on it then. When it got sold, the drainage didn’t get transferred. Paugh is the same way on the J.P. Carr. When I was looking at property owners on that to get started, Paugh sets right on the ditch there and they’re not on it. Apparently when they transferred that to them they didn’t get it on the ditch. There will just be two notices sent out.” Attorney Loy said you do not have to notify the whole watershed.

The Hubbard car lot situation was discussed. See tape.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.