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December 15, 2003 Tape #024

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 L. Kiser in attendance.

Others attending were B. J. Mursener, Lloyd Duncan, Dave Jordan, Charles R. Mellon and Greg Jacobs.

Chairman Schmierer asked if there were any sealed bids for the Kleyla Branch of the Esther Fraser Drain maintenance project. Secretary Kiser answered yes. Chairman Schmierer said they would wait until Attorney Loy arrived to open them.

Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett to report on Snow Ditch assessments. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he wanted to look at the ditch with the Commissioners before we decide anything. Chairman Schmierer said they would do that Thursday.

Chairman Schmierer asked for the information on setting rates for Maintenance Modification on the Davis & Shields Tile Drain in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana. Secretary Kiser distributed information sheets from the Surveyor’s office.

Chairman Schmierer read, “Currently it is $1.00 an acre and $5.00 a lot, collects $94.90 a year. It is in debt 4 years.” Surveyor Sterrett said it is not a very big tile, not much ground. Chairman Schmierer asked where it is. It is in Liberty Township across from CR 700 North. There is only 92.35 acres assessed. Chairman Schmierer reviewed the Claims history over the last 5 years. Chairman Schmierer read Option 2 for raising maintenance. If we raise the rate to $2.50 per acre and $10.00 a lot it would be out of debt in 1½ years.

Chairman Schmierer said it looks to him like we will be working on it again in the near future. Surveyor Sterrett agreed that we probably would. He said we had repairs both before and after the big rains (earlier in 2003). Chairman Schmierer said the Gould property and Steve Cosgray property is where most of the work was done.

Chairman Schmierer asked the Board which option they prefer. He asked Surveyor Sterrett how many small parcels there are. Surveyor Sterrett stated there is just one small minimum parcel and four other parcels. The other four parcels are acreage.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to raise the maintenance rate on the Davis & Shields Drain to $2.50 an acre and $10.00 per lot and minimum. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer recognized B. J. Mursener who addressed the Board with concerns about fees that they have been billed for in connection with finishing their drainage at the Westside Commercial Subdivision site. Mr. Mursener said he felt abused. He objected to being billed for meetings he was not present at. He felt that a phone call would have been in order. It was explained that the fees were incurred by Engineer Frauhiger and Surveyor Sterrett working together and with their drainage contractor to determine what needed to be done to finish the drainage according to approved plans, sometimes at the request of their contractor, Jimmy Overbeck, and for drafting letters ordered by the Drainage Board and Attorney Loy. This became necessary when drainage was not completed in a timely fashion, not meeting deadlines. Chairman Schmierer said that Engineer Frauhiger had not charged them mileage. Mr. Mursener said there have been two billings, one for $1085.00 and the latest was for $852.50. He had requested a breakdown from Secretary Kiser, which he had received from her. Mr. Mursener objected the most to fees charged for drafting a letter and for $697 charged on invoice 10533. The way Mr. Mursener was reading that, it was charged for meeting with the Board. Chairman Schmierer stated that the Board had not met for 4.5 hours at one time with Mr. Frauhiger. Secretary Kiser did not have a breakdown from Mr. Frauhiger on that invoice for $697.00. The breakdown on the last $852.50 was $310.00 meeting with contractor, $310 meeting with contractor and $232.50 for final inspection of drainage installation.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I want to insert something here on this $852.50 – I was out there when you got ready to do your second pond. On the second pond, when Overbeck was going to use the dirt to shape the pond, they didn’t use the dirt, they didn’t take much out, they dropped that down. (Dave Jordan inserted ‘I think when Jimmy and Denny surveyed it, they said it needs to come out’) When I was out there, they were getting ready to build that up and which, I was glad he was there that day because that probably saved you half of your construction fees that day, because if they would’ve built that up we would’ve had to dig it out again.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “I understand your concerns with some of this, I really do.” B.J. Mursener said, “And I’m not trying to be outlandish at all, we’ve always worked together, but I thought $600 for that and then I swear to God somewhere there’s drafting a letter for Area Plan (maybe didn’t mean Area Plan?) and I cannot find that at all. (Chairman Schmierer asked if that was the one for $200.00 and B.J. answered yes.) Secretary Kiser read from a June 10, 2003 letter, “In of levying fines, Engineer Todd Frauhiger, along with Surveyor Sterrett, Drainage Board Attorney Loy, consulted, reviewed plans, inspected your site and composed letters of notification to you, resulting in engineering fees. So that’s where you got that.” B.J. said that somewhere there is an amount to that and I can’t……inaudible…..see tape. Chairman Schmierer said, “All I know is he said he didn’t charge you for travel.” Mr. Mursener said, “He didn’t charge for all of the travel I think he split some of it out.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I don’t think he charged for ANY travel time, did he?” Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t think so. Chairman Schmierer said that is what he told us on Thursday because we questioned that. Board Member Heimlich said that Engineer Frauhiger says that in the letter, too.

B. J. Mursener said, “It would have been $1,900.00 above the original $1,000.00, is it $1,000.00 calculated for final inspection and approval or something?” Secretary Kiser said, “That June billing was $1,085.00.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “You had deposited $1,000.00 I believe.” B. J. Mursener said, “With the Drainage Board, Denny, this does not tie into the $2,000.00 that we put in to Area Plan for seeding, right?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Right, this is a $1,000.00 for the Drainage Board.” B. J. said ok, that’s a different fund because we had made a deposit with them for seeding out at Sycamore. Dave Jordan said, “So we have $3,000.00 we should be getting back then?” B.J. said $2,000.00 with Area Plan, and then if there was $1,000.00 here…I don’t remember…..

Secretary Kiser explained, “Your initial deposit was, you deposited for Drainage Review, under the name of Rushville Manufacturing Mall, a $1,000.00 deposit for Drainage Review on Westside Commercial Subdivision and a $1,000.00 deposit for Sycamore Estates at the same time. When we thought that you were all set with your drainage out there, we refunded, and we shouldn’t have, $56.00 because your initial drainage review was $944.00, now that is your initial drainage review on your plans for Westside Commercial Subdivision.” B. J. asked if that was part of Todd’s bill. Secretary Kiser said yes, that’s what we paid CTE, or still Samuel L. Moore at that time. B.J. said, “So you’re saying out of these two bills, out of the $2,000.00…….” Secretary Kiser said, “Out of the $1,000.00 that you deposited for Drainage Review for Westside Commercial, he charge us $944.00.” B. J. said, “My question is, these two bills come to roughly $2,000.00 you’re saying we owe you yet $1,000.00.” Secretary Kiser said, “No, you owe us $1,085.00 and $852.50 because we used $944.00 of your $1,000.00 deposit…. (B.J. asked and that’s not considered in these invoices, those are different?)…. No, that is starting over because,…. (B. J. said so basically that is $3,000.00 we are looking at.)….so when they had to go back out then that’s when these extra fees started racking up. I had to go back to 1999 to find your deposit, June of 1999 and then July of 1999 we refunded $56.00 so that took care of your initial $1,000.00 deposit.” B.J. said, “So the total is $2,881.58 for everything.” Chairman Schmierer said that is what that says but he questions 4.5 hours and he said we need to research that with Todd. Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks they met AFTER the meeting in his office and maybe with Attorney Loy.

Dave Jordan addressed the Board saying they as Commissioners should see where the $2,000.00 deposit for seeding is, too. He said that money is still not returned to us. B. J. said they deposited that with Area Plan.

Dave Jordan ran back through the project He, too, said he felt they were being abused. He said the letter from Engineer Frauhiger just given to him stated that Todd and Attorney Loy had tried on numerous occasions to get a hold of B. J. and himself. He said he could honestly say that he never had a message, a phone call on this and doesn’t think he is that hard to get a hold of. Attorney Loy said he didn’t have a problem getting a hold of him or him answering his calls. He said perhaps he and Engineer Frauhiger were meeting together when Todd had unsuccessfully tried to get in touch with him.

Dave Jordan stated, “We went through Area Plan and we wanted to do a Subdivision. We went through the whole thing, everything was done. We put up $235,000.00 - $250,000.00 bond in form of a letter of credit. We went in and did our due diligence, Bob Couts inspected the project (Paul Couts?), and Jerry Altman is who we dealt with. Anyway, it was said that we had done the work and it was to be released. Along with this when we came up to the Drainage Board, during this whole project, Raderstorf and Ron Schmierer decided ‘Hey let’s fix this problem out there right. Dave, will you petition the Drainage Board to go ahead there and put a County drain in?’ and I said well, I don’t want to, I just want to go do my thing and be done with it, but yeah, I will, ok? So we did. We paid our own attorney fees on this here, we had eighty-seven percent of the square footage out there that was approved and wanted it done by the landowners. The one that set this whole thing in order was McGill’s. They needed it desperately and they couldn’t get it done in time and they were all for doing it at this time. Through this negotiation it even came up that they were going to get all these homeowners out here like a $750.00 for their fair share and I suggested let Corporate cover a little bit heavier, let these homeowners out there do this here, we were looking at a project for about $100,000.00 – that’s what Todd had said. We came in here and just shocked the heck out of everybody ‘Well, it’s going to be $200.000.00 now’. McGill’s got an attorney involved, wrote a letter and they’re going to sue everybody and they don’t want anything to do with this. Now we have a problem. Well, there’s another problem. We sold this off. We haven’t owned that pond now for maybe three years. We had it done with the exception of concrete ramp down there that we didn’t know the elevation on. We had temporary drainage in there and it was working fine. The apartment people (Canterbury Apartments) on their property that they own, went in and tore the temporary drain out. And I’ll guarantee you, had that temporary drain been in there, we would never have let the Drainage Board off the hook for the $23,000.00 or $24,000.00 that was petitioned and everybody could’ve paid their fair share. When this whole thing came down, we took you guys off the hook. The water was within an inch of coming out over the drainage pond up onto the cul-de-sac back there that we put in, and all I could see is, here’s the apartment complex, they did as they darn well pleased in tearing stuff out and that would’ve been the proper way of making this whole thing work out. Then, the reason they tore it out was that later on they had to go out and get variances to set the buildings because they set the buildings where they weren’t supposed to. And before they bought the property, they had ok’s through their surveyor that temporary drain was fine. We had to go in there and in the worst of conditions, which cost us dearly, to put that tile in through there. And then, we come down to this situation here and we’re not given the courtesy of a phone call. I mean, this is White County, are we going to be acting like Chicago? ‘We’ll go get our attorneys and throw them in here and let this thing go.’ You know the thing that, I’m not that hard to get a hold of. B.J.’s not that hard to get a hold of. Todd’s got meetings with Jimmy Overbeck which wasn’t even the contractor on that segment of it. We don’t even know there’s meetings going on, and yet you’re asking us now to pay for it. I just think it is wrong. I understand where you’re coming from, each drainage has to pay its own way and there’s money that’s poured into that, and now we’ve got a little bit of a problem.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “When did Todd have any meetings with Jimmy when he wasn’t your contractor?” Dave said he had no idea. Chairman Schmierer asked, “When were you billed for these?” Surveyor Sterrett answered it was in November of this year. Chairman Schmierer said, “Well I thought Jimmy was the one doing the contract work out there.” Dave said there was meetings before November of this year. Chairman Schmierer asked, “There WAS meetings before that, that he was charged for for meetings with Jimmy?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know about that.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I’m not aware of this, Dave, if there was. When I stopped out there Jimmy was the one doing the work and that’s who you guys (Sterrett and Frauhiger) went out there and saw and I stopped out there three or four times.” Surveyor Sterrett said they were out there two days in a row (Sterrett and Frauhiger). B. J. Mursener said he assumes that he (Frauhiger) is saying the meetings with Jimmy Overbeck were when they were doing the final inspections. Dave Jordan said, “I was picking this up that it was before he (Overbeck) had gone to work on it. Maybe I’m mistaken there.” Chairman Schmierer said if you have proof of it, he wouldn’t pay it either. He said, “I think Jimmy had asked for Todd to come and inspect it when he was doing it to make sure it was proper, so that’s the reason why they showed up and I can guarantee it, because I know Jimmy called and asked. I was here when he called and asked one day for guidance to make sure he was doing it properly and didn’t have to go back and re-do it.” Dave Jordan said, “They even ok’d stuff that I wouldn’t ok because it would make it easier for him to do. The one side trough that was coming out, they just wanted to run a solid tile going out there and I said ‘no’, every time you go out to cut the grass you have a tile and you can’t go through there, it’s going to get torn up. I put a stop to that and made them put the trough in the way it should be. There was something else, you know that one end was really scooped up, lot of dirt moved around and everything else, I don’t know who did it and I’m thinking it was the apartment people, but I don’t know, because they went in and did some stuff that…when they did this over here we corrected it for them.”

Chairman Schmierer asked if they built the apartments off of their (Westside Commercial Subdivision) drainage permit. He asked if they got a drainage permit for those apartments. Secretary Kiser said they did – for Canterbury House Apartments. Dave Jordan said they put the second pond in and he says it does no good (the one out closest to the road). He said, “If you look at the plans, that whole drainage thing encompassed twenty to twenty-five acres. There’s a big tile that actually goes up in those plans across Fisher Street and dead-ends and nothing is hooked into it until we develop that up there in that area.” B. J. Mursener explained that is where the old Memco building is. Dave Jordan said, “The thing that we’re asking is, we don’t want to pay this. We have paid and paid and paid. I tell you what, I’ll be happy to pay this, give us back the money for the engineering on that whole fiasco that went on out there. And then pay us back because we had to go in there, and I even told you before, the apartment complex, they just built their pond and cut it off, and there could’ve been a guy killed when that thing opened up, when they dug through there, with all that water coming out of there. It was just lucky he wasn’t standing in the way, it would’ve washed him right on out.” B.J. said they shut off the temporary tile before they moved the building and when they did that it allowed this pond to fill (or build?) which requires that we go through the big tile behind Landis in the winter, I mean in the snow, it took twice as long as it should’ve and was more costly because they had cut the temporary tile and the temporary tile wasn’t handling it very well. If we could’ve done that in decent weather……you know what I mean, but that was the apartment people. That’s what required that we had to immediately get something done.

Dave Jordan stated, “I didn’t say a word the last time I was here, but I got the letter, ok, talked to Denny, he said basically he didn’t know anything about it at that point, and actually the thing that triggered this was the mosquitoes that was there from the previous summer. Gosh we’re all big boys here, I mean why can’t we be told the truth if this is what it is and the courtesy of a phone call, hey, we’ve got this here, let’s get on this here, what’s going to be done, and then if we had refused to do it or something else……and as far as that goes, Jimmy Overbeck was told to do it a year and a half ago. But he wasn’t the one that did the work to begin with. Segal’s did that on that pond, but I guess the request is that you guys make your mind up, I don’t know if we eat part of it, I don’t know, but that’s basically all I have to say. Lloyd you got anything?” Lloyd Duncan had no response.

Chairman Schmierer said, “Todd will be up in the next week or two and we will meet with him again. I might call you and try to come out there with him.”

B. J. Mursener asked for two more minutes saying, “Number One, if you would put in the back of your mind, I think we all agree that long term if something happens that a recovery on this quote right now private tile is going to take forever. If somebody moves or dies or whatever, it’s a mess, I eluded in the letter that maybe there’s a way that the County can take it and make the assessments on it but as people connect, some kind of connection fee to recover money. It would give a continuing body to govern the tile and make sure it was done right. You might put that in the back of your mind; it might be something we should address in the next six or eight months if we can.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “That needs to be addressed, I agree with you and I thought at the last meeting we were going to get you the legal, where your legal right-of-way was and anybody wants to hook into that, you’ve been told several times that they have to pay you.” B.J. said, “Oh I agree, but that is going to take twenty years and all we need is for one or two of us to die…and who pays who….or somebody illegally…. So I guess my thought is I’d love to…you guys take the tile, draw your maintenance fee off of it certainly, but if somebody connects there’s a connection fee that would come back under an agreement, but that way there’s one body that really governs it, covers it.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “I don’t think we want to put it under maintenance fees because there is only one person that would be paying maintenance fees and that would be you people and we don’t want to do that to you, that wouldn’t be fair. But I do think we need to put it in writing. I will follow up on that.” B. J. Mursener said, “Is there any thought because of the length of time it will take to…someway to make that a County tile and we agree to whatever fee for somebody hooking into it we would be reimbursed back.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I don’t think you want to make it a County tile.” B. J. said they are just trying to avoid problems down the road.

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

Attorney Loy asked how many quotes Surveyor Sterrett solicited on the maintenance clearing project on the Kleyla Drain. Surveyor Sterrett answered four. Three responses were received. Attorney Loy opened the sealed quotes as follows: Jack Isom Construction for $18,000.00 even, and that’s for removal of all trees and brush from the ditch, cut and remove trees for seventy-five feet in each direction from the centerline. Next quote is from County Line Tiling/Excavating for $3,990.00 and the third one from Gutwein Bulldozing & Excavating for $4,600.00. Surveyor Sterrett said his estimate was for $4,125.00. It was discussed that everyone received the same specs. Attorney Loy said he did not have a problem with accepting the low quote.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to accept the low bid of $3,990.00 from County Line Tiling/Excavating for the maintenance clearing project on Kleyla Ditch, a branch of the Esther Fraser Drain in Honey Creek Township, White County, Indiana. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.