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January 19, 2004 Tape #002

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:50 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.

Also attending was Charles Mellon.

Chairman Schmierer called to order the continuation of the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the Davis & Shields Tile Drain in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana. No landowners or representatives were present. The Hearing was continued to give Jim Jordan an opportunity to get another landlord to come and discuss the condition of the tile drain and express an opinion on what should be done to maintain the tile. Mr. Jordan attended the first Maintenance Modification Hearing and was opposed to raising the maintenance rate and opposed to maintaining the tile drain in its present condition.

Chairman Schmierer stated he felt the Hearing should not be continued indefinitely. He said a letter should be sent informing the landowners that at the next Drainage Board meeting some action will be taken.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to continue the Maintenance Modification Hearing of the Davis & Shields Tile Drain to the February 2, 2004 meeting and the Maintenance Modification will be voted on at that time. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett addressed the maintenance fund and maintenance projects on the Fern McKillip Branch #1 Drain in Princeton Township. He stated, “We had a petition for a cleanout on part of it filed by Ed Federer, eight landowners signed it, in January 2003. Then we had another petition where the trees fell down on Kyburz. We let that contract; it was $4,200.00 so now the drain is out of money. Just about two hundred dollars is all we are going to have in it by the time we take our 2003 draw, settlement, and pay this tree clearing through Kyburz. We’ll have two hundred dollars left in it. (Board Member Heimlich asked ‘after you get the 2003 draw?’) Right, you know we haven’t gotten ANY on it. There will be $4,477.00 in it after we get that draw and then $4,200.00 out of that will leave $277.00. There’s about 6,100 feet of ditch that needs dipped out. I went up there and looked at it last week. There’s about thirty or forty trees on that six thousand feet. The big ones have blown over just like they did on Kyburz when that storm went through. (Chairman Schmierer asked, ‘They’re still down?’) They’re down. Some of them are out in the field, there’s about five of them that are down is all in that six thousand feet. And the drain has cattails and everything else, broom grass; it’s not working too good. We have a tile outlet that I sent a work order out on. It’s probably going to be in the range of five hundred or a thousand dollars to repair because it’s all rotted out, it’s a surface drain and the water is not getting in to it, which was reported by LeBeau. So, I have a work order out on that, so that’s going to put it further back (in debt.)”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would say we are going to need to go to work and raise the maintenance on it then if we are going to take care of anything, wouldn’t you?” Board Member Heimlich said, “So that is all going to be extra work. Does it bring in $4,400.00?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “It brings in $1,700.00 at fifty cents an acre.” Chairman Schmierer stated that it should’ve been raised some time ago. He asked how many acres there is in it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Well, it brings in $1,700.00 so it must be 3,500 acres.” Chairman Schmierer said, “So if you raised it up it wouldn’t take long to….you could do a dollar an acre and it would bring in $3,500.00 but that isn’t going to be enough to get the work done. You’re going to have to raise it to at least $2.00 or $3.00 to get the work done.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Well, 6,000 feet of just dipping, there’s not that much brush, probably a dollar a foot I think you could get it done for. We already had a thousand foot of it dipped out from a waterway. It silted it up and that dropped the water two feet, but it only went back up about a thousand feet, we lost all our grades but it did help some of it, but not where they want it dipped out.” Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’d say we’re going to have to schedule a Hearing on it and raise the rates. That’s all we can do. So you’re going to have to get stuff around and schedule a Hearing.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you want to set the rates now?” Chairman Schmierer said he didn’t know why not. Is there any small parcels on it? Why don’t we put small parcels at ten dollars? We always do. Do you want to go with $3.00 an acre and that would bring in enough that we can get the work done and have money in it.” Board Member Ferguson asked what they have now. Chairman Schmierer answered, “Nothing, it’s fifty cents an acre and what do you do with fifty cents an acre? Nothing. We’ve been raising them to $3.00 do you think that is too much to raise it to? You’re going to do more than $7,000.00 worth of work.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Well, see actually what you’re doing, it’s over a mile, that’s really a reconstruction. We’re basically doing a reconstruction under maintenance. What we have done with other ones like that is raise them enough for two or three years to pay it and then drop it back to wherever you want the maintenance to be. Chairman Schmierer said, “I would say we could do that, but you’re going to have to raise it. Do you want to wait until he gets an estimate of cost on that?” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I’d have to survey it first to know how much silt is coming out of it.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you want to automatically raise it to two dollars or three dollars and see what you’re going to do with it? I don’t know.” Board Member Heimlich answered, “I don’t know how much we are talking. It’s more like a reconstruction we’ve been doing under maintenance. We’ve raised it for a certain number of years to pay off the cost of reconstruction and then it would drop back to wherever. Now I agree the maintenance should be more than fifty cents.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I wouldn’t think it would cost over $6,000.00 to dip it out, but we have another $1,000.00 to get that surface drain fixed.” Chairman Schmierer said, “So, $7,000.00.” Surveyor Sterrett said also it is hard to tell how many drains aren’t working along there. Chairman Schmierer said, “I’m saying $6,000.00 or $7,000.00 is probably a low figure. If you went $3.00 an acre and there’s 3,500 acres you are going to have $10,000.00, you’re going to have enough money to do it. And tell them you are going to drop it back, that’s going to be for two years or a year until you get it done and then you’ll drop it back to $1.00 an acre.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “Even if you did it for two years then you’d have money built up in there and then you could drop it back to $1.00 an acre.” Board Member Ferguson asked about the lots. Chairman Schmierer suggested $10.00 a lot.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the maintenance rate on the Fern McKillip Branch #1 Drain in Princeton and Monon Townships at $3.00 an acre and $10.00 a lot for two years and drop it down to $1.00 an acre at the end of two years. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

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

Surveyor Sterrett showed the Board a photo of a rock dam made from riprap they took from the ditch banks that someone had built under the bridge at County Road 1200 East and 500 North on the Carter-Hines Drain. Chairman Schmierer stated it will have to be taken out.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that David Reiff says he raised the cattle gate in the Hook Ditch as he agreed to do, but Surveyor Sterrett couldn’t tell that he had. Therefore, the Surveyor’s office sent the landowner, Pauline Reiff, a letter about the cattle gate. Mr. Reiff is to come to the office today to discuss it.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Allen Howe is done with the maintenance debrushing project through Wayne Hunt’s property on the Carter-Hines Drain. Surveyor Sterrett said he has all the brush off of it and was seventy-five percent done when he was up there last week. The cost was $2,950.00 and Surveyor Sterrett will go out and look at the finished project so he can sign off on it.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.