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May 17, 2004 Tape #010

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M. in the Commissioners

Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members Ronald A. Schmierer, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana L. Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Charles Mellon, Tami Parrish, Shirley Stoller, Charles Lucterhand, David Parrish and Steve Burton.

Chairman Schmierer called the meeting to order. Attorney Lee Griffith was first on the agenda but was not present.

Chairman Schmierer recognized Tami Parrish who spoke to the Board about a certified letter she received regarding drainage on an acre of ground that was cut out of Stoller property and sold to Charles Lucterhand. Mr. Lucterhand built Wolcott Mini Storage on the property. She asked what they didn’t do that they were supposed to do. Tami Parrish said, “We talked to Engineer Paul Couts and he thought that we had done everything we were supposed to do but there was something on the Mini Storage end that needed to be done.”

Chairman Schmierer answered, “Come up here and let us explain it to you. (All parties viewed a copy of the drainage plans submitted and approved.) They got a drainage plan for three buildings and he built one. But, they haven’t put the detention storage for water in here, or any of the drainage at all.” Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks the pipe under the driveway was put in. Mr. Lucterhand said yes it was. Board Member Heimlich asked if that was actually a pond or just like a swale. Surveyor Sterrett said, “It is like a swale and they had the elevations so high, 709.2 and it is supposed to be the elevation of this berm along here.”

Chairman Schmierer said he thought they had put one building in the middle of the lot. Tami Parrish answered no and pointed to where Mr. Lucterhand has the building standing.

Tami Parrish stated, “What we had done to start with was the whole thing (entire tract of land drainage plan, two hundred acres) and we were told we had to have a plan in place to sell anything after this acre, so this (plan for the Wolcott Mini Storage site) came up after this (plan for entire tract) according to Paul Couts. That is something we weren’t aware of at the beginning. We had to put the whole plan in, the two hundred acres and that’s why I’m involved because I own forty of that. And then Ron had sold off an acre here. But, we were told this is all we had to do. So this came up, according to Paul Couts in my conversation this morning that Todd Frauhiger would back me up on that. So, is this something that is OUR responsibility or is it something that is the Mini Storage responsibility?” Chairman Schmierer said, “This is the Mini Storage responsibility here isn’t it?” (Indicating the drainage plan drawing for the Lucterhand property.)

Shirley Stoller said, “He has only put up one building and we are farming the rest of this. So does this need to be done right now?” Surveyor Sterrett said that it is supposed to be done now. Charles Lucterhand asked, “Then why wasn’t it discussed with me a year ago when I was at this meeting? I sat in front of this Drainage Board meeting. This is the first of my knowledge of any detention pond being put in.” Shirley Stoller said she had never seen this either. Charles Lucterhand said, “They (Stollers) were asked to do a master plan which they did and I could not get a drainage permit until they did this, and they did that. Throughout this whole time there was never anything discussed with Stollers or with me about a detention pond to be put in.” Shirley Stoller said, “Until we sold more.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “When you built the building you had to submit this plan.” Charles Lucterhand said no, they (Stollers) submitted it. Board Member Heimlich said, “I think that’s what it is, they’re the ones that got the plan approved, not him.”

Shirley Stoller said, “I can understand that when he put all three buildings up then do this. But right now he’s just got this (one building) and we’re farming all of this, so he’s only got runoff of just one little building.” Charles Lucterhand said, “To begin with there’s not a drainage problem out there anyway.” The Board and Surveyor Sterrett all said yes there is. Shirley Stoller said it is because they didn’t raise their building up.

Board Member Heimlich stated, “That area out there, we have had drainage problems.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Yes, that ditch on down coming east from there. It goes to tile then it goes on down into the Stoller ditch. So much water came down last year that it washed the banks back into the fields.” Shirley Stoller said, “We farm there and we’ve never had the problem there so how far down are you talking that there is a problem?” Surveyor Sterrett said probably a quarter of a mile. Chairman Schmierer said Fulkerson lost a bunch of crops there where it washed out. Tami Parrish said so on up north and east. Chairman Schmierer said, “This ditch takes so much water because there’s so many more rooftops and blacktop and everything, particularly in that area where it has been made into industry, like up on the corner where Dwyer is at, that is all blacktop and that’s where we got in trouble.”

Charles Lucterhand asked if there is somebody complaining about him being out there. The answer was no. Chairman Schmierer said, “The engineer that approved the plans is the one that brought it to our attention.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We’ve been by there and noticed that the…..” Shirley Stoller said, “When he got the drainage permit, he got the building permit then in a year’s time you go check and is that how this…..ok, when he got the drainage permit then he should’ve automatically known that he should’ve done that (put in the drainage plan as approved)?” Charles Lucterhand said, “Exactly and there wasn’t anything said to me about any detention pond.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Somebody got this (drainage) plan.” Shirley Stoller said, “Yes, but I can’t read it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “They (Stollers) got the plan, it wasn’t him (Lucterhand), that’s why he didn’t know about it.” Charles Lucterhand said, “Stollers got the plan, I went to the meeting.” Board Member Heimlich said, “But, see you wouldn’t have been approved without this plan, but this plan was already in place.” Charles Lucterhand, “Exactly, ok, but nobody ever told me, nobody ever said anything to me, when I got the permit from Denny and I was here at the meeting and the Board sat here and approved this plan and said ‘ok, we will issue Mr. Lucterhand a drainage permit, there was nothing ever said.”

Tami Parrish said, “We had to have a plan for that two hundred acres is what we understood, and by having that plan if any other acreage was sold then we had to have a drainage done. And I understand the drainage problem, because we do farm it. And in my mind, if it needs to be done then it needs to be done, because we’re all here to keep the environment……inaudible………”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Which building did you build?” Charles Lucterhand answered, “Towards the road.” Shirley Stoller said, “No, the road is here. It would be the farthest away, farthest north.” Charles Lucterhand, “This could happen and this could not happen, it all depends on demand, this building and this building. This building is the one that exists right now and this butts up on the property line on the north side.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “The detention swale is off the site. It is actually on your property (Stollers’) and that’s the way it was planned.” Shirley Stoller said she does kind of remember and on the big one Ron donated land to use like that. Tami Parrish asked if they need to come up with another plan. She asked if anyone knew how much this (constructing the swale) would cost. Shirley Stoller said, “So if we could take a speedmover in there and just make a……” Surveyor Sterrett said, “You are going to have to put a pipe in and then you are supposed to re-grade the side ditch down to the existing flow line” Tami Parrish asked if it is the County’s ditch, is it their responsibility. Surveyor Sterrett said, “That is what the engineer said, ‘regrade to existing flow line 342 feet.”

Board Member Heimlich stated that we put detention in to hold the water. (Multiple conversations inaudible at this point.) Tami Parrish said they weren’t even billed for the drainage plan for the one acre sold to Charles Lucterhand. It was determined that Stollers and Parrishes were the ones that deposited the drainage review fee for the big plan on the two hundred acres. David Parrish said until you know what goes out there it is hard to have a master plan and that was the assumption they were under.

Tami Parrish said, “I think we all understand the problem, what do we have to do? Do we need to come up with another plan; does this have to be implemented before he has the two buildings?”

Mrs. Stoller asked, “Does it (detention swale) have to go there because that’s going to go right through the farm?” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, you’d have to get another plan if it wasn’t. This plan has been approved.” Tami Parrish asked if they can get an extension until another building is put up. Surveyor Sterrett said, “You are probably not talking thirty or forty feet right there, just based on that twenty five….” Board Member Heimlich asked, “How deep is it?” Mrs. Stoller explained that they are farming the rest of Mr. Lucterhand’s lot so he doesn’t have to mow it. David Parrish asked how much Mr. Lucterhand has stoned. Mr. Lucterhand answered, “From this building I have probably ten to twelve feet. I told them to go ahead and farm it because I’m not even close to putting up any more buildings. I don’t even have this one filled yet. It is supply and demand.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “I would say that basically if it is stone on both sides of the building and everything that before you can build another building, we’re going to tell you now that you can’t do it until you put this swale in.” Shirley Stoller said, “Well that would be alright if you have to put this in before you build another building. That would be fine.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “Is the current building big enough that it would’ve triggered….. (it is 710 square feet) So it wouldn’t have triggered the Drainage Ordinance itself.” Shirley Stoller said, “That’s why I asked if going out and checking after a year…..” Board Member Heimlich said, “That’s why we have these plans and periodically we go out and see if people did what they said they were going to do.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you see any problem with letting it ride until he builds the other buildings?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “No, the only problem I see is, who is going to build the detention pond? It is off-site.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Well, before he can get a building permit for…..” Shirley Stoller said, “Well, that’s not, I mean the only thing is, is that going to stay in our ownership then or is it going to be in his ownership or does that matter?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Whoever is going to maintain it I would say. If it stays in your ownership you’re probably going to have to maintain it.” Shirley Stoller said, “If we deeded this much more ground over to him……” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Or an easement………” Tami Parrish said, “I’d do an easement.” Charles Lucterhand said, “How much ground are you talking there? According to them, they’re saying the detention is on Ron and Shirley’s property.” Board Member Heimlich said it is off the site of the Mini Storage lot. Shirley Stoller said, “That’s just something Paul did because Ron had said on the master plan that he would do it and he…..” Tami Parrish said, “For the two hundred acres, not for the……..” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We assumed that you wanted to sell this so bad that you were willing to allow the detention out there.” Shirley Stoller said, “And that wasn’t it at all.” Tami Parrish said, “No, because they actually lost money.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would entertain a motion that we suspend the detention pond until which time the Wolcott Mini Storage builds another building or any other structure on that property, any changes on that property.” Shirley Stoller said, “So when he does build another building, we have to go just by this (drainage plan), and do we have to hire someone to come in and do this or can we do some of this ourselves?” Board Member Heimlich said, “As long as you do what it says.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “The specs are right there, it gives you the elevation here and then it gives you percent of grade and there’s the ending.” David Parrish said everything you need is right here.

Charles Lucterhand asked, “Is this something you are going to go tackle right away?” Shirley Stoller said, “Not until you build another building or make any changes. (Tami Parrish said, “We’re going to sell you this little piece of land there to give you an easement so….”) We will give you an easement so that you can, so we can do this drainage thing.” Chairman Schmierer said, “We’re going to forego it for now, until you build a building.” Charles Lucterhand said, “Another building.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, the one building by itself wouldn’t have triggered the Ordinance.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Area Plan will be notified of the same, so if you go to get a building permit they will send you……” Tami Parrish said, “They’ll remind you that you need to do this before you….” Charles Lucterhand said, “So, I need to talk to you and Ron…….” Shirley Stoller said, “Not until you get ready to build a building and then we’ll work something out on easement and putting, maybe we can bring a grader in and do it ourselves.” Charles Lucterhand said, “I’m fine with that, as long as everybody is happy and we’re all on the same page. I understand this is why you have a Board is to take care of matters like this. It is just that I can honestly tell everybody here that if I was aware that there was supposed to be something done it would’ve been taken care of.” Attorney Loy explained that sometimes plans are approved and then the people do not put them in.

Charles Lucterhand stated, “Let me get this straight. If I put up a third storage building, to get a drainage permit, the first step I am going to have to contact Stollers and a detention pond has to be put in per those specs. Then whoever the Surveyor is has to come out and ok it and then that’s when the Drainage Permit is issued.” Board Member Heimlich said, “The building permit.” Charles Lucterhand said, “I will not have to get another Drainage Permit?” Shirley Stoller asked how long a Drainage Permit lasts. The answer was a year. Chairman Schmierer said it has already run out. Charles Lucterhand said, “So I will have to get a brand new Drainage Permit.” Board Member Heimlich said we would re-issue that one unless something drastically has changed out there.

Board Member Heimlich made the motion that the Board waive the requirement of the detention pond for the Wolcott Mini Storage property out by the Stoller property, including that if any further building takes place they have to get the permit re-issued. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Attorney Loy directed Surveyor Sterrett to issue a letter to everybody concerned and a copy to Area Plan to give them a heads-up so if anyone goes in for a building permit they won’t just give it to them.

Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans for Gutwein Morning Song addition project at Reynolds for approval. He stated, “Engineer Frauhiger talked to Tillett Engineering and they are adding 30,000 square feet to the east end of the existing building.” Chairman Schmierer asked if they are changing the drainage any. Surveyor Sterrett said, “They had re-routed the County Tile and they had their downspouts dumping into the old County tile using it to get to the detention pond. The plan they submitted last week, they had the downspouts on the new building going off and straight into our County Tile and we didn’t like that. So Todd got a hold of their engineer and they changed it and are now routing it back down to this tile and into the detention pond. It is ready for approval.” Chairman Schmierer said he hoped it would not drown the neighbors. Surveyor Sterrett showed on the plans, “They also have detention here and this tile will not carry all the water that comes off the downspouts so it flows into here and detains while this empties out.” The Board studied the drawing and were satisfied with it.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for the addition project at Gutwein Morning Song at Reynolds. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett said that Engineer Frauhiger said they are still planning to add more on and if they do, they will have to have a more extensive drainage plan the next time.

Chairman Schmierer asked if Hubbards had picked up their certified letter yet. Surveyor Sterrett reported that the post office returned it to the Surveyor’s office today. Chairman Schmierer asked if we could have the Sheriff deliver the letter. Attorney Loy replied ‘yes’.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he and Chairman Schmierer went to a site on the Harp-Helfrick Drain to inspect a silting problem reported by Mr. and Mrs. Forsythe. He showed the Board photos of the site. It is where the Harp-Helfrick Ditch comes into an old gravel pit and goes on through to the river. There is no way to get equipment in to clean the ditch because the house is built right on the ditch right-of-way. Charlie Mellon said that was cleaned out in 1991 and they were building on to that house when the ditch was cleaned the last time. He said they’ll never get in with equipment to clean it out this time. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There is no obstruction to the drain. The silt has washed in evidently toward his pier there.” Charlie Mellon said when they cleaned that out before the whole thing was full, you couldn’t see any water in there. Chairman Schmierer said the guy has a new boat and says he can’t get it in there. He is wanting us to use County Drain maintenance funds to clean it out and it is questionable if we can even get in there. Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks he (Forsythe) can get his boat in there. Surveyor Sterrett said, “To me that silt there is just the top of the bank of the ditch. It has made its bank back. I took a contractor up there.” Chairman Schmierer said he is not sure that SFLECC would go up in there, not sure they’ll do anything with that. He said that George Milligan cleaned that out there where all that silt is before we came on the Board. He said, “They raised the drainage taxes, we had a Joint Board after we came on, had to raise all the assessments on the farmers upstream to pay for it.” Looking at the photos, Board Member Heimlich asked if this part is regulated. Surveyor Sterrett said it goes clear down to the river.

Charlie Mellon stated, “To tell the truth about it, the only way to fix it, which is too expensive, is to put in silt traps. George Milligan (former Surveyor) wanted to put them in right before you get to the big sewer.” Chairman Schmierer stated, “You can’t put silt traps in the ditch anymore. You have to put them off to the side and that is probably a million and a half dollars job. I don’t know what we tell the guy.” Charlie Mellon said, “He’s the one that built the house. You could tell him you can’t get anything done because he has built his house on the ditch right-of-way.” Attorney Loy asked, “We didn’t give him a consent?” Chairman Schmierer said, “No, he built that there before…he couldn’t have built on the ditch bank whether there was zoning or not. But he did. I’m not sure you can get machinery in there and what you can do with it.” Charlie Mellon said there is ten foot fall in the last half a mile of the ditch. Surveyor Sterrett said there is actually no silt in the pipes under the road. Chairman Schmierer said there is a lot of fall there. Surveyor Sterrett agreed. He said it looks like a natural creek to the north, sort of rocky and crooked.

Attorney Loy stated, “You can tell them that the cost is just prohibitive for the benefits. The cost to remediate the situation far exceeds the benefit.” Surveyor Sterrett said that Mr. Forsythe was complaining about the dead fish on that sand bar. Chairman Schmierer said, “He said it was a health hazard and I told him to call the Health Department. So, basically speaking, you think our position is just to take the position that the cost outweighs the benefits.” Attorney Loy answered, “Yes, I take it you all agree with that.” The Board was in agreement. Board Member Heimlich stated, “It only benefits one person.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “If there was a blockage there it would be different.” Chairman Schmierer said there is not a blockage and all you are doing is I making it for recreational use. Attorney Loy asked when was that house built. Charlie Mellon said 1991, it was a little house and you can see on the roofline that the big part was built on. Chairman Schmierer said, “He (Forsythe) said they cleaned the ditch from the other side.” Charlie Mellon said, “They did, from the east side. He had all kinds of junk and everything there, you couldn’t get in there. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “On down towards the river, a contractor told me that he cleaned that out with private funds. He said he just did it.” Chairman Schmierer said, “If this guy wants to take private funds and clean it we don’t have any objections.” Charlie Mellon asked, “On down to the landing where they go into the river?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, he said he dug it down three feet or so but he said it would silt up again.” Chairman Schmierer said the guy we talked to said they cleaned it out downstream but they didn’t clean it out up here.

Surveyor Sterrett reported he sent a work order out for cleaning the Unroe Ditch out in the Town of Wolcott. He said that he would probably have the spray list out this week. Surveyor Sterrett said he has started surveying the McKillip Br. #1.

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

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.