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JUNE 7, 2004 TAPE #011

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. “Bud” Ferguson, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Charles Mellon and Tony Cain.

Surveyor Sterrett presented one sealed quote for spraying White County regulated ditches. Surveyor Sterrett said the quote was for 10.32 miles. Secretary Kiser stated they were asked to bid per ditch and a total bid. There were five Invitations To Bid sent out. The only quote received was from Shideler Spray Service for Nine Thousand Nine Hundred and Eight Dollars and Seventy-Two Cents ($9,908.72). Chairman Schmierer asked if that bid was in line. Surveyor Sterrett said if you figure 12 cents a foot, that comes to $6,500.00 but some of it probably needs more than 12 cents. The Board reviewed the list of ditches quoted.

Chairman Schmierer asked for a motion to accept the bid. Board Member Ferguson made the motion to accept the bid from Shideler Spray Service for $9,908.72 to spray the County ditches listed on the Invitation To Bid. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett asked to discuss what to do about Hubbard Car Dealership’s fees and fines. Chairman Schmierer asked if they have done anything out there yet. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “April 30th we sent him a certified letter, May 17th the Post Office returned the letter because it wasn’t picked up. May 17th I took it out to the Sheriff’s office and they delivered it. May 18th I got a call from Attorney Shelmon. The 20th we got a letter from Attorney Shelmon. June 2nd we got another letter from him, showing Wrede’s estimate.”

Board Member Ferguson stated, “They said they couldn’t do it (the work on the lot drainage) because it has been too wet.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, for a year it has been too wet. Well, it has been frozen too. What do we do? It seems like they are trying to do something.” Board Member Ferguson said, “I see Howard’s must have bulldozed some stone up in a pile.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I assume Howard’s did that, I didn’t see anybody do it. If you look on Wrede’s estimate, part of his estimate is for moving the stone that is over the property line.” Charlie Mellon said that is probably for moving Hubbard’s stone. Chairman Schmierer said that somebody has been out there and painted arrows and markings on the property.

Surveyor Sterrett said the first letter was the letter stating we would start the $500.00 a day fines. Chairman Schmierer asked if we let it ride for thirty days and see what happens. Board Member Heimlich said, “I suppose, it looks like we are making a little headway.” Secretary Kiser said, “We noticed that he (Attorney Shelmon) didn’t mention the outstanding fees due in the letter.” Chairman Schmierer asked if Attorney Shelmon knew that he (Hubbard) had outstanding fees. Surveyor Sterrett said, “That day he called me I returned his call about 4:30 and he said, ‘What do you want done, do you just want the job done and the fees paid?’ and I said ‘yes, that’s what I want done.’ He said ‘I’ll write you a letter stating the fact’.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “Did he say anything about paying the fees or not?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Not in the letter.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I didn’t think so. I read the letter the other day. Why don’t we let thirty days go by and see what happens and if we have to we will contact his attorney again about paying. We’ll have George (Loy) contact his attorney if we have


Surveyor Sterrett reported, “May 18th we put 500 feet of tile in out at Claude Butt’s through the Pass woods. Then it rained and Claude didn’t think his water was doing right and he called me up last Friday though and said he thought it was helping. It was better than it was. We have it set up to dig a couple more holes. There are two fence rows and there could be some roots blocking that tile that we didn’t replace. So, we’re going to explore two more holes and possibly get the jet back out there to go through it. We had the trees taken off the tile, at north end of Pass’s woods. The tile was $3,500.00 like we talked about at the Drainage Board meeting and $1,900.00 for the other work, getting the brush off and that’s all paid by the Church Drain. Allen Howe said he would dig two more exploring holes for nothing so that’s what we are going to do.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “We had the Unroe Drain dipped at Wolcott and evidently it is a little bit deep and there is water standing in it now. So, the employees of the Town of Wolcott called me up and said that there was water standing in it and I didn’t think there was any way to keep water from standing in it unless you paved it. He did probably get it a little bit low, but I think water is going to stand there anyway.” Chairman Schmierer said he thinks it always has. Surveyor Sterrett said, “The Fire Dept. is supposed to blow the culverts out underneath the crossings and they haven’t done that yet. That is on Scott Street south of the railroad tracks. I also had him (County Line Tile) dip the Kleyla Branch of the Esther Fraser there in Reynolds north of Highway 24 (at the old trailer park). There was a bunch of trash in it, and the culvert under First Street was holding back water. He had to haul it off and the dump fee was $560.00. The total fee was $ 843.00. We have water moving through there now.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Duane Pilotte called again about the ponds at the TP& W (piggyback) site. Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t make it over there, but he called Joe Schoenbein, the man in charge of pumping that out, and they got a pump in there the same day to start pumping it out. They had filled up again and overflowed. Chairman Schmierer stated that they have got to take care of that. Surveyor Sterrett said, “He (Joe Schoenbein of TP & W) called me this morning and wanted me to come over and look at it. He thought he had it pumped down. I said ‘what is going to happen? We can’t just keep doing this.’ He said he thinks they have somebody in there to buy it or rent it and they’ll fix the pumps then.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That’s flooding quite a bit of farm ground.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, it’s keeping it wet.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “Allen Howe also put 1,300 foot of ten inch tile in at Reiff’s on the York Tile. We found a place where we could hook on and the water was moving. We thought we were going to have to put more than that in, but we only put in 1,300 feet because it ran along the woods. They have taken the woods out now and the tile was full of roots so that’s what we put in. Then it rained and the water stood over the tile. I went down and I walked the whole tile and I didn’t see any suck holes from there to the outlet, but the outlet has an obstruction. It goes through a headwall and there’s no water coming out of the tile at the headwall. So, there’s some obstruction there behind the headwall, it’s caved in. So, he was going to fix that, put a new outlet in. We’ll see what that did for us. He actually left the old tile in and hooked it up to the new tile. The air well toward the outlet had a foot and a half of water over the tile the day I was there. There’s either a blockage at the outlet or a blockage between the outlet and where we put the new tile in. Where we hooked it up, the water was moving that day, but there was only 3 or 4 inches of water in the tile, so maybe when it gets full it doesn’t get all the way through. Has anyone heard anything from Reiffs?” No one had.

Chairman Schmierer asked about where Tony Cain dug holes over at Seafield on the Jamroz Tile Drain. He asked if that was moving a lot of water now. Surveyor Sterrett said that it had a lot of sand in it on the west end and we got a lot of sand out of it. It wasn’t a very big tile; it was down to six inch. Tony said it was only eight inch tile at the driveway (Primmer’s). Chairman Schmierer said it is trying to carry a lot of water for that size tile. He said that Furrer put a lot of laterals into it. Surveyor Sterrett said they got a lot of sand out of it and some tile batts (pieces) and they are not sure where the tile batts came from. Tony said there might be a section in there where the tile is bad and the tops are just falling in. Tony Cain stated that the younger Furrer wanted them to rip out about a hundred feet or so and replace it. Surveyor Sterrett said the tile is in debt and only takes in $358.00 a year. Chairman Schmierer said we probably need to raise the assessment on that. If we are going to spend money on it, we have to raise the assessment on it.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that his crew has been working on surveying Br. 1 Mc Killip Drain at 400 North and 700 West. The surveying is about done on that.

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

Board Member Heimlich reported, “Blair and Underhill have been calling about that property out by the Airport on the Lane Ditch (County Faris Ditch). I think it goes back to 1980 he said when they did something to the runway out there and they cut a bunch of trees down and it washed a bunch of silt down apparently in front of his property. He said it was cleaned once in the 1980’s but he thought that the Airport did it and they just took the sand back up where it was and it just washed down there again. He said he has a bunch of paper work on it and I told him I’d come down and meet with him there. Could you (Surveyor Sterrett) meet Thursday morning? I’ll tell him about 8:30. He says you have to go through the Airport. I thought I would call Phil Gutwein, too, I don’t know how long he has been on the Board, maybe he knows something about it.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “That’s really not a regulated drain down there.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, the Lane Ditch (Faris) is, but probably not down where they are talking about.” Surveyor Sterrett asked if he is on the lake. Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes he’s on the lake. I told him, he said the Lane Ditch is a County ditch and I said yes, but most of the ditches, half a mile or a mile before they get to the lake they’re unregulated and I imagine that is the case here. So see what you can find out and I’ll call him back and tell him we will meet him out there at 8:30 Thursday.”

Chairlie Mellon said there was something in one of the newspapers about some guy donated some land and they are going to do something down there around the Lane Ditch and some other ditch. Surveyor Sterrett said the guy on the west side of Airport Road that wanted to straighten the ditch out, got in trouble with IDEM. Charlie Mellon said that Darrell Diggs gave them so much ground to do something. Surveyor Sterrett said he is the one that put a silt trap in there and the neighbors to the south were against it.

Board Member Heimlich reported that there was a special meeting of the Monon Ditch Joint Board. He said, “We got an e-mail from IDEM on Wednesday saying that they weren’t going to approve any digging or clearing or anything else on the last seven miles of that ditch.” Charlie Mellon said this end of it is where it needs cleaning! Board Member Heimlich said, “Which anyone knows that, it pretty well means you can’t do the project. So we met, our attorney out of Indianapolis was there to discuss options. He said it came out of the blue. They never did schedule a Hearing on it, they had taken comments and I thought there might be quite a few comments from down here, from people on the lake, about the silt, and there were a few but not a lot and most of them were more along the lines of concerns and questions they wanted answered, not really opposed to the project. But, the guy from IDEM indicated that due to the responses he couldn’t approve it. Didn’t even have a Hearing or anything, just said that he wasn’t going to approve it, any digging or clearing the last seven miles of the project.”

Charlie Mellon asked, “They didn’t give any reason or anything?” Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, just because of the few letters that they had received. And I think that means ten or twelve letters when you have 5,500 landowners on the ditch. And, without even a Hearing. And like I said, most of them weren’t really opposed to it, they were just questions about the project and concerns, was this or that going to be done. So, the attorney had several options of things we could do. I think to start with we are probably going to go with the least aggressive, but not waste too much time at it. He thinks that we can make the argument that we don’t need an IDEM approval. And, we may go that direction if we don’t get any satisfaction soon. (Some discussion about those opposed followed. See tape.) Most of the questions from around here were about silt traps and how we were going to seed the banks afterwards and things like that. I didn’t think it was that negative.” (More discussion on pros and cons of the project and some of the letters written about it. See tape.)

Charlie Mellon felt that Representatives Gutwein and Lehe should be able to help. Board Member Heimlich said they are to contact them and our Senator. Surveyor Sterrett asked if IDEM came to the Hearings. Board Member Heimlich said, “IDEM was supposed to schedule a Hearing. They advertised for public comment and I thought that there had to be a Hearing, but they said no, based on the comments they could schedule a Hearing or not. I couldn’t believe they had come down with the ruling without having a Hearing. So, that’s where that stands right now. We had been waiting, all the other permits we had gotten, we were waiting on IDEM for three months and couldn’t figure out what the hold up was. They had said they were looking at it, they’d get it before long, and now out of the blue they denied it.”

Charlie Mellon told that the Harper Brothers up north of Medaryville estimated they lost 1,200 to 1,500 acres this last week. They farm between 6,000 and 7,000 acres.

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Why seven miles? How long is the project?” Board Member Heimlich answered, “Twenty-nine miles. The last seven is about where we had found that bat. But with Fish and Wildlife we had that settled.” Charlie Mellon asked if the commissioners were at the meeting. Board Member Heimlich said that four out of five were there at the meeting Friday.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.