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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Drainage Board held a regular meeting on Monday, September 18, 2017. The meeting was held at the White County Building, 2nd floor, Commissioners’ conference room beginning at 10:30 a.m. Drainage Board members present were: President Steve Burton, Vice President John Heimlich and Board Member David Diener. Also, present were the White County Surveyor Bradley E. Ward, Attorney George Loy and Board Secretary Jennifer Hill.


President Burton called the meeting to order.


  • Vice President Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the regular meeting held on September 5, 2017, seconded by Board Member Diener.

Vote: Unanimous

Drainage Review

Dollar General - Buffalo

Surveyor Ward explained that this review is located on State Road 16 near 600 E. Lots 1 and 2 of Crawford Corners Subdivision. It’s a little different design, they’re going to be using dry wells. Surveyor Ward made a site visit with Todd on Friday. Todd has reviewed the submitted plans and he recommends approval. Surveyor Ward explained that the Plan meets the Ordinance as designed. Board Member Diener made a motion to approve the Drainage Plan for the Dollar General in Buffalo, Indiana; with a second from Vice President Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous (3 – Favor, 0 – Oppose)


Buffalo Ponds

Surveyor Ward explained that Mr. Walt Hough requests to speak with the Board again in regards to the Buffalo Ponds, behind where the old True Value site. Mr. Hough explained that today he brought with him some people that know more about the pits and he does. Mr. Hough added that “they were just trying to find out what can be done and how it can be done” and thanked the Board for their time. Mr. John Lee “Jack” Duvall spoke in regards to his history on the ponds. His parents bought the farm to the North of the discount store in 1957. The 1963 aerial shows 3 property owners that decided to construct channels by dredging the wet lands of the Tippecanoe River, they could throw the overburden out on the banks and that then became waterfront property. However, no consideration was given to maintenance or reconstruction of the canal, they were just dug out and left. Frank Irish, which is now Maple Bend constructed his by coming off the river heading to the Northwest, curving and running parallel to the river and then going back out. The second was Ralph Palmer and he dug his similar but after he came in he went down to and “T’d” into the Harp-Helfrick Ditch that went through there and went on out into the river. There was also a thumb that went up through there also. The third is the one which we are talking about and that was done by Bill Richey, the one that started and he had a gravel pit there that they removed some gravel there for construction purposes. The idea then was come up to run these channels out from the ditch that comes through the pit that was dug there. The gravel wasn’t suitable for construction because it had veins of clay in it. All of that was placed on top and this is a flood plain of the Tippecanoe River and natural wetlands. During high water events it’s spread out over these areas. Now we’ve dug the trenches or canals and built it up a little bit and now we have waterfront property that has access to the river, which is much more of an incentive to sell these lots. As time went on, in Maple Bend as the river came down through there it came into the channel, the flow of the river slowed down and the silt and the sediment began to build up. Now the canal at the top end is completely filled in and there are now houses built on that silting that has taken place over the years. The rest is nothing but a swampy mosquito trap and where it outlets and goes back into the river is so narrow that you could step across it, it’s only about a foot in width where it returns into the river. Same situation with Palmers on the upper end of the canal, it’s silted in as well. With his by going into the Harp-Helfrick Ditch it was able to maintain a little bit longer but it is now in the same condition. The third that Bill Richey constructed has the ditch flowing through it and that is what has kept it to this point today. It isn’t filled in like the others. The natural siltation of the Harp-Helfrick Ditch, as the water comes down during high water events it settles as it goes on into the next larger area. We all pay ditch assessment on the Harp-Helfrick Ditch, whenever the need is determined, it is assessed to each one of us. We’re on a drainage there that is a 75ft right of way both ways. It’s for reconstruction and maintenance of these waterways. As it flows into the canals there is no right of way there. Houses were built right there and there is no economical way of getting in there to clean this out.


At this point several members from the community asked questions that the Board answered. (Digital Minutes are available upon request.) The Board asked that Surveyor Ward do some research and find out when the ponds where done and when they were put on the assessment rolls. Walt Hough said that he could contact the company that was seen in Carroll County and see if he can set up a meeting with them to meet up and look at the situation.



In other business, there will be an Indian Creek Meeting at 10:00 a.m. September 20, 2017.


There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was adjourned.






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Steve Burton, President John C. Heimlich, Vice President David Diener, Member