Get Adobe Flash player


JULY 6, 2004 TAPE #013

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 Schmierer, O. D. Ferguson and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer L. Todd Frauhiger and Secretary Romana Kiser present. Others attending were Brent Weber, Charlie Mellon and Dan Colvin.

The Board discussed the work on the drainage for the Hubbard GM Center parking lot extension has begun. Board Member Ferguson noted that they were putting an electric line down there also. Surveyor Sterrett stated that they are going to put a pump in the pit and it is for their lighting, too. Chairman Schmierer asked, “How about the fees owed?” Secretary Kiser answered, “We haven’t heard anything about that and the attorney didn’t mention it in the letter.” Chairman Schmierer asked if we should contact their attorney. Attorney Loy answered ‘yes’. Chairman Schmierer directed Secretary Kiser to write a letter to their attorney (Shelmon) and tell him that we expect the fees to be paid.

Brent Weber from Evenson Explosives addressed the Board and requested a variance to the seventy-five foot right-of-way on the Milton Martin Ditch in Monon Township. Mr. Weber stated, “What we are looking to do up there is put an explosive magazine site where we can service the quarries there at Monon, Francesville and Rensselaer at that site. The problem we are having there is, all magazines have to be set a specified distance away from any inhabited buildings. Where we will need to put the powder bins is going to be right back in the corner of that piece of property right along side of the drainage ditch. I have a little drawing here if you want to see it.” Chairman Schmierer asked if this is on Quarry Road. Mr. Weber said it is. Mr. Weber pointed out the site area on the drawing.

Chairman Schmierer asked what they want to do. Brent Weber said, “Put powder bins and parking area for semi trailers. We will need to be about fifty feet from the top of that ditch. There is a fence line in there right now.” Surveyor Sterrett and Brent Weber discussed some property lines at this point (see tape). Brent Weber said they are surveying it right now. Chairman Schmierer said, “So basically what you are doing is storing explosives there.” Brent Weber said, “There will be blasting agents stored there, yes, basically fertilizer. But the problem, being, I need to be 2275 feet away from this operators’ shack here, or anything else, County roads, anybody else’s houses or anything like that.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Are you going to be that far from the County Road when you are down here?” Brent Weber answered, “We will be farther than that. The County road there will be, straight across is 2250 from the County Road.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “And they’re going to be in semi trailers?” Brent Weber answered, “There will be some semi trailers and then there will be some overhead bins.” Chairman Schmierer said, “You’re going to be within fifty foot of the ditch?” Mr. Weber answered ‘yes’. Board Member Heimlich said, “He’s asking for the right to encroach then.” Attorney Loy said, “Right.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We have a seventy-five foot right-of-way and you want to be within 50 feet of the bank?” Mr. Weber answered, “Right, with the bins and I’ll need to get a fence on the outside of that. There is an existing farm fence there. I’ll need to put up a security fence. The fence that is there right now is five feet from the top of the bank.” Surveyor Sterrett asked if the fence to be constructed would be a chain-link fence. Mr. Weber responded, “It will be a seven foot chain-link fence with three barbs on top, a security fence.” Chairman Schmierer asked for the Board’s opinion. Board Member Heimlich said, “We can get in and work from the other side, right?” Mr. Weber said ‘yes’.

Chairman Schmierer asked if there will be a service road back to it, accessible to the County Road. Mr. Weber said yes, it will come off of the County Road right here (shown on drawing). Chairman Schmierer asked how they would keep the thieves out of there. Mr. Weber answered, “Gates.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I guess the fence wouldn’t be that big of a problem, but it would be their responsibility.” Board Member Heimlich said it would be their responsibility if you had to get in, it would be part of the variance. Chairman Schmierer said, “As long as the buildings aren’t any closer than fifty foot, I wouldn’t want any buildings closer than fifty foot with those kinds of products in them, would you, if we were going to work around them. The fence is their responsibility. If they put a fence up and it has to come down to work on the ditch, it is their responsibility to take it up and down.” Attorney Loy said, “Buildings no closer than fifty feet from the crest of the ditch. This consent is anything you chose to make it, including that we won’t do it. You can attach any conditions you want. Just tell me what you want and I will fill it out.”

Brent Weber asked, “Will we be able to take the parking lot area up against the fence?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “As long as anything that is up there can be moved.” Brent Weber said, “It will be semi trailers and ……inaudible.” Chairman Schmierer said you can move those.

Attorney Loy reviewed, “Fences no closer than five feet……..” Chairman Schmierer said, “He wants to put the fence up within five foot to the crest of the bank. But it is their responsibility to move it if we have to work on it. And no building closer than fifty foot.” Board Member Heimlich said that sounds fine. Chairman Schmierer asked for a motion to give a Right to Encroach/Variance for Evenson Explosives on the Milton Martin Drain, “No building closer than fifty foot, fence to be five foot with the responsibility with the owners to remove if need be.” Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger presented the drainage plans for Lakes Federal Credit Union building site for approval. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “It is a rather complicated one. We have had a number of meetings on site. I think a week ago last Friday Denny and I met with some people from the City to actually look at the situation and see if we could come up with a better solution. A week ago yesterday we met on site with Dan (Colvin Builders) and some officials from the bank (Lakes Federal) and then last Wednesday, I think, Denny and some individuals from our office (CTE Engineers, Inc.) actually did some additional survey. Here’s what the situation is, this is the property the old trailer court used to be sitting on, down by the Drive-In Theatre. We are proposing a Credit Union in this area (shown on drawing) with this existing house staying. The plan that was submitted for drainage approval shows a dry bottom detention pond with about 680 feet of pipe it appeared, going over private property, going down the hill and tying in to a small tile on down River Road. We didn’t like that idea. I think Denny and I and the City people, no one was thrilled about that idea. So, an alternative we came up with is, the Main Street project which will go under construction next year, actually utilities are going to start this November and the storm sewer goes in next year. The entrance to the Drive-In is right here and there is a storm inlet in the new storm sewer system which basically is right at the corner of the property that we are talking about. The first thing that we did when we were out there a week ago Friday is, notice that all the land currently drains back to this corner. Denny and Doug (Roberts) noted that underneath the fence between this property and the Drive-In property there are four existing inlets. And all the surface water from this site drains down and gets in one of those four existing inlets and drains off through the Drive-In property. The fourth inlet, which is sitting some place in this area here, actually has a maybe 10 inch clay tile that actually goes on to this property. We’re not sure what it used to drain, but it actually comes across the property line and comes onto this property. So, as a temporary basis, what we wanted to do, and we talked to the Drive-In Theatre about this, we would put a four inch pipe from this detention pond into that existing clay pipe and allow that to be the outlet through the Drive-In Theatre until such time that this is constructed next year. Then the bank will come back and disconnect it from that existing clay tile and run a pipe up and tie into the inlet at the corner. When we did a survey last week, the only problem that we found is that this inlet hadn’t been designed low enough. So, we talked to Bob Fox at the City and we actually re-designed this storm sewer on Main Street so it is low enough so that in the future as soon as it is constructed, the bank can come back and disconnect here, run a six inch tile up here, tie into the six inch stub that we will leave out of that inlet and the water will then proceed through the storm sewer system and on down to the lake.” Board Member Ferguson asked if it would go down to Ghost Hollow. Engineer Frauhiger explained, “It won’t go all the way down to Ghost Hollow. At the Bush property, the used furniture store, right at the edge of that property there is a drainage easement. There will be a new thirty-six inch pipeline through that easement down to the lake.” He stated it is ready for approval.

Surveyor Sterrett said, “Here is Jim’s (Milligan Surveying) plan, I guess we are going to approve it with the addition of……” Engineer Frauhiger stated, “We are going to approve this as it was submitted, but as soon as it is approved, Dave (Finley of CTE) is going to issue a letter to Dan (Colvin Builders), and what we will do is, we are going to come out and work with Dan during construction to make sure they tie in correctly into this clay pipe and then Dan understands and the Credit Union understands that as soon as this inlet is in place up here, there will be a connection made to that inlet.”

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Lakes Federal Credit Union on Rickey Road, Monticello as presented by CTE Engineers, Inc. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Everyone feels that will be a lot better than having 680 feet of six inch pipe on private property and trying to maintain it.”


Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I got a call last week from Larry Udermark who said his neighbor, Larry O’Brien, sent him a certified letter saying that the Commissioners wanted him to remove the obstruction. I didn’t see the letter, this was by phone call.” Chairman Schmierer said, “It didn’t come from us, I don’t know anything about it. Where is it at?” Surveyor Sterrett said it is in Gingrich Addition. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I tried to explain to him that I thought he was trying to go through the process of the Obstruction Code. He tried to explain to me what was going on.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “A neighbor feud?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes. He talked like it was a tile.” Surveyor Sterrett said the neighbor thinks it has been plugged by the other neighbor. Surveyor Sterrett said, “He thought he was going to sit on it because he doesn’t think he has caused an obstruction. I told him I can’t really do anything until I get a petition from this Larry O’Brien. So it would be thirty days from now if we ever did anything if we get it. So I just thought I’d bring it to your attention.”


Surveyor Sterrett also reported, “Down on County Road 700 South just west of County Road 300 East we had a washout there last July on the Road right-of-way, Gordon Denton on the Ella Baker Ditch, the County came in and put rip-rap in there to save the bridge and the guard rail and then in August or September last year it washed out again. So I had Randy DeVault pull the rip-rap out and shape the ditch a little better and it washed out again with a four inch rain. I don’t know why it is doing it. That was west of the ditch on the north side of the road. Out there where Teels live. So, Steve Brooke and I went out there and looked at it and he thought he could use Cum Bridge…..I had got Randy to, we decided to go ahead and put a grouted rock chute. We dipped it out again and grouted it then I took Steve out there and he thought they could use the Cum Bridge fund to pay for it. So that’s what we’re going to do.”


Surveyor Sterrett showed pictures of the Moots Creek log jam. Chairman Schmierer said, “I’ve seen it. That is something, isn’t it? (Surveyor Sterrett agreed) Were you able to get a hold of anybody?” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I called Sue Gerlach with DNR and she said there wasn’t any funding to do anything with, it was a natural occurrence.” Chairman Schmierer explained to the Board that it was down on the Gish property. He said, “I’d hate to explode this log jam because it would take the bridge out down there. It isn’t going any place right now, but it washed his roads out and everything else.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes it did. I talked to his neighbor, Butch Franscoviak, and he said that ditch is that way all through his land in Tippecanoe County. He said there are log jams down there you wouldn’t believe and washouts. Butch said it happened before, because he had rock in there.” Chairman Schmierer said, “The County put rock on that one side of the creek there to save the bridge four or five years ago and it washed that all out this time.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “The neighbor said that log jam was already there, some of it. I thought maybe the sandbar caused it to start backing up. The ditch is just everywhere in there. It is about 150 feet wide there.”


Chairman Schmierer asked what Sue Gerlach said about it, can it be moved? Surveyor Sterrett said, “She said there wasn’t any funding to do anything with. Already Soil and Water has been out there and I think she called IDEM.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Well, he had called FEMA and FEMA said they don’t do anything for agriculture.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know how they could get it out of there, with an excavator?” Chairman Schmierer said it would take an excavator to get some of that stuff out of there. He said, “Mr. Gish first called me and thought it was brush coming downstream from where they took the other bridge out. I don’t know what we can do, I told him the other day.” Surveyor Sterrett asked if he felt the bridge was in jeopardy. Chairman Schmierer said, “Not right now. But you get a four or five inch rain it might get in jeopardy. I suppose that is when FEMA will come in; they would replace the bridge if it takes it out. That’s about what will happen.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “The neighbor said he was standing on that bridge when the log or the tree hit it and he immediately got off of it.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That is what Mr. Gish told Steve and I. He said a walnut tree you couldn’t put your arms around came down there and turned and went through those roots and all and showed it to us downstream. There is a big log that has gone down through there and is caught downstream. So, I don’t know what we do. The problem of it is, we can’t remove it because it is our outlet, because it is downstream 5 or 6 miles from our outlet. It isn’t affecting our outlet.” Surveyor Sterrett said it is 7 or 8 miles. He said that Sue Gerlach is with DNR. Chairman Schmierer asked what she said about someone going in there and taking it out. Surveyor Sterrett did not ask her about that. Chairman Schmierer said, “Steve Brooke called Tippecanoe County because he thought about going in and taking it out himself and Joe Buntin who is head of County Highway Department down there said don’t do it, they will sue you for working in their right-of-way.”


Engineer Frauhiger said, “Technically you need an Obstruction in Floodway Permit to take it out. It would probably just be a letter you send to DNR. You would probably get a letter back right of way saying to go ahead and take it out.” Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks White County was declared a disaster area. Chairman Schmierer said, “Yes, I was asking Gordie (Gordon Cochran, Emergency Management Director) if we could get anything to get that cleaned out. Would Emergency Management have anything to do with that?” Board Member Heimlich said it wouldn’t hurt to ask him.

Chairman Schmierer said he will contact him.


Surveyor Sterrett said, “I haven’t done anything with Wayne Hunt’s watershed yet. I know we discussed it and I thought you and a fellow commissioner were going to look at it.” Chairman Schmierer said John (Heimlich) was in the field and they had not gotten out there yet. Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett to review assessment changes proposed. (See tape). Chairman Schmierer stated that Mr. Hunt’s complaint was that he didn’t want to pay any assessment on the H. A. B. Moorhaus, but the drain goes right through his farm. Board Member Heimlich said he has to pay something on that. He stated, “Some of that water has to be going through there.” Engineer Frauhiger said you might change the drainage with tiling but you are not going to change the surface drainage, so surface runoff is still going to go where it is naturally going anyway. Chairman Schmierer said, “It is all tile. He tiled some more ground and tiled it the other way.” Chairman Schmierer and Board Member Heimlich will go out to the site. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “His total assessment the way it is now is $602.56. The change would be $527.00. That would leave $52.00 on the H. A. B. Moorhaus.” The Board did not think Mr. Hunt could complain about that.


Surveyor Sterrett said he would get a hold of TP & W today (Piggyback/Hoosier Lift). He thought they had that pumped down farther than he had ever seen it.


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


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.