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July 19, 2004 Tape #014

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 A. Schmierer, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer L. Todd Frauhiger and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Larry O’Brien, Rex Hendryx, Charles Mellon and Steve Brooke.

The Board discussed what to do about the Bunnells’ problem with their yard and home flooding on the Guy Williams Drain. Chairman Schmierer reviewed, “We went down there. There had been a rock chute in there in 1998. In 1998 they took the rock chute out and the rock chute was in this section of the yard back here (photos shown) behind, basically down across here. Roaches farm that and the water now presently comes down there. There is a swale; you can see a swale down through here. I had talked to her. She has talked to us two or three times and I told Denny to bring it to the Board today. That rock chute and swale needs to be cut back in that bank. When they dug that ditch they stacked it up and took the rock chute out. The water would have to run uphill about three or four feet to get it back in there. It really needs to be put back in there to protect their property from having the water run down in it. I guess my question is, we have plenty of money in the maintenance fund haven’t we?” Surveyor Sterrett answered there is $9,000.00. Chairman Schmierer asked what he thinks it would cost to put that back in.

Surveyor Sterrett said, “I was talking to Dennis Sparks (Segal’s) last week. He had been out there last week, I think it was, and they paid him to fix the tile along the road, Bunnells did, (Chairman Schmierer said that is in Carroll County) so he said he put a couple of catch basins in there. He thought that they probably needed the rock chute back in there, but he wasn’t too sure that there was a grouted rock chute in there before; he said he thought it was just a cut and they piled rocks up but the Bunnells said they grouted it. But there needs to be something in there. Back to your question, the cost would be probably over three thousand dollars.”

Chairman Schmierer said when they redid the ditch in 1998 they took out the rock chute in the area where the water was running off the back of their property and put the spill (spoil) up there. Attorney Loy asked, “These landowners?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “No, we had it done. I think George (Milligan) was still Surveyor at the time. But anyway they put the spill on the bank but didn’t put the rock chute back. Water would have to run uphill three or four feet to get it out of there. Now presently it is running right in the back of their house. Do we have to have a joint meeting with Carroll County to put that back in or can we just go ahead and put it back in?” Attorney Loy asked if it is in White County. Chairman Schmierer said no it is in Carroll County. Attorney Loy asked, “Did we approach them about a joint effort?” Chairman Schmierer said we haven’t yet. Attorney Loy said, “I mean way back when.” Chairman Schmierer did not know about when that was done. Attorney Loy said we are assessing Carroll County land on it, so they had to have opted out to begin with. Chairman Schmierer asked if we just need to check with them and get a letter for opting out so we can go ahead and get that fixed. Attorney Loy answered yes, the Carroll County Drainage Board. Chairman Schmierer said, “Let’s follow up with that. I will try to get it done one day this week. Don Rhine is a commissioner down there and he talked to me about a tile in the road. They paid to have it fixed themselves (Bunnells) because the County said they didn’t have money to fix it with. They fixed it, they just blocked it. They had to take it out. This here, I think the maintenance fee should pay for that. I’ll get a hold of Chapman down there some day this week and see about that.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “When I was talking to Dennis (Sparks of Segal’s) he said that there’s two catch basins there that washed out and they had to repair them last year or two years ago and he had gotten a hold of Soil and Water and they were ready to put in a rock chute and all Rick Roach had to do was get a hold of them. Bunnell was going to pay the ten percent, but it didn’t happen.” Chairman Schmierer said he will get a hold of Carroll County Surveyor Chapman this week some time and if he wants a Joint meeting we can have a Joint meeting.

Surveyor Sterrett had a letter from Dale Gudeman’s attorney, Charles W. Weaver, inquiring about a 16 inch tile drain that drains his land and asking him to verify if it is a regulated drain. Mr. Sterrett determined it is the S. Potter Drain. See letter attached to hard copy of minutes. Mr. Gudeman believes that an additional 24 inch tile will adequately drain the affected land. Mr. Gudeman does not believe the existing tile is adequate. He wants to put in a 24 inch tile along side of the existing tile and pay for it himself. Surveyor Sterrett said that Pulaski County is in control of the maintenance fund for that drain so he forwarded the letter on to them. He said their Drainage Board meeting is at one o’clock today. Chairman Schmierer said we can’t do anything until we hear back from them. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Unless George (Attorney Loy) has some comment on what they CAN do.”

The Board studied where the land is. Board Member Heimlich said it is at the County Line. Chairman Schmierer asked if the S. Potter Tile is a regulated drain. It is. It empties into the M. P. Hill Ditch. Chairman Schmierer asked if he wants to replace it. Surveyor Sterrett said no, he wants to put one right along side of it the way the letter sounds. Attorney Loy reviewed in the letter that Mr. Gudeman wants to put in a 24 inch tile at his cost. Chairman Schmierer said he has to have right-of-way; we can’t give him right-of-way across people’s property. Attorney Loy said, “If he put it in within the 75 foot right-of-way I guess, that may or may not be feasible.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “He (Surveyor Sterrett) says Pulaski County has a Drainage Board meeting this afternoon at one o’clock.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “It is actually their tile. Pulaski County collects on that tile but it is White County’s ground. That’s why I sent it to Pulaski County.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Maybe we ought to table that until we hear from Pulaski County. It is their call isn’t it?” Attorney Loy agreed. Surveyor Sterrett asked if we need to respond to the letter yet. Attorney Loy said to ask what Pulaski County is willing to do with respect to that.

Engineer Frauhiger presented drainage plans for Apple Acres Subdivision, Prairie Township, White County, Indiana, located at 1100 S and 200 E. He explained, “It is a six lot subdivision at that intersection in an existing apple orchard. There is an existing lake on the site and they are proposing in Lot 6 to put a dry bottom detention pond in and connect that dry bottom detention pond with a twelve inch pipe to the lake. Quite honestly, I have redone the calculations over the weekend when I was reviewing them, and they have taken a pretty big chunk off of Lot 6 for that drainage easement and this dry bottom pond. I am going to go ahead and recommend approval like this, but I am going to talk to them. It appears there is enough storage capacity in the existing lake to go ahead and put a twelve inch pipe and a catch basin in here and take it all to the existing lake. Then the existing lake would have a connection to an open ditch that goes to

Moots Creek. I have been trying to get a hold of Rob or Jim (Milligan Surveying) about the detention pond, and I am going to go ahead and recommend it for approval like this, but I think you might be able to get away with a catch basin back in the corner of this lot and that twelve inch pipe over to that existing lake because that existing lake has enough detention”… inaudible .…(Steve Brooke asked how the water is going to get out of the existing lake)……Engineer Frauhiger answered, “There’s a pipe downstream that goes from the existing lake to a open ditch that appears to go all the way down to Moots Creek. That pipe does have a couple of blowholes across the top of it. Apparently they had a pretty good rain up there because there was evidence that the existing lake had slightly overtopped its banks but hadn’t gone anyplace, and apparently got drawn down.” Steve Brooke stated that it is thirty feet wide across the top. Engineer Frauhiger said, “I am just going to run it by Jim and Rob and see what they think, might be able to save that dry bottom pond and not have to put it on Lot 6. I am ready to recommend approval and I am going to continue conversations with Rob and Jim.”

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Apple Acres Subdivision. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Larry O’Brien addressed the Board concerning a drainage problem. Mr. O’Brien stated, “We are on a private road down at Lower Guingrich. That road has a sewer that runs from the road to the lake. The sewer is plugged up and we requested the neighbor allow us to come in and put in a new drain and whatever it requires to do to go to the lake. He refuses to let anyone cross his land. I’ve written a letter to him requesting it. A certified letter…..inaudible…thirty days to do it, whoever it was told me….inaudible…..that thirty days is up the 24th of this month.” Chairman Schmierer asked if this is a culvert under the road or what. Mr. O’Brien stated no, but there is a culvert underneath their road. He said it is a self maintained road that comes down over the hill and all the water goes off of two hills there, and what happens is it floods his front yard and the neighbors’ front yard because the drainage is plugged up. He said, “My request is that someone, we are going to help pay for it, everybody in the neighborhood. He’s refusing anybody to get on his land. So far, he’s not talking to me since I’ve written the letter.” Chairman Schmierer asked who the neighbor is. Mr. O’Brien answered it is Uitermarkt. Attorney Loy looked at the letter Mr. O’Brien had written. (See Tape) Attorney Loy stated, “There is a general procedure for doing so and what I’ll do is, let me talk to you after the meeting to send you in the right direction. You should consult your own private attorney, but I’ll talk to you about it.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I also got a call on June 28th from Larry Uitermarkt saying he got the letter and wondering what was going on.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “This drain isn’t a County drain is it?” The answer is no it is not.

The Board was given a copy of the minutes from when the White County Drainage Ordinance was adopted that stated a recitation concerning maintenance of detention ponds, detention swales, etc. should be on subdivision plats which had approved drainage plans. Surveyor Sterrett said there hasn’t been any since he has been here that had that statement on them. Attorney Loy stated that when we initially put that Drainage Ordinance together it was our intention to see that one way or another on all subdivisions that there would be a recitation. Not only with respect to detention ponds and whatever, but just maintenance of whatever the drainage plan was period. It is in the Ordinance and now it needs to get on the recorded plat. Secretary Kiser said she told Area Plan Director Diann Weaver and told her that for some reason we had never done this and that we should start doing this. So she is aware of it. Secretary Kiser said she had discussed it with Surveyor Jim Milligan also. Attorney Loy said to give the Auditor’s office and the Recorder’s office a heads up that it needs to be on there. Surveyor Sterrett said it shouldn’t get by us. Secretary Kiser stated that we do not see the plat. Attorney Loy said that is why when they take it to the Auditor’s office and the Recorder’s office just like all the other requirements that you have to have, they shouldn’t enter it or record it without that recitation on there. Attorney Loy stated that he will help the Surveyor’s office prepare that.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Environmental Office John Raines got a call about a canal at Buffalo. Chairman Schmierer said at the Boy Scout camp. John Raines had asked Surveyor Sterrett if that was a legal drain. Surveyor Sterrett said that is not a legal drain at the canal. Chairman Schmierer said he has been up on that about every year. Board Member Heimlich agreed he had been up there also. Surveyor Sterrett showed on a map where our legal drain is and showed some pictures. Surveyor Sterrett said it has silt in the canal. The ditch empties out in the middle of the canal and the people on the north end are “trapped”. Chairman Schmierer said they can’t get their boat in and out. He said it is not anything we control or have anything to do with, we told them that before. Surveyor Sterrett said the river does control the depth of that canal. Surveyor Sterrett said that Clint Jensen is the realtor that brought it to our attention. Chairman Schmierer said he got a letter on it. Engineer Frauhiger suggested if it is a sedimentation problem the Soil and Conservation Services could point them in the right direction. Chairman Schmierer said we just have to tell them it is not under our jurisdiction.

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I went back out to the TP&W (Piggyback /Hoosier Lift) site and you know the east pond we looked at, the one farthest east, I finally convinced them that there was an outlet in there and they should be pumping out of the manhole instead of right off of the top of the pond. So they got a boat last Thursday and waders and waded out there and found it after about an hour of looking, and figured out that there was moss and brush and stuff over the outlet. So they got it opened up and it started pulling in the manholes and running along the south side of the pond back down to where it was supposed to be pumped. They put a smaller pump in the pit and when I left the pond was going down two inches an hour.”

Chairman Schmierer reported, “Gordon Denton paid me a visit yesterday and the guy from the Farm Services is going to be out at 9:00 Wednesday morning down on County Road 650 where that obstruction is across the road there where the culvert goes through and he’d like for us to be there. Do you want to go or do you want me to go?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Gordon already called me. He’s trying to do it through that Indiana Code. He got an attorney and sent them a letter. That’s where he is at. He is trying to solve it in a civil manner before he came to the Drainage Board.” Chairman Schmierer said, “This guy, the farm manager, wants somebody from the Drainage Board there and I said I’d try to send you. Gordon said if you didn’t come would I come and I said yes. That’s a tile underneath there so probably we regulate the waterway over the top of it also.” Board Member Heimlich said usually those waterways are not regulated, very seldom. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Gordon put the waterway in on his side. Then it just goes into that tile, culvert, and the reason he called me out there was because the farmer put sod down across the end of that culvert and raised it up. The day he called me out there it had just rained and water was coming through that culvert and jumping up and pushing the sod out of the way. I thought if we were going to go through that Indiana Code that we had to wait until he petitioned it before any action was taken by us. That’s the way it reads and that’s what I told him. Should we be getting involved?” Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy if they should meet there with the farm manager. The farm manager wants someone from the Drainage Board to be there. Attorney Loy said that if they think it is going to end up here they might as well go get a heads up on it. Surveyor Sterrett said he will go down there.

Charlie Mellon expressed his opinion that a lot of the waterways are causing that kind of trouble. He said water gets over that too quickly and if that guy is doing that on his own property you can’t do that much about it. Chairman Schmierer stated that he can’t obstruct the water from going on down because it is a natural waterway where the tile is. Charlie Mellon said the ones that they make in those fields are not really a natural waterway, that’s a manmade waterway. Engineer Frauhiger said yes, but it follows the natural flow of water. Charlie stated, “Yes, but a lot quicker. That’s the trouble.”

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.