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December 6, 2004 Tape #023

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, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Landowners attending for the J. P. Carr Drain Reconstruction Hearing were: Maxine B. Yoder, James F. Wagner, Larry Hartzler, Donna L. Rush, Delores Rush, Don Rush, Ned Fulkerson, John Brettnacher, Donald G. Uselton, Candace Uselton, Richard Bol, Ralph Chitty, Robert G. Stevenston, Mike Stevenson, Walt Chitty, and Dave Kent.

Also attending the meeting were Charles Mellon, Tony Cain, Frank Zakrajsek, Sharon Zakrajsek.

Chairman Schmierer opened the Hearing for the petition by Francis Zakrajsek to vacate a portion of the W. Hickman Branch of the F. M. Coonrod Drain. Attorney Million presented a publisher’s affidavit for advertising the Hearing. Attorney Million said he sent notices to Steve Brooke as the County Highway Superintendent, Vergle & Doris Han, C & B Westerhouse Inc., and Donald & Ruth Duggleby. Chairman Schmierer stated, “John Heimlich and myself and Denny were out and looked at your project. We have some concerns with the drainage around you, with all the water coming down that side ditch from the North. And, even off of that field (across) from you, from the East.”

Mr. Zakrajsek said, “The way it was explained to me by the County Surveyor twice was that all the drainage east of me goes south into the Carnahan ditch. I was here looking at this once before and you said I needed to get an attorney, which I did. But, in my discussions prior to coming before the Board the first time, I checked with the then County Surveyor, Mr. Milligan, and I believe I checked with the current Surveyor afterwards, and I have been told repeatedly that there was drainage to the west from Duggleby’s but they put tile in and that tile then changed the drainage to the South to the Carnahan Ditch, so that there is no drainage east of where that ditch begins other than that under the road culvert. I’ve been told that twice, by two different (County) Surveyors.”

Board Member Heimlich said, “That under the road culvert has to take surface water from the East across there.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, and from the North, John, there’s a pretty good sized ditch coming down from the North.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “Oh, on the east side of the road?” I intend to put a tile in there.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, that’s what Mr. Schmierer was talking about, was that surface water from the east, coming down the side ditch and I don’t know how many acres would be on the, from the north and from the east, that would have to go through there. It was my understanding, I don’t know if that was in the petition or not, that you were going to replace it with an eight inch?” Attorney Million answered, “A ten and an eight inch (tile). Eastern half eight inch and western half ten inch.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “And what was that based on?” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “It was based on the opinion of the Surveyor’s office, Milligan, and I believe I discussed it with the current Surveyor. But I certainly discussed it with Mr. Milligan as to whether or not that would be adequate to cover the drainage. What we would do is tie into a culvert underneath the road, because there’s no water comes across the road. We would tie into the culvert that comes underneath the road and then run down the field and dump it into the ditch at the west end of the field.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “According to the legal description there’s still a thousand feet of legal drain to the north of where he is vacating. The legal drain, according to this legal description, begins 720 feet north and 15 feet east of the southeast corner of Section 14, which is the intersection of the road, and then goes south one thousand feet. So, there’s a thousand feet north of the open part that is still a part of the legal drain.” Mr. Zakrajsek asked if that is on the east side of the road. Surveyor Sterrett said yes. Attorney Million stated that part of the drain crosses the Westerhouse property. Mr. Zakrajsek said it crosses it west.

Mr. Zakrajsek said, “I can only go by what I’ve been told. I was told that all the drainage for the land on the east side of the road went south. That was what I was told and so I did not consider that a problem. I knew that we were going to put a drain into the field to handle the drainage problems, so that would take care of everything from the road east AND it would take care of the surface water on the east side of the road, because we were going to tie in to the culvert that comes underneath the road. So, as I understood it, there was going to be no problem. There was no need to consider anything east of the road. If I was misinformed then I was misinformed.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “What do you mean by ‘no reason to consider anything east of the road’?” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “There was technically no water east of the road that entered into the Hickman Ditch other than the surface thing underneath the culvert.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, yes, the surface water.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “And that was going to be taken care of when we tied into that culvert with the field tile. So as far as drainage, not surface drainage but subsurface drainage, that all heads south to the Carnahan Ditch. I think that they put a tile in there, draining the swamp or whatever, the low spot over to the east, which is east of the Duggleby house, they put tiles in there trying to drain that wet spot and when they put those tiles in there that then altered the drainage plan for the land and took it south.” Board Member Heimlich said, “But those people are still assessed on it. Surveyor Sterrett said Dugglebys are not assessed on the Hickman Drain. Board Member Heimlich asked, “Nobody to the east is assessed?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, to the north they are, Haans are assessed.” Surveyor Sterrett showed Board Member Heimlich the watershed area on a map and who is assessed. See tape for discussion of map. Board Member Heimlich stated they still have surface water that goes there.

Board Member Heimlich said, “When we were up there, just looking at the lay of the land, it looked like there was considerable acreage that had to come, the surface water I’m talking about, had to come this way.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “There’s not a culvert underneath the road is there? Not here there isn’t.” Surveyor Sterrett said I can’t answer that. Chairman Schmierer said, “I thought there was a culvert underneath the road there at that corner. Board Member Heimlich said he thought there was, too. Mr. Zakrajsek asked, “A north south culvert?” The answer was yes. Mr. Zakrajsek said he doesn’t remember seeing it. Chairman Schmierer said on the north side of the road, that’s a pretty deep ditch. Mr. Zakrajsek said, “If there is a culvert that handles surface water on the north side of this road, then it heads south and then drains into this, because as you’re well aware, this ditch ends, and all of that drains west into this, surface water. And that was my intention, to take that surface water through that ditch, through a tile and take it on out.”

Attorney Million asked, “Your concern is whether an eight inch tile is enough?” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, that would be the concern, whether these people are going to be adversely affected by that.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “There’s no water flowing through the ditch. I understand that there is drop and stuff like that, but in all my time there, I’ve owned the land since 1986, I’ve never seen any ditch. We just had it cleaned out, the County was kind enough to go in and cut all the trees down and I took care of the western end when they did that, but I have never seen water flowing through that ditch ever, not once.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “Even with a big rain?” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “July last year, nothing. I mean, it does not flow. We check it, it never gets high, it’s swampy. I could certainly see where surface drainage from a portion of this is going to go south if there’s a culvert there, and we’ll presume that there is, but to say that the twenty-five acres drains into that I think is misleading.” For Mr. Zakrajsek’s explanation of his and Mr. Westerhouse’s conversation about their plan to install tile, see tape. Mr. Zakrajsek said, “I guess if it is a matter of concern about the size of the tile, what do the experts say, you know, what does the County Surveyor say would be the right size tile, or is it the fact that you just don’t think it should be done at all?”

Board Member Heimlich said, “My concern would be to make sure that the tile is big enough, you know, that filling in that open ditch is not going to restrict the water flow from the east side. It may be that a ten inch won’t, I don’t know.” Chairman Schmierer suggested a hydraulic engineer might be beneficial to Mr. Zakrajsek. Board Member Heimlich said, “Another question we had was where are you going to get the dirt to fill that in.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “The engineer that is doing it is saying that when they dug the ditch they just feathered the dirt out to the north and the south and they were just going to take that dirt and skim it off and feather it in. I’ve been assured by the gentleman that is going to do it, which is Jerry Gutwein, who just closed in 8,000 feet of ditch up north someplace that there was more than enough dirt to cover it adequately.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I guess what I wondered, you mean would it be flat across or are you going to have…….(Mr. Zakrajsek said, “Farmable.”) Farmable, but are you going to have a little waterway….?” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “No I certainly don’t want a little…., no I’m not going to fill it in just so I can’t farm it, if there was a waterway I wouldn’t be able to farm it. So, he’s going to fill it in so that it will be farmable and we have provisions for taking dirt off of my father-in-law’s land which abuts up to this farm down on the ditch, I’ve got a sand hill up here that we could pull sand off if it’s necessary. So again, the people that know say that’s not an issue. I’m not going to pay this kind of money to have something that I’m only going to farm part of the time. That’s good dirt and that’s why I want to bury the ditch.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Have you contacted DNR?” Mr. Zakrajsek answered, “Yes, the DNR…………I contacted the County, the FSA. They did a survey and said it wasn’t, you know, that there was no impediment from the County or the USDA or whatever against doing it. That was the thing they did several years ago where they went out and designated wetlands and former wetlands and not former wetlands and all this, never has been and it’s not former wetlands. The FSA people had no reservations about it.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Were there just two landowners over here that were notified?” Attorney Million answered, “We notified……we got a letter from the ones (Duggleby)……inaudible.” Mr. Zakrajsek pointed out on a map, “Haans live here, Dugglebys live here…” Board Member Heimlich said, “C and B Westerhouse…..” Mr. Zakrajsek said the Cecil and Roger, that’s an Inc. thing, Cecil and his family. I don’t know if Dick is involved in that or not. Cecil and Roger and Greg farms.” Board Member Heimlich asked why they were notified. Mr. Zakrajsek said, “He farms this, I think the idea was that we wanted to let everybody that was around the area know about it, but when I originally thought about it………..” Board Member Heimlich said, “From what we saw, I don’t think any of their water gets there.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “That’s exactly correct, and as I understood it, other than surface water from this side ditch…..” Secretary Kiser stated, “We gave him (Attorney Million) the assessment roll, watershed of this drain.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, and you notified that.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “Right, but all their stuff drains here, drains this way, to the north and northwest. Like I said, I was never told, other than the apparent surface water, I was never told that any of the Haan stuff drained into……I was told simply it was not part of the……but I was never told that any of this water at any time drained into this Hickman Ditch. It all drained elsewhere.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “When we went out and looked at it, it had been raining that day you could see it had water in it. I thought there was a culvert there at the north-south road where the water came down from that far side.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “This side ditch up north is not deep. The only one is south and on the east side of the road and like I said, it only goes to that one fence line that somebody ran into recently, that only goes a short distance and then there’s no ditch there at all. There’s no ditch down here because we mow it, so I always considered this more of a catch basin type of thing that just took water off the road. I know that I gotta put a tile, a finger, north , if you were there when it was raining you know that north of the ditch about 35 or 40 feet in, west of the road, there’s a line of little ponds, there’s a little low spot. I gotta run a finger in there and pick up that and then run that right into the tile.”

Board Member Heimlich asked how many tile outlets he had into the ditch. Mr. Zakrajsek said, “None that flow. I can’t find any. There is one tile that was clay that ran here and I had Bob Bowsher fix it when it blows out in the field, but I have never seen any water run in it. I go down and burn that ditch and was cutting trees off of it and spending a lot of time in there, and I’ve never seen water flowing. My in-laws tell me they think there’s a tile north of the ditch. I’ve never been able to find it. There is no outlet there in the ditch that I’ve ever seen.”

Charlie Mellon asked if there is a County tile in that side ditch along the road. He said the sewer comes across the road, and if he’s going to put a tile in there he’ll know what size tile goes there, same size as the sewer. Mr. Zakrajsek stated, “I have a contractor. If he says a ten inch would cover it, I’ll put a ten inch in, I don’t care. It’s just half the field. Charlie Mellon said, “That Westerhouse ground on west, I remember when Cecil put that in there years ago. We put tile in the same year there and that water all goes west and across the road and on down where the other ditch is. And the Haan place, any water that would come off of there would be a little surface water, but the balance of it, if it’s got any tile would be going through the Duggleby place on down to the Carnahan Ditch.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “If that’s a ten inch culvert under there, I’ll run a ten inch from there all the way up to the thing, I’m not worried about that.” Board Member Heimlich said that would make more sense. Mr. Zakrajsek said he wants to do right by his neighbors and he wants to have enough drainage to cover. He said if it is a ten inch under the road then we attach right on to the culvert and just run it due north. He said he has a guy lined up to do it as soon as it is fit.

Board Member Heimlich asked if the County Highway has any tile in there? Mr. Zakrajsek said they’ve been notified also. Surveyor Sterrett said, “The culvert under the road, I didn’t see anything out of it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “But they don’t have anything in either side ditch.” Chairman Schmierer didn’t think so. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I believe you need a permit from DNR or Army Corp of Engineers to fill in the ditch. That’s not MY regulation.” Chairman Schmierer said he doesn’t know, but we have been through that before where they’ve had to have it. Mr. Zakrajsek asked, “Who tells me, how do I find out?” Chairman Schmierer said, “I imagine you have to notify the DNR or ask the DNR, and I’m not sure the Army Corp of Engineers, what they’ll do.” Attorney Million said he thought they regulated navigable waters. Board Member Heimlich said they wouldn’t be involved in it. Chairman Schmierer said DNR would.

Chairman Schmierer asked Board Member Heimlich if he had any problem with it. Board Member Heimlich answered, “No, with a ten inch tile, with the same tile size as the culvert, there shouldn’t be a problem for any of the people on the other side.” Board Member Heimlich asked Attorney Loy what the procedure is from here on the Vacation. Chairman Schmierer said they want to put a ten inch tile on the open ditch and close the ditch in. Attorney Million said his paperwork would have to be amended to read that a ten inch tile, not an eight inch tile, would be installed.

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So you do not want to vacate the legal drain? Board Member Heimlich said, “That was the other question. Whether we were really vacating or reconstructing. Vacating is one thing but reconstruction is another.” Attorney Loy stated, “Vacating is when you remove jurisdiction of it entirely and it becomes a private drain.” Attorney Million said, “Our petition was in the alternative, to vacate or re-designate, designate as a tile drain that is maintained privately.” Surveyor Sterrett said the petition reads, “vacating or reclassification.” Board Member Heimlich said, “But you are talking about maintaining it privately.” Attorney Million said, “Absolutely.” Attorney Loy stated, “Then you are vacating it. So then you still have regulated drains at one end, and……” Mr. Zakrajsek stated, “No, it ends at the west end.” Surveyor Sterrett clarified and said, “This legal drain ends right here, 720 feet up. He wants to vacate from here to here and the legal drain starts here and goes down like this.” Attorney Loy said, “So you can’t vacate the middle of a regulated drain.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, I was like him, I thought it was clear at the end.” Attorney Million said, “That’s what we thought, we didn’t think there was anything up in here that was regulated.”

Chairman Schmierer asked if it has been filled in before and tile put into it. Surveyor Sterrett said it is an open and a tile drain. Chairman Schmierer said, “So there is tile coming into that up there.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “But where is that tile, we didn’t find it.” Surveyor Sterrett said that is what the legal description says, but we didn’t find that tile, we didn’t find any outlet. Attorney Million asked, “Do you know if this goes under the road through a culvert? Do you know, Dennis?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “No I don’t, I can’t answer that.” Attorney Million said, “Because if it doesn’t then I don’t know how …….. (Mr. Zakrajsek said, “Yeah, I don’t know how it could be a part of the drain.”)….unless there’s a tile going under there. You don’t think there is?” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “I truly don’t know, I know that there is a tile here, I don’t ever remember seeing a culvert here, but I don’t pay much attention to it.” Attorney Loy said you can’t vacate the middle.

Mr. Zakrajsek stated, “When I talked to the (County) Surveyors, you know, what is the Hickman Ditch? This is what I want to do. They looked at it and they said the only drainage that I needed to be concerned with was Duggleby and that went south. No one said anything about this existing, I understand it is in the legal description, but I was never told about it.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Has that been vacated before or something? It can’t have been, it’s tile. How can we find that?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know, how long has Hans lived there?” Chairman Schmierer asked if they would know where it is at. Mr. Zakrajsek stated she is in the nursing home and he is deceased. Board Member Ferguson said he doubted the two sons would know where the tile is. Mr. Zakrajsek said that Dahlenburg farms it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Vacate that part (the 700 feet of tile).” Mr. Zakrajsek said he didn’t think that was an option. Board Member Ferguson said Jack Haan lives out west of town. Mr. Zakrajsek said he does not believe that he has the power-of-attorney or authority to vacate it without her signature.

Attorney Loy asked, “Are there affected landowners up here?” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, that’s what we’re talking about. These two here and here, Duggleby would be and Haan.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I looked Duggleby up this morning and he’s being assessed one hundred and sixty acres to the Carnahan Drain to the South. Mr. Zakrajsek said, “If all of his 160 acres is going (draining) south, how can that be considered part of the legal ditch if he’s not being assessed for it for that short stretch? Either it is or it isn’t. Maybe this is what happened, maybe when they took that drainage south, it took this part of the ditch, it captured the drainage here and took it south as well, and that may be what the Surveyors were intending to tell me. When this no longer is apropos to this drain that in affect, when they took the drainage south, they captured this and so it doesn’t affect this ditch at all. And that makes sense with what I was told, because everybody told me that this stuff went south. The Surveyor just said ‘this all goes south’. If it didn’t, if part of this goes west, then they should be assessed on that and it is not being done. So it may be that’s no longer an issue, it’s not part of the ditch, although the legal description may say it is, I don’t know how you change legal descriptions but if this has been captured and going south, see my point?”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “I agree with you. I don’t understand how Duggleby could NOT be assessed IF that tile….you’ve got the legal drain running right through his property. You’d have to be assessed on it. So it doesn’t make sense.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “In 1916 he was assessed eight acres. And that’s where those blues (blue pencil markings on the drainage map) come from is 1916 because now the Hickman Drain is combined with the Coonrod, so the assessment roll shows everybody that drains into the F. M. Coonrod, and not the Hickman separately.” Mr. Zakrajsek said, “But the Duggleby's don’t drain into the F. M. Coonrod (he meant Hickman), so all their land, according to the current hydraulics goes south, not west. So, practically speaking, this is not a part of the Hickman Ditch. This goes south, not west.” Attorney Million asked, “Did you say there’s a tile AND an open drain here?” Surveyor Sterrett answered that’s what the legal says. Chairman Schmierer said, “Tile up to the open drain where it starts on his property. We have a tile that supposedly runs into the open drain. We don’t know if it comes down at the culvert and runs in or where it’s at. What is your advice on that, counsel?”

Attorney Loy stated, “I just don’t think vacating it would be appropriate.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Not until we know for sure what the deal is.” Attorney Loy said we can’t vacate the midsection.” Attorney Million stated, “But if we establish this doesn’t go in here……” Board Member Heimlich said, “If we can establish that then I don’t think we have a problem with it.” Chairman Schmierer said we are going to have to establish that somehow.

Attorney Loy stated, “What you can do is continue the Hearing to a stated date publicly. That way you don’t have to send out any notices.” Attorney Million said we are going to have to do some engineering work or something. Board Member Heimlich said, “I don’t know if it is engineering work, its detective work.” For discussion of size of tile and not finding tile see tape. Surveyor Sterrett stated he did not know how they were going to find out. Attorney Loy stated, “If the existing legal description of this drain charts that course up here, if that’s it, then that’s still the description of it.” Board Member Heimlich said we’d have to change that, either vacate it or transfer it to another. Mr. Zakrajsek asked how you transfer it to another. Attorney Loy said that is another question we’d have to get into. Attorney Million said, “Suppose it does go south to the Carnahan, do you transfer it to the Carnahan?” Board Member Heimlich said that is where Duggleby is assessed now.

Chairman Schmierer stated we will continue the Hearing to December 20, 2004 at 10:30 A. M. and we will get out there in the meantime and see what we can find out.

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “If we don’t find any tile there, then we vacate the whole thing?” Board Member Heimlich said yes, if there isn’t any tile there. Chairman Schmierer said there may not be any tile there, it may have been vacated and nobody told (not documented) when they tiled it the other way. Attorney Loy asked if there are any other landowners here. There were none.

Chairman Schmierer opened the Hearing on the Reconstruction of the J. P. Carr Drain and Branch #1 in Big Creek and Prairie Townships. Chairman Schmierer stated, “This has been petitioned for some time. It has been surveyed and ready to go to bid. The estimated cost is $90, 556.00. On the 5th of November we mailed every landowner a letter on what their (estimated) assessment would be. The assessment roll is broken down based upon farm ground, unfarmable ground and lots. So at this time, I guess we are ready to go forward and I’ll open the floor up for questions. The drain starts west of Highway 43 about a mile and a half. The part west of Evans Road has been reconstructed, been dipped and cleaned. We are starting at Evans Road and going down to the intersection of the Ella Baker Open Ditch. It is going to consist of clearing, brushed where needed, primarily one side I think the bulk of it will be, and dredging and leveling. We’ll take questions from the floor and go from there.”

Dave Kent asked how much of the cost if brushing. Surveyor Sterrett answered $61,000.00 is the estimate. Chairman Schmierer said there is a ton of it down through there and a lot of it goes through such rough terrain and you have a lot of it in the ditch. He said you have to get it out of there to get flow. Dave Kent said, “This was done in 1975. We kept the brush out for about 30 years now. In the future, you do this; maybe tell the landowners and farmers to try to keep the brush out.” Chairman Schmierer said, “What we’ve been doing, and is successful, is anything we’ve cleaned we’ve been keeping it on a spray rotation. A lot that we’ve cleaned since I’ve been here for eight years you can go look at them and they are almost as good as they were when they were cleaned. This (Carr Ditch) has never been on a spray rotation and it got too far out of hand to do any spraying. It would be worthless to spray now.”

Donna Rush asked, “We’re going to be implementing some CRP’s on the property that Don and Delores have and it is right at where the J. P. Carr Drain and Ella Baker Drain meet. Would the spraying affect the grasslands that we would be putting in?” Chairman Schmierer said that the spraying doesn’t affect grass at all.

Bob Stevenson asked, “That cleanout, at the railroad, too, will it be down at least as deep as the bottom of that railroad (culvert)?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “It will be right at the bottom of that railroad culvert, which is a ninety inch I believe.” Chairman Schmierer said once you get past that railroad culvert you have a lot of fall down through there until you get down to probably Road 225, that’s where we lose some fall down in there, probably about where Orville Logan’s starts there, then you lose a lot of that fall. But you get on down past there, once you get that straightened out where it can run, it is going to improve the drainage all the way back. It HAS to improve everything. I think when we cleaned that west of you (Stevenson) there, that improved that quite a bit at that time.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There is approximately two and a half feet of silt that has to come out of here from the railroad to Evans Road.” Chairman Schmierer said that will improve that out there that much more. Mr. Stevenson asked, “That natural fall starts not too far east of Highway 43?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, in fact there is 3,400 feet where there is little dredging required.” Chairman Schmierer said, “From natural fall. Some of it we are going to have to take brush off of and some of it you wouldn’t want to take a LOT of brush off of it because you want to keep the hillside where it is so steep there, but you’re going to have to get the stuff off that has fallen in.” Surveyor Sterrett said that 3,400 feet that doesn’t need any dipping has actually got a lot of brush down in it. Chairman Schmierer said that has to come out.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “The assessment on this amazed me. We’ve done a lot of ditches this year where the assessment is ten times what this assessment is per acre.” Bob Stevenson asked what it averages per acre. Surveyor Sterrett said it was $10.30 average.

John Brettnacher asked, “Are you going to clear an area so you can spray then, drive along beside it, is that going to be included on this? Because a lot of that ground I don’t think there’s room to drive a sprayer down along side of it right now. How far back from the top of the ditch are you going?” Chairman Schmierer said there will be some area cleared toward that. Surveyor Sterrett said we have to clear it far enough to get the excavator in. Chairman Schmierer said that should leave enough room to get a sprayer in. He said, “I think you will agree with me, if we keep it sprayed it should eliminate this. Maintenance (fund) takes care of spraying it. There is plenty of maintenance money on it right now. When that maintenance money builds up to four times what we spend (yearly maintenance amount collected) on it a year the Board will shut it off (not collect on it) until it gets back down.”

Tony Cain asked, “Have you decided which side you are going to work off of or is that going to be contractor’s choice or landowners’ choice?” Surveyor Sterrett said we usually leave that up to the contractor and landlord, and if they can’t decide, the Surveyor will decide.

John Brettnacher asked, “Will the tile leading into that be repaired then, where the outlets come into the ditch?” Chairman Schmierer answered yes.

Attorney Loy stated, “There was a letter sent by an apparently affected landowner, Cinda and Patrick Henry Haff who have been assessed on this project. It was filed December 3, 2004 with the Surveyor’s office. I know the Commissioners (Drainage Board) have seen the letter. It is basically an objection to the project, saying that it basically will not be of benefit to their real estate, nor will any of the work be done on their real estate. Denny, if you would, just briefly explain from an engineering or surveying standpoint how this will benefit all landowners.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do they own land right on this ditch?” Surveyor Sterrett said no, they are up here (indicated on map), right on the edge of the watershed. He said some of their land goes to the north and some of it goes to the south. Chairman Schmierer said the Ella Baker Ditch goes through them, but they’ll get a benefit from this, too. Surveyor Sterrett said, “We’ll be going back up branches that come into it, too, probably 300 feet, that are our legal drains, 300 feet from our legal drain, the O.K. Ranier, Erickson, and of course Branch #1.

Chairman Schmierer said, “She (Cinda Haff) has also stated in the letter they spent $7,000.00 on this ditch. They didn’t spend $7,000.00 on this ditch. That was a reconstruction project that had been done eight years ago, it was on the Ella Baker and I don’t think their cost was $7,000.00 either.” Attorney Loy asked the Surveyor, “Their land does drain into the Carr Ditch, right?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, not all of it.” Attorney Loy, “But the portion being assessed does.” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Right.” Attorney Loy said, “You have assessed 15 of their 56.62 acre tract and all of another 30 acre tract, is that right?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Right, all of the 30 is right here, the 56 is here and 76 of which 20 acres is benefited is here (indicated on map).”

Attorney Loy said, “Denny, again, for the record if you would, just explain the overall need of this reconstruction. Just explain why this is necessary.” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “There’s brush in the ditch that impedes the flow, some of the tile outlets are underwater, so the tiles that are coming into it, private or County, are not working properly.” Board Member Heimlich asked when the petition was filed. It was filed March 11, 2003 and approved by the White County Drainage Board on March 17, 2003. Attorney Loy asked, “Is either Cinda or Patrick Haff here today? Apparently not.”

Don Uselton stated that Mr. Wagner has a short ditch that runs through their property to the Carr Ditch and he wanted to know if they dig dirt out if it could be hauled to where they’ve been eroded. He also asked if trees on the back side of their property needed to be cut down, could he cut them down for firewood. Chairman Schmierer asked if the trees are on the J. P. Carr Ditch. The answer was yes. He said usually the contractor will let you have the brush to get rid of it. He said he’s never known a contractor to refuse to give you the wood. Mr. Uselton asked, “Do they have to be cut down?” Chairman Schmierer said it depends on where they’re at. If they aren’t not clear out in the bank, no. Mr. Uselton said he wants the trees left if possible. Chairman Schmierer said they won’t take any more than they just have to because that costs them money to do. He said when the contractor gets there, talk to him. Mr. Uselton said, “As far as if they dig stuff out, as far as getting fill, would we be able to get that for use for straightening out the drainage ditch from Mr. Wagner to the Carr?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “I can’t answer that, because I don’t know how far they’d have to take it for you.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I don’t think it would be in the contract that they would take it for you. I think we have had that before, where if you’ve got a dump truck or something there they will dump it in and you can haul it.” Chairman Schmierer said we can’t require them to haul that dirt any distance. They suggested Mr. Uselton get with the contractor on that.

Dick Bol asked about the time frame. Chairman Schmierer said, “A lot of it can be done now and a lot can be done through the Summer because a lot of it goes through what John (Brettnacher) farms for Juanita Waugh and even on your property, that’s not going to affect anything if they’re working on that. We don’t want them to tear up crops. How long before we let this contract?” Surveyor Sterrett said we are ready to go. Attorney Loy said, “It has to be advertised two times a week apart with the second publication being at least a week prior (to the letting).” Chairman Schmierer didn’t think we could get it done by December 20, 2004 so it would have to be January 3, 2005 that they’ll let the contract. He said, “I wouldn’t be surprised that most of these contractors right now will get in there. It is going to take a contractor with a pretty good sized extended crane to do a lot of the work.”

After discussion, the Board decided we could have a special meeting the 27th of December and let the contract then. Attorney Loy said, “Denny is it correct that you are saying that the drain won’t perform the function for which it was constructed at the present time?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Right, it is not functioning like it was designed.”

Delores Rush stated, “We just want to make sure that everyone realizes that the J. P. Carr and the Ella Baker Ditch run into each other and from there on it is Spring Creek natural waterway and it will not be dredged.” Chairman Schmierer stated that nothing is being done in Spring Creek.

Dave Kent asked, “Do you know how far the initial cost is going to be spread over? How many years?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “It can be spread over 5 years if your assessment is over $50.00 and there is ten percent interest. That’s the reason why some people just go ahead and pay it when it comes in.” Dave Kent said he thought you could spread it over a period of time. Board Member Heimlich said, “That is State law. You can spread it over a period of time but there is ten percent on what is remaining and that is State statute.”

Dick Bol asked, “After it’s all done they’ll send us a bill or how does that work?” Secretary Kiser explained, “We won’t turn it in until June probably so it won’t get billed until next year probably. The Treasurer sends out a notice, like a yellow tax bill only if you read it right it just says Notice. That just tells you how much, that’s not really your bill. You can watch for that.” Chairman Schmierer said your assessment will start being collected in 2006. Board Member Heimlich said, “If you just pay a portion of it, then the next year you pay the ten percent.” Chairman Schmierer said that doesn’t go into the County till, that goes back into the ditch fund.

Dave Kent stated, “Denny said something to me the other day about Branch #1 of the J. P. Carr, as you are coming down County Road 900 South, there’s a lane goes back to the east and there’s a culvert. Denny said something about the landlord will have to pay for that.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, they’ll have to pay for the culvert. We’ll put the culvert in but they have to pay for the work, isn’t that right, Denny?” Surveyor Sterrett said that was right. Dave Kent asked what the cost of that would be. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “I had figured two 36 inch plastic smooth core, and I just called up to Francesville Tile and that’s around $1,632.00.” Chairman Schmierer said we are putting it in, that’s just for the culvert, that’s standard process. Dave Kent asked how long they are. Surveyor Sterrett answered they are 30 feet. There is a pair of them. Surveyor Sterrett said there is a 30 inch there now. Chairman Schmierer said, “One 30 inch and it is not sufficient at all.” Dave Kent said water has never come over there. Chairman Schmierer thinks it will now after it is cleaned out.

Bob Stevenson stated there is a railroad tank car down west from Evans Road and there’s times you can’t see any light at the top of there. It is almost at the point of being an obstruction. He said it is on Catholic Diocese property and he asked Dick Bol and he is not opposed to taking it out. Chairman Schmierer said we won’t put it in this project because we want to get this underway but we can look at it. Surveyor Sterrett said actually it is a private crossing. Chairman Schmierer said if it is a private crossing it is up to Diocese to take it out of there, but we can still take a look at it.

Dave Kent asked if any part of that private lane County right-of-way? Chairman Schmierer said no. Surveyor Sterrett said it is 22 foot wide.

Chairman Schmierer read the Adoption of Reconstruction Project I.C. §36-9-27-52: “There being no further evidence to be submitted in these proceedings, the Chairman would now consider a motion to determine that the costs, damages, and expenses of the proposed reconstruction will be less than the benefits accruing to the owners of the lands benefited by the reconstruction.” Board Member Ferguson “So Moved”. Board Member Heimlich “Seconded”. “Upon a motion duly made and seconded, and after having considered all of the evidence and any objections concerning the proposed Reconstruction, those members of the White County Drainage Board in favor of the motion that the costs, damages, and expenses of the proposed reconstruction will be less than the benefits accruing to the owners of the land benefited by the reconstruction please answer by saying “Aye”. Those opposed “Nay”. The motion passes by a vote of 3 in favor and 0 opposed. The White County Drainage Board therefore adopts the reconstruction report of the White County Surveyor and the Schedule of Assessments, including any annual assessments for periodic maintenance. The White County Drainage Board now issues its written findings and order declaring the proposed Reconstruction of the J. P. Carr Drain and Branch #1 established. That Hearing is adjourned.”

Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans and a request for a waiver from the White County Drainage Code on the Walker Subdivision in Liberty Township. Chairman Schmierer stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett went up and looked at the proposed site. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Here is a letter from the surveyor (Milligan). There is an existing house and he wants to build here on Lot #2.” Chairman Schmierer said, “It is not going to affect anybody and there is the lake here (indicated on site map). I don’t know how they are going to get a building permit for that, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the drainage. So we need a motion to approve the waiver for the Walker Subdivision in Liberty Township.” Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans and a request for a waiver from the White County Drainage Code on the Lone Coyote Subdivision, Mark and Joyce Martin owners. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “The Subdivision is going to be where it is highlighted there. This is Bettington Bay right there.” Chairman Schmierer said there is no way it is going to affect anybody. He said there are 5 lots and it’s not going to change anything, the drainage practically all runs down to the road and the other half runs to the lake. He said that he and Surveyor Sterrett looked at it and are ready to give them a waiver.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve a waiver for the Lone Coyote Subdivision, owners Mark and Joyce Martin. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

John Brettnacher and Chairman Schmierer discussion was inaudible. See tape.

Surveyor Sterrett reported trees planted over the C. W. Brackney Drain on the Klinkhamer farm. They sold the ground where the trees are. Surveyor Sterrett said he doesn’t know exactly where the property line is yet. The people have moved out. The Surveyor’s office will attempt to contact them to remove the trees. A letter will be sent out and a deadline for removal of the trees. Attorney Loy stated that you give them time to remove them and then the Surveyor can remove them. The Surveyor stated they are just little six inch trees.

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.