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January 17, 2005 Tape #002

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 Steven Burton, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and First Assistant Mary Sterrett in attendance.

Others attending the meeting were Engineer Todd Frauhiger, Tony Cain, Charles Mellon, Trent Pherson and Jack Pherson.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 30, 2004 and January 4, 2005 minutes. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett stated we need to re-appoint a Drainage Board attorney and secretary. Board Member Ferguson made a motion to appoint George Loy as attorney and Romana Kiser as secretary for the 2005 term. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett stated that Benton County Surveyor Jack Steele was in the office with plans for a project on what we call the Young Tile and they call it the Hall Tile. He showed a map. Surveyor Sterrett said, “They are going to have a Joint Board. Jack is saying that they are going to open this up with an open ditch and run it down through here and empty in to the Little Pine Creek.” Board Member Ferguson asked, “Where does this go now?” Surveyor Sterrett said it runs into a tile in about the same direction. Board Member Ferguson said, “They want to make it an open ditch?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, Jack Steele is in control of it. I guess we need to elect two members.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, we had a couple of Joint meetings over there with Ron and I on a different project. They are asking for two, right?” Surveyor Sterrett said that is the way he understood it.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion that the two Benton County Joint Board members be John Heimlich and Steve Burton. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting will be held February 15, 2005 at 9:30 A. M. at the Benton County Courthouse.

Surveyor Sterrett stated there are three hundred and some acres in White County. Board Member Heimlich said he understood they are going to try to do it under maintenance. Board Member Heimlich stated, “I was going to ask our Attorney about this. He (Jack Steele) indicated they had done another one like this that was in court right now…..inaudible…….what he is talking about, where you have the tile now, making it an open ditch.” Attorney Loy said it is definitely reconstruction. Board Member Heimlich said, “It is definitely reconstruction, but he’s proposing to do it under maintenance and said they have done it with other ones. But he said he’s got one that is being challenged right now by this one landowner in court.” Chairman Burton said, “He wants to do it that way, but he is currently in the process of doing something similar to that.” Board Member Heimlich said, “That is probably going to be decided in court. I was wondering about it, because it is definitely reconstruction. I don’t know how you could interpret it any other way. The cost to the landowners is probably going to be less to do it that way. What the guy that was challenging it in court was saying basically the County was getting cheated out of money because if it had been done under reconstruction, what they didn’t pay that first year, they’d be paying ten percent interest on according to statute….inaudible…..this way they are just dividing it over three years and no interest so the landowners are saving the interest costs.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think he was calling it reconstruction though, wasn’t he?” Board Member Heimlich said “No, he was calling it maintenance, because if it is reconstruction, according to that statute that is spelled out how the payment would be. It would all be the first year, or it can be paid over five years, but you have the ten percent interest with reconstruction. With maintenance you can spread it out however you set it up and I’d be interested to see how the court decides.” Chairman Burton said, “We’ll find out. So that’s February 15, 2005 at 9:30 A.M.” Board Member Heimlich said he thinks it will be in the Commissioners’ Room. Board Member Ferguson read, “The meeting will be held at the Benton County Courthouse.” Board Member Heimlich agreed that Surveyor Sterrett should probably attend that meeting.

The Board studied the assessment roll that Jack Steele had provided. Surveyor Sterrett said it was figured on $65.50 an acre. Surveyor Sterrett discussed some benefited acreage changes that he talked to Surveyor Steele about correcting. Chairman Burton said, “We are showing 341 acres and that number will be adjusted down with what you have just reflected. And White County, we have $22,000.00 right now. Well, maybe I didn’t ask that right. On our records, how much do we have, I see the word assessments, that is what they would be assessed? How much is in there now? (Maintenance fund)?” Board Member Heimlich said, “We don’t know, they would be keeping that.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “They just send us a letter and tell us to collect on it.” Surveyor Sterrett said it is on maintenance with the Curtis Creek Drain. Chairman Burton said, “My question is, if we have that money on maintenance and this becomes a reconstruction, that money still stays there. It won’t be touched in a reconstruction?” Attorney Loy said it stays in the maintenance fund. Board Member Heimlich said, “We have used maintenance funds for the brushing on a reconstruction.” Attorney Loy said, “Which is routine cleaning.” Board Member Heimlich said he doesn’t think that will be a factor on this project. Surveyor Sterrett said he doesn’t think there is any brush on it, but he supposes you could use it for hooking up tile outlets or something like that. Board Member Heimlich said, “It becomes a little tricky here because the maintenance is on a bigger watershed. It is part of a bigger watershed and the maintenance is collected on the bigger watershed.”

Attorney Loy stated, “Maintenance is defined by statute as cleaning, spraying, removing obstructions and making minor repairs. Reconstruction is, the first reason for reconstruction is converting all or part of an open drain to a tile drain or vise versa, adding an open drain to a tile drain, increasing the size of the tile, deepening or widening the drain, extending the length or changing the course.” Board Member Ferguson said, “On this one they want to take all of the tile up and make it a ditch.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Not any of the part that is in White County.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated that last meeting he was to go talk to Mark Bentlage about trees on the Hinshaw Burch Drain and he hasn’t got that done yet. He attempted but only got to talk to his daughter. He will have to call him some evening due to his work schedule.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that CTE Engineers submitted a plan to the Surveyor’s Office for the sanitary sewer crossing the Buss Ditch south of Goodyear (Mc Cord’s on Hwy. 24). Engineer Frauhiger said, “I don’t think we are ready to make any type of recommendation, but I wanted at least to let you know what is going on. There was an annexation about a year ago (Attorney Loy said it was about two years ago) that took in some property that included the Ford Dealership. It included Dye Lumber and some more properties down there. By statute then, the City is required to provide sanitary sewers to those annexed properties within a certain amount of time. So, this is the project to tie Dye Lumber, Dobson Ford and the service shop out by Dobson Ford on the sanitary sewer. (Board Member Ferguson said Mc Cords are on there, too.) I’m not sure if Mc Cord’s is already tied in, but I don’t see a lateral going to Mc Cord’s. Maybe they are already getting sanitary sewer service. There is an existing sanitary sewer manhole right at the edge of the 75 foot easement. As a matter of fact, when that sanitary sewer was constructed, they actually put a stub so that eventually someone could tie on to that and go ahead and get service down to the other properties. We cross Buss Ditch then we turn north and we run within the 75 foot drainage easement and a twenty foot permanent sewer easement and a thirty foot temporary construction easement which will be secured from a White County Trust. The one situation or problem we have is where we cross Buss Creek. There is approximately two foot of cover between the top of the sanitary sewer pipe and the bottom of the creek. We went out and shot a cross section, so we know that is the existing bottom of the creek. What we don’t know and what we are having trouble calculating is what the actual legal grade, or what the legal elevation of that creek is supposed to be at that point, to see if any sedimentation has occurred to bring the existing bottom up. What would happen, normally if a pipe crosses the bottom of a creek within three foot, we concrete encase it. And, by State standards the minimum slab of concrete above that pipe is six inches and we have a foot showing here. If we put a six inch slab on top of that pipe, there’s about a foot and a half below the existing creek bottom and the concrete slab. What we have to try to figure out is whether or not that foot and a half is above or below the grade of the creek. I think that is what we are trying to figure out right now. Once the pipe crosses Buss Creek, it turns and runs north and crosses a private ditch which is tributary to Buss Ditch. We are actually in shallower there. Again we shot a cross section; we are going to have basically six to eight inches of cover on the concrete to the bottom of that private ditch. This ditch, the best we can tell was constructed we think by the Ford Dealership and by the previous owners of Dye Lumber.” Board Member Ferguson said that would’ve been Kenny Implement Company back then. Surveyor Sterrett said it ends over by the Soil and Water place. Engineer Frauhiger said, “So basically, we have crossed Buss Creek, we crossed the private ditch and there’s no legal drain easement over here because this is a private ditch and there is no drainage easement associated with it. So, again we have a twenty foot permanent easement and a thirty foot temporary construction easement which will all be secured. Here’s the lateral you see for the Dye Lumber (pointed out on drawing). The project terminates right here. There’s a lateral for Dobson Ford and there’s a lateral for the USDA Service Center, I can’t remember exactly what that is (Someone said it is Soil and Water and Farm Service Office).”

Chairman Burton asked where Monticello ends. Engineer Frauhiger asked if he meant the annexation. Attorney Loy said, “At Dobson Ford I think is the western-most point.” Engineer Frauhiger said, “I think they took in Lot 11, this Country Lane here. The USDA was taken as part of the annexation that’s why we have to get them service. Then this thing is actually designed such that eventually, we can take off right here and serve Western Heights on this same sanitary sewer because they have some failing septic systems out here. We have it absolutely as low as we can go, we tied into existing sanitary sewer and we ran it at minimum grade. We can’t get any lower. So, right now our biggest question is are we low enough to get below the…….and if we’re NOT, what can be done is we can actually enclose a section of this ditch in a pipe so that we have the sanitary sewer pipe, we have a pipe in the ditch sunk two foot so that in the future if we ever clean that ditch out and dredge it down two foot the inverts will match back up. At that particular point we almost set the two pipes on top of each other.”

Chairman Burton asked for clarification on the project. The Buss Ditch is a regulated drain. CTE Engineering is doing a project for the City of Monticello. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “The only place that this project impacts the Buss Ditch is where it crosses and where it turns and runs in the statutory seventy-five foot drainage easement. You would have to grant an easement. If we get an easement from the landowner, I think you grant a Consent to Encroach. The good thing is, this sewer, where it is in the seventy-five foot drainage easement, is about thirteen or fourteen foot deep so it would never be touched in the future. It is below the bottom of the creek.”

Chairman Burton said, “So there are two situations here. The easements you are talking about and then you are asking for our approval on…….” Engineer Frauhiger said, “…..crossing the creek. But at this point we aren’t sure what the legal grade is on Buss Ditch to see what we have to do.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I will have to get out there and relate their elevations to our elevations.” Engineer Frauhiger said, “Your initial calculations kind of indicate that the grade might be a little bit higher than what we saw in this plan, which would be good. Every time I’ve seen Buss Creek it seems to have pretty good flow in it, so I’m not sure if it’s, maybe it hasn’t silted in. You said it was one-tenth (per hundred).” Surveyor Sterrett said it has some silt in it. Board Member Ferguson asked if Buss Ditch starts back of Walmart. The answer was yes.

Engineer Frauhiger said this was just informational at this time. He said Surveyor Sterrett has a set of these plans and they are trying to figure out what the grade is. Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you think we need to have an engineer check your plan?” Engineer Frauhiger said there is no drainage issue. Board Member Heimlich said, “There is no drainage issue. The only thing we need to make sure is it is going to be below the actual bottom of the ditch.” Engineer Frauhiger said the City has to sign a certification to IDEM that the sewer system has the added capacity to accept these additional property owners.

Board Member Heimlich stated, “While you are on the Buss Ditch, I will relay a conversation I had with the Mayor last week. Actually he had discussed this before, about putting a pedestrian bridge across Buss Creek on the north of Highway 24 going to Walmart. So people from that side of town can walk across to Walmart without getting on the highway.” Board Member Ferguson said, “That would be about Washington Street then from that curve called Eighth Street.” Engineer Frauhiger said that he and Surveyor Sterrett met with City Street employees Doug Roberts and Joe Mowrer about a huge wash out there at the edge of the road. The Road is undermined and it is just a mess. It happened when Rod Pool put a water line across there and they didn’t put the road back correctly. The City is going to dig up that corner (Washington and Eighth Sts.) repair the street and repair the drainage system that has kind of caved in. Surveyor Sterrett said there is no walk along Washington Street there.

Board Member Heimlich said, “Supposedly Walmart would supply all the materials and he (Mayor) had contractors that would donate to put it in. He wondered what procedure he went through to get permission to do it. I said well, it is a regulated ditch so you would have to come to the Drainage Board. To put a bridge across I’m not sure what the procedure is. Would it be like a private crossing?” Attorney Loy said, “It would but you’d have to consent to it and approve the design.” Chairman Burton said, “Whose property did he want to put the bridge on?” Board Member Heimlich said, “The way I understood it, he had indicated that both of them (Dodge Dealership and Dr. Tribbett) had agreed to it. It may be right on the property line between the two, I don’t know.” Surveyor Sterrett said there is a detention pond on the north side of Hendrickson’s. Board Member Heimlich said, “I assume it would be the Washington Street extension there, where does that line up with the property line?” Chairman Burton said, “The extension is not on the…..well, Tribbett owns on both sides of Washington Street extension I should say. So he’s on both sides.” Board Member Heimlich said he just assumed it would go straight from there. He said the Mayor will probably be coming here the next meeting or so. Engineer Frauhiger asked if anyone had ever seen the Buss Ditch out of its banks. Board Member Heimlich said no, not there.

Trent Pherson asked if anything was getting worked out on the Woltz Tile that Ezra has dug up. The County is supposed to close the road. Phersons said they figured out that all the water is coming from the big pond in back to the east of where he has the tile dug up. Surveyor Sterrett said it hasn’t been fit to get out there last week. Phersons agreed. Surveyor Sterrett said he will give Ezra (County Line Tiling) another call.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.