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February 7, 2005 Tape #003

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:45 A.M., EST in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members Steve Burton, John C. Heimlich and O. D. Ferguson, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Charlie Mellon, Monty Moss, Jack Pherson and Trent Pherson.

Chairman Burton called the meeting to order and asked for any corrections or additions to the minutes. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett stated the need to discuss the repairs being done on the T. J. Woltz Drain out at CR 725 E, north of Highway 24. He said, “Right now we have it opened up and it is draining. We have $500.00 in the maintenance fund and I imagine we are going to have a pretty good repair bill on it, because we have probably sixty or seventy feet of it opened up and it is twelve foot deep, so whenever it gets drained down we are going to try to repair it. I think we need to raise the maintenance on it. It is at a dollar an acre right now.”

Board Member Heimlich asked why we did not collect on it in 2003. Secretary Kiser said it apparently had enough money in the maintenance fund at that time. Board Member Heimlich said it must have had about $2,500.00 in it which would be 4 times what it collects a year, and over $3,000.00 in repairs was spent the end of 2002 and through the end of 2003.

Board Member Ferguson said that CR 725 E is the one that had the water all across the road. Trent Pherson said it was CR 800 E and it is still closed.

Surveyor Sterrett said he is asking if the Board thinks we should raise the assessment on it and set a rate on it. Board Member Heimlich said, “You say there are other things you are going to do.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We have it opened up right now and it is twelve foot deep so we have to have an excavator out there. Mike Ezra (County Line Tiling/Excavating) has been out there three times. That started in October.”

Board Member Ferguson said CR 725 is the road that turns just past Elmer Dittman’s house and goes north and comes out up there where Joe Risser lived at the corner. Trent Pherson asked if Mike Ezra had given the Surveyor an estimate or rough figure on the repairs. Surveyor Sterrett answered no. Surveyor Sterrett said, “In 2002 when we had that problem with it, when the County Highway repaired 400 foot of it, we never got a bill from him. He came out there and opened it up three or four times there along the highway and I never did get a bill from him.”

Chairman Burton said, “We don’t have an estimate of what it is going to take to finish getting it opened up?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “I would say three thousand dollars, that would be my high estimate.” Board Member Heimlich said, “It is going to be pretty much in the hole. We will have to have a Maintenance Modification Hearing. How many landowners?” Surveyor Sterrett did not have that information. Jack Pherson said he believed there were approximately eleven. Board Member Heimlich said, “Right now 649 acres at a dollar an acre, so it brings in about $649.00 a year. But, we are going to be in the hole when we get this last bill.”

Chairman Burton said, “As you were saying we can’t raise that at this meeting.” Board Member Heimlich said, “No, we need to schedule a Maintenance Modification Hearing, send out the notices on it. What are we thinking, $3.00 an acre? That is what most of them we modified, we put at $3.00.” Surveyor Sterrett said that would bring in $1,800.00 or $1,900.00 a year. We will get the list together and schedule a Hearing on it.”

Jack Pherson said there might be twelve landowners. Board Member Ferguson said, “Part of Dittmans would be on there.” Jack Pherson said, “Just 4 or 5 acres of Dittman’s would be on there. The City of Monticello has a pretty good chunk. Jim Hunt/Monticello Farm Service drains through it. A couple of those houses there by Jim Hunt.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “There’s a few, probably one or two minimum parcels on it. Do you want to set them at $10.00?” Board Member Heimlich said that is what we normally do.

Surveyor Sterrett said, “We do have it opened up and it is running and we have another hole to the west and north of the one that we have opened up, but it shouldn’t take too much to fix that. We are kind of leaving it open now to see if it is working, and that tile down there is running clear full.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “Monty Moss is present to discuss closing up part of the Branch #9 of the Ackerman Drain. He has a center pivot irrigator out there that he can’t watch down by where the ditch is crooked.”

Monty Moss addressed the Board saying, “I was in here back on March 18, 2002. We have a center pivot on Section 15, Cass Township. You have some maps there. What we propose to do, we run waste water through that center pivot out of two lagoons and I did get a permit from IDEM back in 1990 to do that, but IDEM keeps tightening up the regulations. Every year we have inspection they come out and they say ‘how do you make SURE that you don’t get waste water in the ditch?’ I say ‘well we try and watch it. We shut it off before we get there.’ But, I understand their concern. I think it is legitimate concern. So what my concern is with IDEM, a lot of times I ask them for suggestions and they don’t make any. I’m afraid they are going to come in and say you cant use that to pump waste water anymore and then, we pump nine or ten million gallons through the thing a year, and I’m not really sure what we would do. So, my proposal, and I'd actually like to work with IDEM on this, would be to close up that one section going across there so the back section center pivot we wouldn’t have to worry about. It couldn’t get into the ditch at all. When it gets around there to the road it is real easy for us to watch. We can sit up there and shut the thing off and it wouldn’t surprise me down the road if they want to do something there, too, but I think that this would appease them for now. We are proposing to pay for the modification. When I was in here before, Mr. Finley (CTE) was here and they had their surveyors come out and surveyed it all and sized the pipe. He said a twenty-four inch smooth wall pipe would take care of it and I think it says here that in a fifty year storm it would only back the water up for about five hours and wouldn’t cause any crop damage. Doing this, I was told I had to go through DNR, IDEM and Army Corps of Engineers. I talked to Army Corps of Engineers this morning. When I was here before the concern we had was we still had an open ditch running into a closed pipe and the trash could plug that up. I asked her (Army Corps of Engineers) about it, she said that is not uncommon. They have a lot of situations that do that and we could construct a grate to go over the end that would, you know we could drive down there and take a backhoe and clean any trash out in the event of a major flood. Mr. Finley (CTE) had also suggested that we could possibly leave a depression, a waterway above the closed pipe and grass that all in so if there was a major flood it could use the waterway to carry over. The lady at Army Corps of Engineers this morning didn’t think she liked that idea because the problem we are trying to stop, to make sure we don’t get waste water in the ditch, you’re creating a potential waterway there that might not be taking care of the problem. But, she said if IDEM thought it was a good idea, she would say it was ok. I haven'’ talked to IDEM yet. My main question is, if I go through the hoops with IDEM, DNR and Army Corps of Engineers, is this something that you would approve if all others look ok?”

Board Member Heimlich said, “Well this would be a reconstruction. We’d have to have a hearing with all those landowners.” Monty Moss thought there was only them and one other landowner. Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks there are a couple more that would be on it. Monty Moss said there are a couple of houses that are on the other side of a hill and might not drain that way. The map of the site was reviewed. Monty Moss explained what he is proposing and explained why. See tape.

Chairman Burton asked if he had one more place besides our Board to approve this. Monty Moss answered, “Actually, I think DNR said, she wanted me to send the stuff to her, but she thought it was less than they would normally regulate. If it is over a mile or something they get into it, they have a distance there. I have to do a water quality certification permit through IDEM, and Army Corps of Engineers I have to do, one is a 401 and one is a 404 permit. But Army Corps of Engineers and IDEM do work together.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “I guess you wouldn’t be able to decide anything until you had the hearing.” Board Member Heimlich said, “On the reconstruction.” Attorney Loy responded, “Right.”

Monty Moss questioned, “If one property owner out here, George Malchow, would say ‘I don’t want you to do it’, does that mean you can’t do it then or how does that work?” Attorney Loy answered, “It is ultimately up to the Board.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Not necessarily. You say he is out on the end? He’s upstream from you or downstream?” Monty Moss pointed the property lines out on the map. See Tape. Board Member Heimlich said, “So he is the only one that really is affected.” Monty Moss said that CR 1300 E is at the top of a hill and there are some houses there but he thinks the road is kind of the divider and they probably drain the other direction. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Really there’s Jones, Malchow, Bagner…..” Monty Moss said these would be downstream. Board Member Heimlich said, “They would still be notified, but it shouldn’t affect them at all. The ones upstream would be…….does Mr. Malchow know about the plans?” Monty Moss answered no he doesn’t and he might be difficult to work with. Board Member Heimlich said as he looks at it, if he owned land back there the main thing he would want to know is if it is going to back his water up and that the tile is big enough that it would not make any adverse change to him.

Monty Moss asked, “If that five hour, fifty year storm number from CTE’s assessment is accurate and he says I don’t want it to back up at all, then can the Board over rule that?” Board Member Heimlich said, “I guess we could.” Attorney Loy said, “It is ultimately up to the Board. That is the bottom line.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “First of all, he would have to file a petition for reconstruction.” Everyone agreed with that. Attorney Loy stated, “And the Board would give you the go-ahead to start drawing up the plan.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “He’s already got the engineering done.” Attorney Loy said, “If that’s alright with you.” Monty Moss asked, “So they would be the one that would draw it up.” Surveyor Sterrett answered yes. Board Member Heimlich stressed that we would want to know that we weren’t doing something that would adversely affect the ground upstream. Attorney Loy stated, “There’s the question of the allocation of cost.” Monty Moss stated, “I have agreed that we will pay for it.”

Monty Moss stated, “Like I said, we could lay this pipe in the existing ditch rather than dig a new path, but if you go to the bottom of a ditch it seems to me that you have more potential of the thing floating and not getting it quite bedded down right. If you run it down a new hole you can get your drain exactly where you want it and bed it in and it is done. So that looks like a smarter thing to me.” Board Member Heimlich asked what the distance is of the planned project. Surveyor Sterrett said about fourteen hundred feet. Monty Moss said they would leave it open from their pivot to the road and all stand pipes would be on flat surface.

Board Member Heimlich stated, “We can’t really answer yes or no before a Hearing. The main thing, I would want to be confident that we have the right pipe not to adversely affect upstream.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that County Line was putting tile into Branch 4 of the Timmons Drain and the Board agreed to let him dip it and that has been done. He said he has his tile in and it looks pretty good. He has to level the spoil. That was a $1,600.00 estimate.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that it looks like County Line is done with the Renwick Branch of the Amelia Suits along CR 900 E, north of Highway 24. That has been dipped out and he needs to level the spoil. Board Member Ferguson said they need a guard rail along there; it is a dangerous road to drive on. Surveyor Sterrett stated that pounding in a guard rail might cause more problems. Charlie Mellon stated there is a guard rail along part of it but not on the worst part of it. Surveyor Sterrett stated that where it crosses under CR 900 there is some sheet piling. He said, “He (County Line) left a ledge along CR 900 and I noticed that some has slid in but I think it is where there’s a tile that comes under the road, and I think it is now opening up the tile and pushing the road back in the ditch. We’ll have to watch that.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that on the Phebus Tile in Prairie Township, a suck hole developed and it was about 150 feet from where the tile outlets into the open ditch. Segal’s went out there and they called and said the outlet of the tile was under water so I had him dip out about 330 feet of open ditch and that got the tile opened up. That fixed the tile and his fee was $694.20 for that. The landowner that lives in Davies old house was there and he allowed us to dip that ditch out. It helped him out, too because the blow hole was on his ground anyway and I’m sure it was because the water couldn’t get out of the tile.”

Surveyor Sterrett reminded the Board of Engineer Frauhiger being at the last meeting and discussing putting a sanitary sewer through the Buss Ditch. Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I went out to the Buss Ditch and established legal grade on it. He (Engineer Frauhiger) was going to put six inches of concrete on top of the sewer so that if we ever dip the ditch out we wouldn’t mess up their sanitary sewer. Their elevations looked alright, what they had. So, the grade they established on top of the concrete will work with the legal grade of the ditch. It will be down below the legal grade of the ditch. So it will be alright. I’m sure they’ll be back in here because they will need to get easement off of the landowner on the west side of the ditch and they need to get a Consent to Encroach off of the Drainage Board.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he finished up with Wayne Hunt’s drainage changes and sent them to the Auditor. He said, “We discussed it at a Drainage Board meeting. His ground drained to the H. A. B. Moorhaus Drain and he changed it to the T. J. Hines Drain which drains into the Carter-Hines Drain. The Moorhaus drains into the Mertz and Muck Drain. So we left fourteen acres on the Moorhaus Drain and Mertz and Muck Drain and everything else went to the T. J. Hines and the Carter-Hines Drain.

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “At the last Drainage Board meeting we talked about the Lewis-Thrasher Drain. Ned Fulkerson farms it. I sent out for quotes on that to take the brush off of it. It was about sixty foot wide and a thousand foot long. My estimate came up to $2,066.00.” Charlie Mellon asked if that is from the road through Jackson’s east. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “No, we’re not messing with the woods, east of the woods. It is plugged up in that brush in there. At the east end of the thicket there is an air well and the water was running good in it. So it is back over west somewhere. As soon as we get the brush off of it we will investigate the tile.” Chairman Burton asked who owns the woods. Harry Jackson owns it.

Surveyor Sterrett reported on the Nichols Drain in Prairie Township. He said, “It has a foot of silt in it now and it has this (indicated on a map) tile blocked right here that dumps into it. The water was over the tile about six inches. The ditch was clear full down here where it turns into a waterway. I did some measurements on it. There is twenty-five hundred feet of ditch there and about twenty-two hundred feet of it needs a foot dipped out. I am going to send out for quotes on that, do that on maintenance. There is a thousand foot along the road that needs dipped out and twelve hundred feet north of the road, CR 900 S and 500 W, and then it has pretty good fall from there.”

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.