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February 22, 2005 Tape #004

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, O. D. Ferguson and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance. Also attending were Jeff Haynes and Charles Mellon.

Chairman Burton opened the meeting by reviewing the resolution from Tippecanoe County to raise the maintenance rate on the Andrew Brown Drain, a joint drain, by twenty-five percent. He said we need a vote to concur with this resolution. The Board members had a copy to review.

The Andrew Brown Drain is currently on $1.00 per acre maintenance and it will be raised to $1.25 per acre by this resolution. Board Member Heimlich mentioned that a four year assessment is about $8,000.00 which means there must be around 2,000 acres at least in the watershed. There is over $9,000.00 built up in the maintenance fund so the Board is curious as to why the rate needs increased. Secretary Kiser said also that they are not collecting on the drain in 2005. Attorney Loy stated that they can raise the rate twenty-five percent once without a Hearing. Board Member Heimlich said he doesn’t have a problem with raising it to $1.25 since they can only do it one time. The next time they had to raise it they would have to have a hearing.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to concur with Tippecanoe County Resolution # 2005-01-DB to increase the maintenance rate on the Andrew Brown Drain by twenty-five percent. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Secretary Kiser will send a letter concurring with their resolution.

MEMO ATTACHED TO HARD COPY STATING TIPPECANOE COUNTY SURVEYOR WAS CONTACTED AFTER THE MEETING TO ASK WHY THE RATE WAS BEING INCREASED AND HE SAID THE SHORT ANSWER WAS THE DRAIN NEEDS CLEANING.

Next on the agenda Attorney Loy opened sealed bids on the Lewis-Thrasher Drain Maintenance Project in Princeton Township. The project consists of cleaning all trees and brush off of 1,000 lineal feet of tile. The Surveyor’s Office received three bids. County Line Tiling/Excavating (Mike Ezra) bid $1,800.00, Howe Excavating (Allen Howe) bid $1,940.00 and DeVault Farms (Randy DeVault) bid $3,700.00.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept the low bid of $1,800.00 from County Line Tiling/Excavating for the maintenance project on the Lewis-Thrasher Drain in Princeton Township. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Next on the agenda was setting rates for Maintenance Modification on the T. J. Woltz Drain. It is currently $1.00 an acre and the Surveyor proposes increasing the rate to $3.00 an acre and $10.00 minimum for lots and small parcels. Secretary Kiser explained that this was thoroughly discussed with the Surveyor at the last meeting but the Board did not vote on it at that time.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the rates for the Maintenance Modification on the T. J. Woltz Drain at $3.00 per acre and $10.00 minimum. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The Hearing will be held on March 7, 2005.

The Surveyor’s office presented a list of drains to be collected on for 2005 for the Board to approve and sign. Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett explained that the Surveyor’s office goes through the drain ledger and the drains that do not have a minimum of four years collections in the maintenance fund are sent to the Auditor for collections. Board Member Heimlich asked if we had any drains that went off of the collection list this time. Mary answered that we did. Secretary Kiser explained that they have to tell the Auditor each year which ones to collect on and how much per acre to collect. She explained that they have noted in their ditch ledger the ditches and the year they are to be reduced after raising the maintenance rate for a certain number of years to be able to do a project.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the maintenance assessments for 2005, as presented by the Surveyor’s office, to be given to the Auditor for collections. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The Board Members signed the document.

Jeff Haynes, representing the Town of Chalmers, addressed the Board. Mr. Haynes stated, “At the new sewage plant on the J. P. Carr Ditch we have to go to the bottom to take some chlorine tests during the spring, summer and fall. It is pretty hazardous especially when it is wet so we would like to build some steps down there. That certain section of the ditch has already been cleaned out by us when we put that headwall in. So we are just asking permission to build steps down to it, approximately twenty-five feet.” Chairman Burton asked, “Has he met your needs?” Attorney Loy answered, “Yes, he dropped off a copy of what he basically wants to do and needs a Consent to Encroach. All you need to do today is to vote to allow that and I can draw up what needs to be done.”

Board Member Heimlich moved that the Board grant the Town of Chalmers the right to Encroach on the J. P. Carr Drain for the purpose of building steps to take their samples. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Board Member Heimlich moved to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2005 minutes. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Board Member Heimlich reported that it looks like the Monon Ditch project has finally gotten all necessary permits and may actually get started.

Board Member Heimlich reported that he also attended a joint board meeting for Indian Creek project. He said, “I think we got a lot accomplished. It is still pretty confusing how that whole thing works and there wasn’t a good solution to the concerns or disagreements. (Location of drain shown on wall map.) The problem is this area, which is actually a part of Indian Creek, this section is all grown up in White County, this is called Conn Ditch in Cass County and goes on into Cass Co. and the Cass Co. people have been paying maintenance. I don’t understand why White Co. isn’t on maintenance. It is the same ditch and it should’ve been joint board. Denny has looked up minutes and at one time Cass County asked White County to waive their rights. Normally waive your rights means there is not a joint board, Cass County would just take care of it. But they didn’t assess White County people and so nothing got done to that section in White County. The problem now is the Cass County people are going to argue why are we going to do anything to White County’s; they haven’t been paying on it. The thing is, the Cass County people have been paying $1.00 per acre maintenance and are going to get charged $3.00 (an acre for the project). But they have to get their water through this section in White County that is all a mess. So we finally, it was a unanimous vote, to go ahead and clean this section through White County as a part of this project. I know there are going to be people that object to that. But if you didn’t do that, the people in Cass County on this section of Little Indian Creek, they were going to be paying $3.00 an acre for an outlet they couldn’t even get to right now. The White County end is a part of the regulated drain, the Conn Ditch in Cass County. It is regulated but for some reason it was not put on maintenance and no work was ever done.” Secretary Kiser said, “We (Surveyor’s office) never heard any more about it.”

Board Member Heimlich said the Surveyor from Fulton County is the one who will make the presentation at the hearing. Board Member Heimlich said he thinks if this gets done we need to have a joint board with Cass County to put the 3 ½ miles in White County on maintenance. He said if the part in White County is not cleaned out then Cass County gets nothing out of it.

Chairman Burton reported that he is the Benton and White County Joint Board president for the Hall Drain (in Benton County and Young Drain in White County project which is to reconstruct an old tile and have an open ditch across the Benton Co. section. He said, “It was proposed to be done in two phases. The ditch is the first phase and that was approved unanimously. The idea is after the ditch is done, the new construction would extend the ditch north across agreeable property owners over to the White County line. The first phase hopefully will help our White County landowners. We did have landowners or representatives at that meeting and the White County people were in favor of the initial ditch and were looking forward to the extension, the new construction of a ditch at a later time. So that was agreed upon.”

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.