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March 7, 2005 Tape #-005

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, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance. Others attending were Jerry Lindquist, Charles Mellon and Roger Wiese.

Chairman Burton asked for additions or corrections to the minutes. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 22, 2005 meeting as presented. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion.

Attorney Loy stated the time for opening quotes on the Theodore Nichols Drain maintenance project was 10:30 and it is past that time. Attorney Loy asked and there was no one else present with a bid to submit. The project consists of dredging and leveling the spoil on 2,200 lineal feet of open ditch. Three sealed bids were presented by the Surveyor’s office. Attorney Loy opened the bids as follows: County Line Tiling/Excavating (Mike Ezra) of Winamac bid $2,000.00, DeVault Farms (Randy DeVault) of Reynolds bid $2,970.00 and Howe Excavating of Royal Center bid $1,790.00 (Allen Howe).

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept the proposal (lowest bid) from Howe Excavating of $1,790.00 for the maintenance project on the Theodore Nichols Drain in Prairie Township, White County, Indiana. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Burton asked if there was a time line on the project. Surveyor Sterrett said it is to be finished by March 30, 2006. He said he was hoping they could get to it before planting season.

Next on the agenda was the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the T. J. Woltz Drain in Union Township. Chairman Burton stated, “At the last meeting we set the rates for Maintenance Modification at $3.00 an acre and $10.00 per lot, small acreage and minimum.”

Surveyor Sterrett showed on a map what went on with the drain since 2002 and pointed out the areas of ponding and current repairs that are underway. He stated he talked to contractor Ezra this morning and he thought his bill for the current repair project would be between $3,000.00 and $4,000.00 by the time it is finished. The current assessment is $1.00 an acre and there are 603 acres so it is going to take a while to pay for repairs.

Board Member Ferguson asked if that is where they have been having problems with water over the road. Surveyor Sterrett said it is over CR 800. He said, “We have it opened up now and it is running, but there is so much water behind it, it takes so long to drain down. So, I proposed that we raise it to $3.00 an acre and it will bring in $1,847.00 a year at that rate. So it will take two years to pay off this one repair bill at that rate.”

Chairman Burton reviewed the color code on the map. He said, “So his estimated bill would be to repair the two orange spots.” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Right. And we probably have sixty foot of tile removed right now and it is reinforced concrete bell tile, six foot sections. It's a good tile, but there was a repair, that is where this suck hole developed, and we dug that out and the ‘whole world caved in’. So, we haven’t really got the water off of the tile to get down to it yet to make any repairs. That’s what we’re waiting on. It’s been running since October, I believe is when we opened it up. It keeps raining and filling it up.”

Chairman Burton said what we are doing here is approving what we decided to do last meeting. He asked if there was anyone here that had any questions. Landowner Jerry Lindquist was present and said, “It is pretty straight forward to what he said, as far as what I understand, as far as problems and things. I’ve heard talk about maybe putting something new through there, but I don’t know if that has been brought up. As far as the assessment, it does need to work but it has a lot of water to get out of there before you can get down to it.”

Attorney Loy asked Surveyor Sterrett if he had received any objections. Surveyor Sterrett answered he had not. Chairman Burton said to address what Jerry Lindquist just brought up, this is just a repair and upkeep of what we currently have and it would be a totally different situation to do something else. Board Member Heimlich agreed that this is strictly maintenance, this isn’t a reconstruction.

Board Member Heimlich asked what the reasons are for so many blowouts on the tile. Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks it has been like that for years. He said where it blew out is concrete, but the rest of the tile on downstream is still that old clay tile. Chairman Burton asked if it is all the same sized tile. Surveyor Sterrett said that it is fifteen inch on the east side of CR 725 and it is eighteen inch on the west side of CR 725. He said that the County Highway Department replaced 450 foot of the eighteen and put solid tile in there, but they couldn’t pick up any grade there, it was laid flat. The fifteen inch is going into the eighteen inch. He thinks it is just too much water and there are two or three duck ponds behind it and that collects water. Chairman Burton said this seems to be the best course of action at the time under the circumstances. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Unless someone petitions it for something else, whether it be an open ditch or a new tile.”

Chairman Burton read the ADOPTION OF MAINTENANCE MODIFICATION I.C. §36-9-27-42: “The White County Drainage Board having heard and considered all the evidence and any objection submitted in these proceedings, the Chairman would now consider a motion finding that the current estimate of maintaining the T.J.WOLTZ DRAIN is insufficient and that the annual assessments for periodic maintenance of said drain should be increased as proposed in these proceedings (to $3.00 an acre and $10.00 per minimum and per lot).” Board Member Ferguson so moved. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. “The White County Drainage Board by a vote of 3 in favor and 0 opposed now hereby adopts the Schedule Of Assessments as originally filed herein. The White County Drainage Board issues its written Findings and Order declaring the proposed maintenance modification schedule in these proceedings established, A copy of which will be mailed to all owners affected.”

Roger Wiese addressed the Board requesting an exemption from the White County Drainage Ordinance for his hog operation under the name of Rolling W Finish, Inc. in Honey Creek Township.

Board Member Heimlich reported, “Denny (Surveyor Sterrett) and I have both been out and looked at that project and it kind of fits what we talked about when we adopted the Ordinance, about a farm building out in the middle of a 160 acre field where no one else is affected. Actually he had an engineer prepare a drainage plan anyway on his own. But, there is no reason to go through the expense of a review here.” Surveyor Sterrett said there is no regulated drain very close, maybe a half a mile. Roger Wiese stated all the above ground water and underground water all runs across our property or Wiese Farms Inc. and he is president of that also.

Chairman Burton asked if there was anybody else present that would like to address the issue. There was not. Chairman Burton stated, “The one thing I would like, to make sure we understand what John’s commented on here, that we are not creating a precedence that we just randomly grant exemptions, but this meets the order and purpose.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Right, we have granted exemptions in the past, but you have to be careful that you are in no way you are creating or worsening a drainage problem for some adjacent landowner. That’s the basic. There have been several that have asked for exemptions that we have denied because we didn’t feel we could say that it wasn’t going to affect somebody. So we needed a review of it.” Chairman Burton just said he just wanted to make sure that we note that.

Roger Wiese stated, “This property we are asking an exemption for is completely surrounded by my land and Wiese Farms, Inc.” Chairman Burton said, “I am satisfied with that. I just want to make sure if somebody comes in, we can reference this is why.”

Board Member Heimlich made a motion that the Board grant the waiver from the White County Drainage Ordinance to Rolling W Finish, Inc. for a hog operation. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Roger Wiese asked if he could have a letter or something. Secretary Kiser said we have to give Area Plan a letter stating he has a waiver so they will give him his building permits and he will have a copy of that letter.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he has new part-time help (Nick Beasy) and they are working on surveying the Church Ditch. That is north of CR 400 North. The ditch runs parallel to CR 400 North. DNR, Steve Rosentreter, Verne Wilson and Criswells are some landowners.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.