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August 1, 2005 Tape #015

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, Engineer Todd Frauhiger and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Others attending were Walter Hough, Bill Pyle, Don Pauken, Ray Bixler, Howard Ruemler, Charles M. Campbell, Edward Forsythe, Jim Jordan, Brad Jordan, Tom Parsley, William S. Gatewood, David Reiff, Tom Fletcher, Dennis VanDuyne and Charlie Mellon.

Chairman Burton called the meeting to order and asked for the approval of the minutes from the July 18, 2005 meeting. Board Member Ferguson so moved to approve the minutes. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reviewed, “At the last Drainage Board meeting we talked about the Harp-Helfrick Ditch at the river at Buffalo. Walt Hough (Liberty Township Trustee) is here to explain some more about it.”

Chairman Burton and Board Member Ferguson stated that they have been up to the site to look at it.

Walt Hough stated, “I brought several neighbors from that area. We kind of have a bit of a problem. We are not sure what we can do to get it taken care of. It has got to the point where the water is starting to get stagnant and the mosquitoes are breeding like crazy and this is the second time now that we have had mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus. It is a concern to all of the neighbors in there. It is a big concern to my neighbors Ed and Mary Taulman that live next to me because they have their house up for sale. The week of July 11 people came down to look at the house. They wanted to buy it, but they walked in the back and said ‘we’re not buying it, that’s nothing but a mud hole back there’. I don’t know, it’s been several years since they came in and dredged that where the tank cars are at.” Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks it has been about ten years. Walt Hough said when they did that before it seemed to help quite a bit, it helped the pond a lot, but since it has been that long it has just built up and there is so much sand coming down over there. He said, “All the neighbors are concerned and I’m concerned because now the water in front of my house is getting stagnant. I can see the land values in that area going down immensely. I’d say within a year that sandpit is going to be all the way across and it is going to be landlocked where Mr. Forsythe lives. That broke through and the sand is all in front of his house. It has got to the point where it used to be deep and now it is 3 or 4 foot deep. I don’t know as far as ditch bank is concerned what it would take, but I know I don’t mind paying extra ditch maintenance if that’s what it is going to cost to get that taken care of. We’re just all concerned and would like to know basically what we could try to get done to get it taken care of. I know you can't do the whole pit, that’s impossible, that’s a lot of money. I’ve had SFLECC up there. They said ‘there’s nothing we can do, we don’t go north of the river.’ I called the Army Corps of Engineers. I’ve had the State Board of Health up there, the County Board of Health; we’ve had them all up there looking. It’s got to the point it is a great concern to get something done. I wish you’d take a good look at it. There are some other people I know in the Buffalo area that are interested in talking about it, that live up there. I know where you come across where the tank cars are at, there’s a beige trailer there. The guy built a storage shed there. That storage shed is on skids and Bill, I can’t remember his last name, he built that and he said that is designed to be moved and the fence there, the fence just comes out. I know the last time that they did that they were concerned about where are we going to put all the stuff when we get it out of there. I know there is a guy down in Palmer Addition that said he would take all of that for fill. I’d appreciate it very much.”

Board Member Ferguson said, “Since I saw those pictures that you had, someone has dug it out and it is running straight through, but it is running through real slow.” Walt Hough said the people right there got out and dug it. Surveyor Sterrett showed photos of the way the site looked last year and the way it looks this year. Board Member Heimlich asked where the legal description ends. Surveyor Sterrett stated that according to the legal description the drain goes clear to the river. The Board and several residents studied the photos and discussed where it has been dug previously and where it needs dug again. (See tape) Walt Hough said he doesn’t know where the sand comes from but it is pouring in there. One resident said that the three years since he moved there (he showed where) the water level has come up three feet.

Chairman Burton said his biggest question is, going back to the “gravel pit”, who owns it. Walt Hough said he thought a guy from Rensselaer bought it, thinking he bought six and a half acres of land, and gave it back to the County. He was not sure.

One resident asked how much is on maintenance. Surveyor Sterrett said seventy-five feet from the top of the bank. Board Member Heimlich asked what the legal description is through that area. Surveyor Sterrett said it is a centerline description like the rest of our drains. He said it starts at the river and goes north. Board Member Heimlich asked if the ditch preceded the pit or the pit preceded the ditch. Walt Hough said the pit was there before the tank cars. Charlie Mellon said he’s been there since 1966 and that pit was there when he came there. Walt Hough said Bill Geier helped put those tank cars in.

One resident stated, “Like Walt was saying, if that could be dug out that would really help.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “If WHAT could be dug out?” Walt Hough answered, “Right here, (pointed out on the map). I can’t remember how many years ago but they came in, dug that out, cleaned it up. That helped tremendously. There’s no way you can dig out the whole pit. That would be a fortune to get all that done.” Board Member Heimlich said the contractor that was here at the last meeting had some concerns about how to get in and out of there. Walt Hough showed how they could get in there by moving a shed and fence. One resident said when they got done it was probably fifteen to nineteen feet deep.

The residents conveyed that they didn’t think getting rid of the dirt would be a problem; they knew people who wanted it. Chairman Burton asked if the dirt was thrown up on the bank when it was dipped before. They said no, it was hauled away, maybe fifty of sixty loads. Walt Hough said, “Sometimes in the mornings, whatever comes from up north and comes down through here, you can’t stand it, it is stinking so bad.”

Board Member Heimlich asked how much digging it would be. Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t know. He said Mike Ezra was talking about building the guy’s bank up and making him more yard.

Chairman Burton stated he would like to hold this issue over two more weeks and have Mike Ezra come back in since he has experience up there. Board Member Heimlich said they can go up with Contractor Ezra and look at it. Charlie Mellon said Kirk Ingram did the work before. Numerous conversations at one time …inaudible…..about what to do and how to do it (see tape).

Chairman Burton said he would like to clarify assessments, who could be assessed, etc. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think people along the river pay $5.00 minimum.” Charlie Mellon indicated those people should pay six times that. He said, “They spent $11,000.00 of ditch maintenance money the last time they cleaned it out plus their $5.00 that didn’t amount to much. (Secretary Note: The rate on farm ground is fifty cents an acre. Charlie Mellon stated it was $3.00 an acre which is incorrect.) Mike Ezra says that should be dipped from the river up through there so that canal would drain out better.” Surveyor Sterrett stated that the maintenance fund is up to about $16,000.00. Confused discussion on assessments followed (see tape). One resident stated, “One thing that is not being said is that we just spent about $3,500.00 of our own money to dig from the ramp to the river. Mike Ezra dug it out for us. That’s why I wanted you to come up, to show you what we did.”

(Secretary Note to clarify assessments: One resident that said “we are paying $10.00” has a lot and a half so he is paying $10.00. The minimum is $5.00.)

Board Member Heimlich said, “Why don’t we go up there with Mike Ezra and look at what could be done.” Chairman Burton said, “I have more questions now, since I’ve been up there, than when Mike was here two weeks ago. But, I wanted to make it clear that we can’t single out the cottage owners right there in that area and say ‘you’re going to pay this much’. The maintenance fund comes out of the whole ditch from the north clear down to the river, so everyone will be involved and participating as far as finances go.” Attorney Loy said, “If you chose to modify the assessments there will have to be a Hearing.” Walt Hough said those who live in that area don’t mind paying more assessment if it is going to benefit them. Board Member Heimlich said, “We are just saying to adjust the assessments would take a Hearing.”

Chairman Burton said, “I recommend that we continue this on in two weeks and go explore it, talk to Mike and see what our alternatives are and how in depth this is going to be, and it may come to a Maintenance Modification, but right now we’re way ahead of that.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported on Ray Bixler Hog Buildings, “We had a letter from his Engineer (C & S/Paul Couts). They are wanting to do the hog buildings in two phases.” Surveyor Sterrett displayed drawings. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “July 5th when we originally talked about this, we noted the existing tile would require reconstruction, George. We contacted the Engineer right after the meeting and said that we had an issue, that we would have to reconstruct a portion of the tile. (Attorney Loy said, “The original design had the building sitting right on top of it.) So what they have requested to do, they are proceeding with the reconstruction of that tile. They have been working with Denny to get all the proper paperwork filed, public notices out, and that’s well underway. So they have asked to separate the project into two phases. Phase One is basically the detention pond and the north building, which have no impact on the existing tile. Phase Two then, after reconstruction is approved would be the south building and the south detention pond and the relocation of the tile. Drainage-wise, remember at July 5th we said that we reviewed the drainage calculations and the drainage calculations were fine. That hasn’t changed. Now all they are doing is separating it into two phases. Phase One has no impact on the tile and Phase Two, impact on the tile after the reconstruction is approved. I would recommend approval of Phase One for the north detention pond and the north building can be started with no impact on the existing tile.”

Ray Bixler explained, “The purpose being on that is, we are trying to hit a deadline productivity-wise and looking at the economic side of it. We are trying to hit a mid to late September fill. We are feed to finish so that’s six month increments and I can’t afford economically to get in to putting weaners in there in the winter time, because every year that adds up.”

Board Member Heimlich asked if we can meet the time deadlines to have the Reconstruction Hearing on September 6th. The answer was yes. Attorney Loy said to strike the words “Vacation” on the landowner letter. He said that reconstruction includes rerouting. Board Member Heimlich wanted to make sure there was no Consent to Encroach needed along with that. Engineer Frauhiger said there was not one needed.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Phase One for Ray Bixler Hog Buildings. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger presented drainage plans for Twin Lakes School Baseball Field Parking Lot and Meadowlawn School Parking Lot. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “We reviewed the project, we reviewed the drainage calculations. This one we are ready to totally recommend approval on. Basically the water is going to be directed into an L-shaped detention pond with an eight inch tile that empties into an existing twelve inch tile which goes to Buss Ditch. All the drainage calculations were reviewed. They were correct. The size of the pond is correct. They have a legitimate outlet. So we are ready to recommend approval on this one, Meadowlawn Parking Lot.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Twin Lakes School Corporation Meadowlawn School Parking Lot. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “The Baseball Parking Lot, we are ready to recommend approval with one small. We have one small question I will clear up with Jim (Surveyor Milligan) after the approval process. We didn’t bring the cross sections in and I didn’t have them to review last week but there is a parking lot going in with a proposed detention pond. The detention pond is sloped to the middle to an inlet which will be tied into an existing twelve inch tile which basically goes right through the parking lot in this area right here. The one concern we have is this proposed driveway here. It appears that there is a low pocket that is created by the construction of the driveway right in this area. We are not sure if we need to put an equalization pipe in under the driveway or not. We will leave that up to him (Surveyor Milligan). But, just from looking at the cross sections and looking at the elevations you might pond some water and maybe just put an equalization pipe, an eight inch pipe or something. I don’t think there is a side ditch down here is there?” David Reiff agreed that there is a dip there and it would probably be best to put a pipe under it. Engineer Frauhiger said, “Just give a way for the water to equalize on both sides of the driveway. Otherwise, the drainage calculations have been reviewed, the detention pond is the correct size, they have an outlet in the twelve inch pipe that goes to Buss Ditch and we are ready to recommend approval with the caveat that we will talk to Jim Milligan and put in an equalization pipe. Well, if you (Dave Reiff) feel it is legitimate, why don’t we just go ahead and recommend approval with an equalization pipe under the driveway. An eight inch, just something to let the water spread down both sides.”

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for the Twin Lakes School Baseball Field Parking Lot with the equalization pipe in. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Burton asked for anything further to be brought before the Board. Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.