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January 3, 2006 Tape #001

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. Charles Mellon also attended.

Chairman Burton opened the meeting. Board Member Heimlich asked for the re-organization of the White County Drainage Board officers for the year 2006. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to keep the same officers, attorney and secretary for 2006. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The White County Drainage Board for 2006 will be as follows: Steven Burton remains as Chairman, John C. Heimlich remains as Vice-Chairman, George W. Loy remains as Drainage Board Attorney, and Romana Kiser remains as Drainage Board Secretary.

Secretary Kiser reported that the County Council removed the line item in the Drainage Board budget for $500.00 for the Drainage Board Secretary for 2006. Therefore, there would be no funds to pay the Secretary in the event of an extra or evening meeting. She thinks perhaps that could be paid out of Special Board funds.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 19, 2005 meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett asked the Board to set rates on reconstruction of the Carter-Hines Branch #3 in Cass Township. Surveyor Sterrett showed on a map where the Carter-Hines has been cleaned and de-brushed and showed where Branch #3 is. He said,
“This ditch has been petitioned for reconstruction from here to here (pointed out on map) which is 6,100 feet. This is CR 600 and this is CR 1400. This is just a small ditch that runs along the road here. I think Doyne Nethercutt owns about 45 percent of the property that drains into it. This petition was approved in 1998. There are 23 landowners, 32 parcels, drains 453 acres and my estimate was $13,321.00 so if we took a straight rate that would be $29.36 an acre, less whatever we decide to do with the minimums.”

Board Member Ferguson asked if that was the top end of the Carter-Hines. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “No, this is just a branch that is not on maintenance with the Carter-Hines but it is a regulated drain. There is no maintenance fund. I thought we would set it up on maintenance, too. It is an old drain, 1893.” Board Member Heimlich asked if there were many small tracts. Surveyor Sterrett said there might be eleven, depending on what you call minimum.

Chairman Burton asked, “You have estimated that the $13,300 something is what it is going to take to debrush it and clean it? (Surveyor Sterrett said yes, to reconstruct it.) And from my education, since there is no money there, is there actually three things that will happen today as far as we are going to set the maintenance.” Board Member Heimlich said we are going to set the rates for reconstruction hearing. Surveyor Sterrett said, “So I can send out notices.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “Reconstruction and maintenance will be the same hearing won’t it?” Attorney Loy answered, “Right, but your notice will say ‘Landowner, your portion of the cost of the reconstruction is this and then your estimated annual maintenance is x dollars’.” Steve Burton said, “And the maintenance isn’t something we will be doing anything with, it is for future maintenance.” That was correct.

Surveyor Sterrett said, “There’s 3 or 4 drains around there not included in the Carter-Hines maintenance fund and you can tell by the looks of the ditch that they don’t have maintenance. Like I say, we have one major owner who did sign the petition. I have him owning 45 percent (Doyne Nethercutt). The reconstruction rate is $29.36 if you want a straight rate and what do you think a fair minimum would be?” Chairman Burton asked, “The parcels that would meet the minimum, are they houses?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, there’s a hill running right here, half of it drains this way and half of it drains that way, there’s a three acre tract there, there’s only one acre going to the ditch. This has one acre and that has one acre. So if we have $50.00 minimum……two acres would not be a minimum. Let’s say it was $30.00 an acre, so two acres would be $60.00, so one acre would be $29.00 if you didn’t do a minimum.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I’d say set the minimum at $29.00 or $30.00, $30.00 would be a round number. And then on maintenance…….You say it is about a mile? (Surveyor Sterrett said 6,100 feet) What would it cost to spray it?” Surveyor Sterrett said $1,200.00 at twenty cents a foot. Board Member Heimlich said, “Three dollars an acre is what we have been setting most maintenance at and ten dollars minimum.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “The fund would build up to $5,400.00 and you would stop drawing.” The Board thought that would be enough for a mile. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Three dollars an acre and ten dollars minimum.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “I have a question on, what kind of deadline do you think we ought to give the contractor on something like that?” Chairman Burton asked, “Are you referring to this one (project) or a different one?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, (this one). We have the hearing, get quotes, probably won’t have the hearing until next month.” Secretary Kiser said, “You set the date for the hearing and then we figure thirty to forty days to send the letters, and we have to advertise it ten days prior and after the hearing. We have to have thirty days minimum for the letters. Probably February 21st. That would give us a full month plus two weeks to get it ready.” Surveyor Sterrett said, I think we lost some bids on the last project because we had it set to be completed by April.” Board Member Heimlich said April would be pretty tight. Surveyor Sterrett said if you go past that you are going to interfere with crops. Board Member Heimlich said the Surveyor should talk with the tenant Tim Burke about it. Board Member Heimlich said, “If it was me and I was losing crops because of the ditch, I would say go ahead and do it.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Down here at the high end there’s two tiles that come in there that we found that are one foot below the dirt. There’s no water in the ditch. There is no way the water can get in the ditch.” Board Member Heimlich suggested to put a May time line on it, May 1st.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the rates for the Reconstruction of Carter-Hines Branch #3 Drain in Cass Township at $29.36 an acre and $30.00 minimum and set the rates for Maintenance at $3.00 an acre and $10.00 minimum. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Burton expressed appreciation from the Board and the Surveyor for a complimentary letter from Mr. Harold Reiff. Mr. Reiff shared the results of a maintenance project done by mutual agreement of landowners.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that the McKillip Branch #1 has been dipped out by Ezra (County Line Tiling/Excavating). The McKillip is over at CR 400 N and CR 700 W. He stated that really helped that ditch. He also reported that the M.K. Reiff Ditch project has been started by Howe Excavating. He has it dipped out. Also, Ezra (County Line Tiling/Excavating) has started the F. G. Church Drain project, de-brushing it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Right now my help and I are surveying the Vannatta and will survey the Big Pine at the same time. It is over by CR 900 S and SR 53. After we get that done we will probably start on the B. K. Roach Ditch which was petitioned in 1998. That’s in Liberty Township. This is the Rangeline (300 E), this is CR 375 and it dumps into the Hoagland right here, probably right at a mile.”

Surveyor Sterrett gave an update on the Henry Stewart Tile that drains into an open ditch south of Brookston. He stated, “We sent landowners letters. We got two of those letters back, signed, and those just happened to be the two contract buyers, Mr. Hardesty and Mr. Mathews. Well, actually, our Drainage Board meeting was December 7th and I got a call after the meeting from Mr. Jewell who said he couldn’t be at the meeting and he wanted to know what was going on. I told him what we were trying to do and he didn’t have a problem with it. So, I sent him a copy of the plan and then we sent out the letters. The 9th Mrs. Jewell called me and she wasn’t happy. She wanted us to sign a release that we would not hold her responsible for any harm that came to the contractor. Attorney Loy said we could not do that. She called me again on the 13th and she kind of hung up on me. So I guess we wait and see what happens. Blissetts are the start of it and Jewells are next. She has a tile that comes out in that ditch that is under water.”

Chairman Burton asked if Derflinger has started on the J. P. Carr Drain reconstruction project. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “No, he got us a bond. I was down there before Christmas and he hadn’t started it. What do we do? If he gets the lower end where the crops are then he won’t interfere with crops and the upper end, it is all woods; he can get the woods any time. Should I give him a call?” Secretary Kiser said she thinks he signed the contract January 5, 2005. Attorney Loy answered, “Get a letter out to him immediately and say that if he doesn’t respond you will contact the bonding company.”

Board Member Heimlich reported that they have started taking bids on the brushing of the Big Monon Ditch. They are due the 12th. Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.