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May 15, 2006 Tape #010

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:40 A.M., EDT in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members Steven Burton and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance. Others attending were Charles Mellon, Greg Jacobs, John Rehm and Tony Cain.

Chairman Burton asked for the approval of the minutes of the May 1, 2006 meeting. Board Member Heimlich moved that the minutes be approved. Chairman Burton seconded the motion. Minutes were approved unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Dean Chaney (and Kim Chaney), owner of Dean’s Electric is purchasing property in Section 12, Honey Creek Township, on the M. F. Smith Br. #1 Ditch from Glen Jennings with plans to raise horses on the property near CR 375 N and CR 300 E. He has asked permission to put in a walk bridge, or a horse bridge to get from one side of the ditch to the other. That is across our regulated drain. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Back in 2001, Romana (Sec. Kiser) remembered allowing a person to put the same type of structure on a ditch. That is the letter sent to the owner (Board reviews letter). I think what he wants to do is lay power poles down on the ditch and put boards across them to make a walk bridge across the ditch. It will be a private, temporary crossing for horses and people to walk across.” Attorney Loy asked, “It is going to stay there?” Surveyor Sterrett said yes.

Board Member Heimlich said, “I don’t know if that would constitute, whether you need a Right to Encroach.” Attorney Loy said, “I think it is under the Right of Crossing Statute in the Ditch Code. Does anybody have any problems with it?” Surveyor Sterrett said he does not have any problem with it. Board Member Heimlich said, “There is a precedent before it. As long as he understands what the…..” Surveyor Sterrett said, “What the outcome would be if we had to clean it. I don’t think it would cause an obstruction. It is going to be up on the banks. I just wondered if I needed to send some type of letter like that to him.” Attorney Loy said, “Yes, in fact I would have the guy sign it and agree to it.” Charlie Mellon asked how wide the ditch is there. Surveyor Sterrett said not very wide, it is at the END of the ditch. Attorney Loy said to have his signature on the letter.

Surveyor Sterrett reported on the rock dam obstruction on the F. M. Coonrod Ditch that Marvin Good reported to the Board at the May 1, 2006 meeting. Surveyor Sterrett showed photos of the dam before it was removed and of the same site after the dam was removed. He stated he was up there last Thursday and Chairman Burton has been up there. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “The tool shed IS encroaching on the bank (on the regulated drain easement), and the dam is gone.” Chairman Burton stated, “The renter of that property agreed to go in and remove the dam but we really haven’t addressed the encroachment issue.” Surveyor Sterrett displayed photos of the encroaching buildings. Attorney Loy asked if we know who the owners are. Surveyor Sterrett stated it is Wampler Development, LLC. Board Member Heimlich said, “The mobile home is encroaching, too.” Chairman Burton said they haven’t been out there yet to get the distance.

Attorney Loy stated, “I recommend that we send them something. These things obviously occur from time to time and now that we know about it, I think that we need to send them notice saying that was put in violation of State law and they have done so without our consent.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I guess notify them that we know that there is a violation and we are aware of it.” Attorney Loy stated, “And, who are you, Wampler Development LLC. The only address I guess we would have is from a tax statement. Maybe invite their representative to come to a meeting and take it from there. Don’t make any promises to them what we will or won’t do.” Chairman Burton said that the renter, Raymond Dulin, indicated that he is possibly a relative of the owner of the property. Surveyor Sterrett said the site is just south of SR 16 on CR 700 E.

Attorney Loy asked if they would have gotten a building permit. Surveyor Sterrett said it was probably before Liberty Township was under Area Plan jurisdiction. Attorney Loy said, “So no permit required by Area Plan. That tool shed looks newer.” Board Members Burton and Heimlich said it could be a late ‘70’s or early ‘80’s building.

Chairman Burton reviewed, “The plan is to draft a letter stating the violation and any future activity on the encroachment will not be allowed.” Attorney Loy said, “And moving all this stuff is definitely an option.” Chairman Burton said, “If they have any questions they can attend the next meeting.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported he has inspected the completed Carter-Hines Branch 3 Drain reconstruction project and the F. G. Church Drain reconstruction project. He stated that they are both completed to his satisfaction. He recommended that the Board sign reports showing Completion and Acceptance of Work on both projects. The Board signed both reports.

Surveyor Sterrett recognized Greg Jacobs who was present to address the Board about development of a property involving drainage problems and the H. L. Victor Tile Drain. Greg Jacobs stated, “I own a little over three acres on the far northeast side corner of Brookston. I have owned this property for twelve years or so. The last time I was in and talked about this was probably in 1999 (actually August 4, 1997 and October 6, 1997), I think Denny researched the minutes, and at that time I was hoping to develop the property and we discovered that we had a hundred and fifty feet of easement that went through two directions there. And I was mistaken when we drew these up, I thought that we got a variance reduced down to thirty feet but after researching the record Denny found it was thirty-seven and a half either way. The easement is really a mute point if we can’t correct the problem we have out there. What I am trying to do is see if it is correctable so I can develop the property. What we have is, we have a tile that runs to the northwest and feeds Demeter and United Feed’s area. I think that is a six or eight inch tile. Then we have a tile that goes to the northeast and picks up over in Dave Kent’s property.” At this time maps of the area are studied and Greg Jacobs pointed out catch basins and risers. Mr. Jacobs continued, “Theory in what I saw out there is telling me that we were blocked between our catch basin, and what I could see, that the head pressure from Demeter area was pushing water into us and our water couldn’t get south. Talking to Dave Kent a couple of weeks ago, he told me that for thirty years water has bubbled up out of his. I talked to Denny about putting a check valve on and basically putting a riser on the catch basin so I could test that theory to see if in deed the water was coming out. But after talking to Dave I decided against that. What I believe is happening, is we are getting all that acreage ponding in our area and it is not able to get out. I’d like to think there is still a blockage. Denny had (Contractor) Tony Cain come out and they found where roots had dug in there and I also see evidence where kids next door have taken that grate off and thrown a bunch of limbs and stuff down in there which I’m sure is not helping it. It helped it a little bit but we still have one incident of moderate ponding. The reason I believe that we still have a blockage between the north side of SR 18 and us is, other than that seven inch rain we had a few years ago, in all the time I’ve never seen ponding standing in the ditch on the highway. What I am wanting to do is, if we can’t get the ditch reconstructed, at least get the ditch cleared out to where head pressure, theoretically should take it on down in the middle of a field south of SR 18. I believe they sort of have the same situation because I believe the water rises and goes over the road.” (Surveyor Sterrett displaying maps of the area, location of tiles and that are thought to be in there and explaining where it takes a long time for water to go down. See tape.) Surveyor Sterrett said some time ago they could never tell which tile they were working on, the Bordner or the Victor so they put them together and there might be two parallel tiles in there. There are 289.6 acres in the watershed of that system. (Discussions - Greg Jacobs, Board, Surveyor and Tony Cain discussing location of tile sizes and repair work that has been done by the County and State Highway. See tape.)

Chairman Burton said, “We assume that it is working south of SR 18, other than the fact when you get a big rain water is going to pocket no matter how big the tile was. If there IS a problem, it is probably north of SR 18.” Greg Jacobs stated that Dave Kent says the tile is quartered south of 18 where they dug it up. Greg Jacobs said, “If my theory is correct, the only thing fixing my side would do, my head pressure is going to come out in the middle of Dave’s field. But, if that fixes my side I would be ok with that.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated that the H. L. Victor Drain maintenance fund brings in $940.00 a year and is on a variable rate.

Board Member Heimlich asked, “What exactly are we proposing to do?” Greg Jacobs answered, “I was hoping to test the theory and jet or uncover the pipe somewhere north of the State Right Of Way. If the Board thinks it is money well spent I was just hoping to see if we can make sure we don’t have a problem between us and the State.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I wouldn’t have a problem with that I guess.” Chairman Burton asked, “How many feet would you guess it is from the State (Highway 18) up to this property line here to the corner of your lot?” Surveyor Sterrett said about six hundred. Surveyor Sterrett said DeSabatine can go six hundred feet with his jetter. Chairman Burton said, “If it reaches a point where it becomes a reconstruction, at that point and time it will roll into a public hearing proper.” Greg Jacobs said perhaps the only one who wants to fix it is him. He stated, “I know it is costly to go across the highway. I am hoping there is not a problem on the south side but I would be willing at my expense to come down my side of it, if I was sure that it would correct the problem. It's not that I am wanting anybody to foot the bill; I am just trying to see if I can turn a temporary lake into a useable piece of property. I spent a couple of hours looking in that next piece of property and I couldn’t find where the majority of Demeter’s property was coming (draining) that direction. I couldn’t find the beginning of the Victor Tile. It is supposed to start 340 or 440 feet due north of our lot east line there. I could see sort of an erosion problem but no sign of a catch basin. Is it normal for a tile to begin without a catch basin?” The answer was yes. Demeter has a pretty sizable concrete block catch basin on the east side of their property and it looked to me like it was draining to the northeast. I went out in there and there were 3 tiles that were flowing good. One flowed to the southeast, but two of them flowed on over to that ditch. We’d have to look at whatever tile that is that flows that direction.”

Surveyor Sterrett said the guy out of Winamac (DeSabatine) charges approximately $1,000.00 a day to jet a tile out. He said you have to have somebody dig the hole (for them to get started). Chairman Burton asked, “What is your recommendation?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “How do you know whether it is something blocking the tile or whether it is just too small. With water standing on the north side and the south side. Ponding water has been standing there for years.” Chairman Burton asked how long the Victor Tile is. Surveyor Sterrett said about 4,200 feet. Cost was discussed and someone suggested you wouldn’t want to put a twelve inch back in.

(Discussions about running camera through tile.) Tony Cain asked how far they can go with those. Surveyor Sterrett said the City can go 300 feet with theirs. Greg Jacobs said that First Time Development out of West Lafayette can go 600 feet. Chairman Burton asked about the cost. Greg Jacobs said he thought it was $175.00 an hour with a three hour minimum. Tony Cain said there can't be very much water in the tile either. Greg Jacobs said the ones they use for sanitary sewer wouldn’t go through corrugated tile. Surveyor Sterrett said this is probably clay tile. Secretary Kiser said DeSabatine charged $200.00 for the first hour and then $100.00 an hour thereafter. Tony Cain said he would think they should camera it first. Greg Jacobs stated it is flowing now, even with all this rain. He said, “It is the hard rains that causes problems, there isn’t any water standing now. Any time I’ve gone out there, even after the heavy rains here recently, it’s flowing. I think when we get heavier rains.”

Board Member Heimlich said, “That could be it is just not big enough tile to handle what is coming through there.” Greg Jacobs said, “It just didn’t seem like the last rain we had, I don’t keep track of how many inches, it didn’t seem like it was enough that it should’ve ponded. I’m just trying to figure out the best solution.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I suppose we could go down there and run a jet through it under the highway, if we don’t screw up the one we fixed.” Chairman Burton said, “You are saying dig a hole south of the highway and jet north?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “That would be the way you should do it, jet with the flow.” Chairman Burton said, “So, do exploratory.” Board Member Heimlich said, “It sounds reasonable.” Chairman Burton said, “Report back to us.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I would like to take this time to thank the City of Monticello for allowing us to get the water to jet the Leslie Henry Tile. Also, the County Highway came out and vacuumed the sand out of the airwell. Also, the Town of Chalmers is letting us get water to jet the A. Friday Tile that runs up through the willows at the west edge of Chalmers. Brad Culver lives there and he has water coming up in his garage floor with heavy rain. So, we got up about 400 feet with the root cutter from the highway and his root cutter broke. We did pull some roots out. So, we need to go farther north. It is a little bit wet right now to get in the willows. He is coming back. The tile is either a ten or a twelve. Rick said he put solid tile through the willows. We will have them sprayed this year. Actually about 80 or 90 feet of the willows are over the tile.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Ron Coonrod came in today and he has an excavator and a bulldozer and he has a half a mile of brush on his ditch, the Timmons Br. #4, that he wants to remove it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I was wondering if it was alright to let him do that or do we need to take quotes on it, like if it is $1,500.00 or something like that. It is about a half a mile of ditch. He owns the ground.” Board Member Heimlich asked if it is a regulated ditch. It is. Board Member Heimlich said he was sure at one time we had a policy and a fee schedule for that. Surveyor Sterrett and Secretary Kiser said that fifteen dollars for a man with a saw was all they recall knowing about. Board Member Heimlich said, “We had rates for excavators, bulldozers, we had everything on there.” Secretary Kiser said she has looked back in the minutes several months ago and has not found that, but she will search again. Attorney Loy said he will try to pull that up, otherwise ask for three quotes.

Board Member Heimlich reported that he has not heard anything recently on the Indian Creek project. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he went out with the engineer and took him to White County locations on the project. Board Member Heimlich reported there is a Monon Ditch Joint Board meeting this Thursday night.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.