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July 17, 2006 Tape #014

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, O. D. “Bud” Ferguson and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer L. Todd Frauhiger and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Darrell and Linda Diggs, Randy DeVault, John and Ruby Mroczek signed the register. There were others attending including Charles Mellon, Blair Underhill, Gerry Underhill, B.J.Mursener, Steve Brooke, Linda Kokenberg, Linda Penn, Harriet and Junior Cable.

Chairman Burton opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes for the July 3, 2006 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Chairman Burton asked, if everyone was in agreement, to modify the agenda and move item two down to later on in the meeting so that some Airport Board members can attend after the Council meeting they are attending.

Chairman Burton opened the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the C. M. Mertz #2 Drain in Jackson Township.

Surveyor Sterrett reviewed what was previously discussed at the last two Board meetings stating, “This drain is currently in debt $2,453.00 and it brings in $1,000.00 a year. It is currently assessed at $1.00 an acre and $5.00 a minimum or per lot. Benefited acres 833 and there are 63 parcels. At that time when it was $5.00 minimum and there was 45 minimums, 47 landowners. We need to raise the maintenance on it. We need to do some work on it right now, so it is pretty hard to do work on it when it is in debt. We were going to raise it to $3.00 an acre and $10.00 minimum, or a lot, like in these Additions here (indicated on the map).” Board Member Heimlich said if they are less than an acre then it would be $10.00 charge. Chairman Burton said that is what we discussed at the June 5, 2006 meeting and asked if any landowners were here to talk about this.

John Mroczek asked if the ditch needs maintenance right now. Surveyor Sterrett answered yes it does. Surveyor Sterrett explained, “There’s about fifteen hundred feet of willows that are on the tile and the tile is plugged up. Just north of John Coble’s, north of Springtown Road. Here’s the school right here and the tile is broken down right here. Right straight west of the school. Water is coming up out of the ground and going back into the tile about fifteen hundred feet downstream. (Mr. Mroczek said Coble is the tenant.) It is on the Montgomery ground.” Mr. Mroczek asked about how many feet of tile that would be. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Well, we’re just going to try to get it repaired now, try to find out where it is plugged up at and get the willows off the tile.”

Chairman Burton stated that part of this Hearing is that the tile is currently in debt $2,453.00, that’s two years worth of income what they are trying to do is to bring the dollars per acre up to where we can pay off the debt and still support maintenance on the tile. That’s why we are asking for the change. See tape – inaudible discussion on trying to fix it before.

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I have Allen Howe out there. He is going to investigate it and see where it is plugged up. I walked it about two months ago. It comes up out of the ground on the north end of the willows and goes back in the ground on the south end. It’s in debt two thousand dollars and only brings in a thousand. So, we can’t hardly do anything on it until we get some more maintenance money in there.” Charlie Mellon asked about major landowners on the drain. Surveyor Sterrett said that Montgomery has a hundred acres on it, MKR, which is Milt Cole, has quite a bit. The landowner present at the meeting has 34 acres and 80 acres. He said it is his main outlet. Board Member Heimlich said we are raising the rate from $1.00 to $3.00 per acre. See tape for explanation on when stop collecting maintenance.

There were no written remonstrances.

Chairman Burton read the Adoption Of Maintenance Modificaton IC 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 C. M. Mertz #2 Drain is insufficient and that the annual assessments for periodic maintenance of said drain should be increased as proposed in these proceedings. (Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded.) 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.”

Engineer Frauhiger reported on the drainage review for the new White County Hospital site, “We had a chance to meet with the design consultant a week ago last Friday. We received the submittal and reviewed it. Just to give you a brief overall synopsis of what is going on the property, there’s three drainage basins. The hospital and the medical building are in basin number three with the storm water detention pond back in this corner, outletted directly into Buss Ditch. The new parking facilities out front will drain toward Sixth Street and it is in basin number one, it’s in the north end of the property which is currently undeveloped. Basin number two is the area back here behind the buildings. The parking lot area will drain toward Sixth Street. There are water quality basins, they also act as storm water detention basins in the parking lot area which drains out to an established ditch along Sixth Street, a ditch that will be constructed along Sixth Street. That water is going to pass through a twelve inch tile, an existing twelve inch tile into Buss Ditch. Basin number three is the hospital building per se, the actual building, some parking behind the building. Drainage from this basin will pass through a storm water detention pond through an eighteen inch tile, through an existing tile into the Buss Ditch. Basin number two, which is the undeveloped area, that will continue to the Buss Ditch through an existing tile. We have reviewed all the calculations.” Board Member Heimlich asked if this is a plan for just the office building. Engineer Frauhiger answered, “This is for everything, hospital, office building, parking lots, everything.” See Tape for inaudible conversation with Dennis Verkamp from the engineering firm that did the plan. He stated the office building will be the first thing built and the hospital will follow. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “I will give Dennis some credit here, the calculations were outstanding. Everything the Drainage Ordinance required has been more than met. I am ready to recommend the entire site for approval. The detention pond down here, the drainage area along Sixth Street, the sedimentation pond is in the parking lot out here, we didn’t find any problems whatsoever.”

Board Member Heimlich moved that the drainage plan for the new White County Hospital and Medical Office Building be approved as presented. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The plan was signed approved by Board Chairman Burton.

Engineer Todd Frauhiger reported on a waiver request by Tippecanoe Timbers (not a Subdivision) in Prairie Township along the river. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Dennis and I had a chance to meet with the owner and developer (Tedd Riley) last Monday. These are three-acre lots right along the river. There are some lots on the lower level of a large hill that comes down. All the drainage from this portion of the subdivision works its way directly to the river. The drainage for the upper portion of the subdivision goes to an existing outlet, which is a twenty-four inch pipe, which eventually works its way down to the river. They are three–acre lots. They ask for an exemption from the Drainage Ordinance. After seeing the site, after seeing the proximity to the river, and the drainage to the river. We think we can go ahead and grant the exemption.”

See tape for location explanation. Surveyor Sterrett said, “The twenty-four inch inlet into the ravine is not a County Tile.” Engineer Frauhiger stated that most of the lots are out of the Flood Plain but the back portion of the lots are in it. Surveyor Sterrett said they are three-acre lots so they have plenty of room. He said this doesn’t have to go through Area Plan because it is three-acre tracts. Engineer Frauhiger said it is his recommendation to grant a waiver. He said, “Everything is going to go right to the river. He put his detention pond in this area. He is going to put a tile to the river so he can drain that pond.” See tape - conversation about it being quite a hill getting to the lower lots. Steve Brooke has been out there. See tape - Discussion about the development causing more runoff and County’s liability. Surveyor Sterrett stated it is in crops now. He thinks if you get sod in there, there won’t be as much runoff. Engineer Frauhiger said he thinks the houses will be on the front of the lots. The back of the lots are steep, maybe a ninety-three foot elevation change on the hill. Board Member Heimlich said, “I guess there is nothing from the detention stand point.” Chairman Burton said, “My concern would be if these people come and complain that all that water is coming down on me.” Engineer Frauhiger stated, “I think if the exemption is granted, whoever designed this drainage pattern would have to be answering their questions.” Chairman Burton asked, “We’d be off the hook?” Todd answered yes.

Board Member Heimlich said the question would be, will the development make more runoff. Surveyor Sterrett said it is crop now and if you get sod in there it is not as much runoff. Engineer Frauhiger thought runoff is less with houses and grass than it is with farm ground.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant a waiver from the White County Drainage Ordinance to Tippecanoe Timbers on their drainage plan. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that there is a meeting at Cass County on the Indian Creek Maintenance/Reconstruction project tomorrow, July 18, 2006.

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I had a call from Mrs. Forsythe (the blue house on the Harp-Helfrick Ditch right-of-way). I guess I will go back up and look at it. Have you been by there, Charlie (Mellon)?” Charlie Mellon said that Walt Hough (Liberty Township Trustee) told him that a lot of sand came in there. Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, I think it was him that said that two weeks ago. They couldn’t get their boat out of there.” Board Member Ferguson asked if that was the one on Palmer Drive. Board Member Heimlich said yes, the ones that were in here a year ago.

Chairman Burton asked who actually owns the gravel pit. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Somebody does now. Ritchie did, only because they didn’t sell it off. They sold off all of those pieces and that is what was left. Some of the pieces go out into the water. It would take a surveyor to decide what is still there.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “In her conversation she didn’t offer to sign the papers that we asked for last year?” Surveyor Sterrett said no, her insurance company advised her not to sign any papers. Board Member Heimlich said it would’ve been taken care of. Surveyor Sterrett said, “She said we didn’t have to sign ten years ago. Her husband’s got it in the back because he was trying to scoop it out with a shovel.” Board Member Heimlich said, “So basically we’re still at the same impasse we were a year ago. Even if we were going to go in and dig, we would stay in the middle of the channel and it wouldn’t help what she is talking about now.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “She talked like the sand was coming down the ditch and swirling out in front of their house now, because it’s piled up where it’s at, which I imagine it is.” Chairman Burton said, “But their dock is really on the gravel pit and not the ditch.” Surveyor Sterrett said we have seventy-five foot right-of-way from top of the bank but we don’t usually dig out on the other side of the top of the bank. Board Member Heimlich said they are right on top of the right-of-way. Charlie Mellon said half of their house is on the right-of-way. Board Member Heimlich asked if he had heard from anybody else up there. Surveyor Sterrett said no, just Walt (Trustee Hough). Chairman Burton what our liabilty is, we haven’t given them permission to dig, to clean the ditch. Board Member Heimlich said we didn’t give them permission so they’re at their own risk. He said, my guess is where they’re cleaning is in our right-of-way, but it’s not in the channel. Board Member Ferguson said, “They’re making a new channel is what they’re doing.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “You haven’t been up there? I was wondering if he had done anything to his bank. We were up there last year and it looked like some of that metal was rusting away.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, and she talked like the culvert is washing out. I’ll look at it.”

Chairman Burton moved on to the meeting with the Faris/Lane Ditch landowners. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “About the only thing new I have on it is a Certificate of Approval for Construction in a Floodway from DNR.” Chairman Burton asked, “That (area) was included.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “No it wasn’t. Not on this. As near as I can tell it is not. I tried to pick them (areas) out, where they are at, by the legal descriptions. This came June 23, 2006. I called Daryl Johns at SFLECC and he said that they have to apply for these permits every year. This was to clean some channels but this channel was not included. And, Daryl told me that it would be included next permit they apply for.” See tape for discussion on what locations are included on this permit. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I’ve heard that they are going to pump the silt into big bags and put them up on the banks and water will run out of these bags, the bags will dry out then they’ll haul the sand out of these bags away.” Board Member Heimlich explained, “He’s talking about the SFLECC has got permits for the cleaning out of silt, this is just cleaning, right? Or is it for constructing silt traps?”

Surveyor Sterrett read from the DNR letter, “A hydraulic dredge will be used to perform maintenance dredging of selected areas along the banks of the river from US Highway 24 bridge extending south to approximately eight hundred feet north of Oakdale Dam. This project is completed over a ten year period. A mechanical excavator may be used to remove sediments from the shoreline and tributary areas and to place sediments in upland disposal sites. Dredging operations will take place throughout the year. Details of the project are contained and information and plans received at the Division of Water on September 20, 2005, October 27, 2005, November 3, 2005, November 8, 2005, December 16, 2005 and February 13, 2006.” Board Member Heimlich said, “THIS would be on the NEXT permit, when is that going to be?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Daryl told me the Faris Ditch will be coming up for dredging NEXT year, I think he meant the permit would be applied for.” Gerry Underhill said, “Daryl told me that the possibility for funds for that project didn’t look very promising.” One lady landowner said they took soil samples out there and they have been promised it every year for the last three years. She said her understanding is that it doesn’t apply to their area and Daryl told them a year ago that he had applied for the permit for our area. Board Member Heimlich said that according to what he told Denny, he hadn’t.

Blair Underhill introduced those in attendance who all have property at the mouth of Lane/Faris Ditch: “Darrell Diggs and his wife Linda, Linda Kokenberg, she’s right at the mouth of the ditch, she’s really got a serious problem. Linda Penn, her neighbor. She can’t get her boat in and out. Harriet and Junior Cable, they’ve been there forty years (She said she is the third generation, been there all her life). Their property is starting to fill in. We’re all involved in that area long enough to know the area, how it changed over the years and drastically filled in. Not something that gradually happened over thirty years, just BANG, filling in.” Gerry Underhill said, “Her father before her, Mr. Harry Lerch, she just told me a minute ago, there was a rock there at the mouth of the creek they used to dive off of, it was ten foot deep. Now they’ve been there three generations and they’ve watched it. We’ve only been there, maybe twenty-five years and watched it. CLEARLY, the Airport, the County, accepted responsibility to dig it out the first time. Apparently that was accepting responsibility. Here we are again, we’re talking about the same thing.”

Harriet Cable said, “My daughter and I walked up the creek, it was always called the creek all my life, it was a big flowing creek coming out of there. They call it Lane Ditch now. We walked clear up and the banks on the Airport side are caving in with big trees and roots and it’s all sifting out here into the lake and it is eroding terrible back in there, if anybody would want to walk back in there, they’ll see. We got pictures of it.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “Denny (Surveyor Sterrett) and I walked that about a couple years ago.”

Gerry Underhill said he talked to Tom Gilmore who was head of the neighborhood committee when the work was done before and he said that they agreed to dredge it, get all the sand out and THEN maintain it. He said that’s where it all stopped, there has not been any maintenance done and all the sand that was pulled up on top of the hill, it’s all back in the lake. He said had it been done properly in the beginning we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. See tape for discussion on when it was cleaned out and hauled out before. Harriett Cable said it was taken from Darrell Digg’s property and dumped on the Airport property.

Gerry Underhill said, “My son has pictures of the County ditches from Freeman Road, west, I think you fellas have taken a look, they all have little or no erosion, but from Freeman Road to the Lake, that’s County property, that’s were ninety-nine percent of it is going.”

Chairman Burton stated, “To say that if the silt hadn’t been put up there this wouldn’t have happened, I don’t think it would be accurate. If you have bank erosion that tall, that silt wasn’t put in there that deep was it?” Gerry Underhill stated, “We had professionals look at it and they are of the opinion that if had it been done properly first time we wouldn’t be doing it again.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “I guess from looking at it when Denny and I walked it, I disagree that is the only problem there where that silt was dumped on the Airport. Because there are areas back from that to the West that are also eroding. There is an awful lot of fall from Freeman Road to where it empties into the lake. When you get a big rain, that water comes through there at a pretty good clip. And there were numerous places along there where the bank was eroded.” Blair Underhill said if you walk from Freeman Road you won’t get into too much erosion until you get to where they cut the trees and excavated all that property, that’s where all the erosion starts. That’s all Airport property. There is a lot of runoff coming from farm land around the area. That’s all the more reason why it needs to be put in shape and maintained.”

At this point Airport Board member B. J. Mursener and another gentlemen entered the meeting. Chairman Burton reviewed for the newcomers, “A group had come before us the first part of June about their concern about silt and erosion on the Faris Ditch, which is to the south of, going through the Airport property. We had asked them if they could come back again today to talk about it some more and see if we could come to a conclusion, agreement or some kind of consensus on what the Airport may or may not be contributing to this erosion down into the bay towards Ski Island.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “Are you aware of the history back twenty years ago, you are aware of what was done back then?” B. J. Mursener said they are aware and would really like to have their engineers come to a meeting because they have done a study. Board Member Heimlich said, “That was a question I had, as far as your expansion, whether there was any talk of the drainage issue.” B. J. Mursener said they have reviewed the ditch and he can’t get into any detail, but they did look at the ditch’s capacity. He said he would like to bring their engineers up to discuss it. Board Member Heimlich asked if they have looked at the area where the silt was dumped back in there. B. J. Mursener said yes they have, very closely. Board Member Heimlich asked if he knew if they reached any conclusion. B. J. Mursener stated, “They seemed to feel that there was MINIMAL problems that we were causing. I don't want to talk out of school and be wrong. I’d really like them with their notes, etc. to come to a meeting.”

Gerry Underhill asked if they were the same engineers that did it the first time. B. J. Mursener answered he didn’t know. Blair Underhill said, “We came to an Airport Board meeting three years ago and you guys had the engineers come up and walk the property. They all looked at it and all the damage and then all of a sudden out of the blue, they say well, it’s not really your problem, it’s all the twenty-five hundred acres of farmland draining into this area. I didn’t even realize at the time they were the engineers that developed the property back in 1978. Naturally they are not going to have an open mind, they’re not going into that to say this is not right, we ought to change this. If we’re going to have engineers, I want to have somebody that comes in there and looks at it…….” B. J. Mursener said, “Well, have your engineer do it. We aren’t going to change engineers. But I do think in all honesty that certainly the Drainage Board should hear what they have found.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I would like to hear what they say.” B. J. Mursener said, “I’m not going to go, you know, hire your engineer to do the job. They feel that a good portion of it was coming on down through the ditch. But to get into detail, I feel they should be here with their notes.” See tape for discussions about letters, documents and agreements mentioned by Underhills. B. J. Mursener asked specifically what documentation and what agreements, and he asked were they written? That was not directly answered. B. J. Mursener said he assumed they could have a copy of the agreement. Blair Underhill did show some petitions. Board Member Heimlich said he didn’t think any were Drainage Board.

It was decided by the Drainage Board that B. J. Mursener and the engineers for the Airport and SFLECC representative should come to the August 21, 2006 meeting at 10:30 A.M.

Gerry Underhill said he’d like to have DNR in here at the next meeting also. Board Member Heimlich said we can try. See tape for more discussion on erosion and where the ditch is regulated and is not regulated. Board Member Heimlich said, “Most ditches that feed into the lake are like that, they are regulated only within a mile or so from the lake or river and from that point on they are considered natural drainage areas and we have no control over them. As far as the Airport, the County will see what they can do there.” Board Member Heimlich asked County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke if he remembered what year the dredging was done, when they lowered the lake. Steve answered he thought it was the Fall of 1981. He said there were 3 different bayous done at that time, Indian Hills, Pleasant Valley and the trailer park at CR 400 S. He said Hornback-Sickler was the contractor. Board Member Heimlich said SFLECC should have a representative when we meet on this again August 21, 2006.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.