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August 7, 2006 Tape #015

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 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 and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Terry Beasy, Clay Watson, Jack Pherson, Trent Pherson, Barbara S. Bedrick, Bruce Clear and Charles Mellon.

Chairman Burton asked for the approval of the minutes for the July 17, 2006 meeting. Board Member Ferguson moved to approve the minutes. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett opened discussion on the Hinshaw-Burch Tile Drain on CR 800 E. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “If you will remember, we had a problem north of here where I am going to tell you about, with roots getting into the tile and I think we replaced sixty foot of tile out there a couple of years ago and now, on south of there we have a woods that is getting grown up over the tile.” Board Member Ferguson said they fixed it up north of Vogel’s. Surveyor said, “Straight north of Vogel’s. Jack and Trent (Pherson) farm the ground south of there and they are concerned it is going to get roots in the tile through Mr. Bentlage’s woods. I took some pictures back in December 2004 and some this year if you would like to see them. (pictures viewed – see tape for discussion) I don’t think hardwoods are going to damage it. I guess that was bulldozed off at one time.”

Jack Pherson stated, “I think it was 1984, somewhere around there, when that drain project was put in. Through Mrs. Wilson and Bruce Vogel’s, we’re not really concerned about any trees on their property; it’s on Mark Bentlage’s property. That used to be owned by Jerry Haymaker and he had that woods just spotless, there wasn’t any brush and everything, and a couple of other owners have taken it over and they’re just letting it grow up with brush. This was all put in under a peaceable agreement and in the specifications we suggested that all brush be kept back twenty feet from the tile and any other root prone trees should be kept back fifty feet. In the last three or four years it has got pretty bad, just grown up with brush and trees. I’m not saying this tile is cracked or will crack, but we have seen on the other end it DID crack in a place and it was plugged. Ted Wrede said ninety percent of the tile was plugged and we wouldn’t have known it was plugged but it started backing up in Bruce Vogel’s crawl space real bad.”

Chairman Burton asked about the agreement Jack Pherson referred to. Jack said, “It is the specifications that all of the landowners that contributed to this drainage project agreed to.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think it was a mutual drain put in by the landowners and then the County took it over."” Chairman Burton asked if that was in our legal record. Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t know if we had a copy of it. Jack Pherson said any paperwork they had would have been turned in to the Drainage Board. He said, “This woods drains approximately two hundred acres of land and if it plugs up in the woods, two hundred acres of land really becomes a flood problem.” Jack Pherson was asked who wrote those specs. He said, “Jerry Haymaker was in on it, Marv Gwin, Don Johnson with Farmcraft, I was there, my dad was there.” Board Member Ferguson said there are only two houses there.

Chairman Burton asked Surveyor Sterrett for his recommendation. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Probably should get the trees off of the tile. It’s not going to get any better. There’s some four inchers growing up there now, right over the tile, where I think the tile is. There’s a swale in there.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “How long of a stretch is it?” Surveyor Sterrett said just across that lot. Trent Pherson thought four hundred to five hundred feet. Jack Pherson said, “There’s something else that needs to be of concern, that is the natural flow of water through that woods. We constructed a waterway through there. It follows the natural flow that used to be through there many years. At the Bentlage and Hinshaw-Burch property line, the tile used to just go to that property line and then exit on top of the ground and then make its way back through the woods. We want to protect that waterway also.”

Board Member Heimlich asked if there is money in the Hinshaw-Burch Drain maintenance fund. Surveyor Sterrett said, “We raised the maintenance on it to $5.00 an acre and it brings in $1,250.00 a year. In 2004 the drain was in debt $437.00 and that included fixing the tile. That tile repair put the tile in debt. The repair was $2,346.00, so it should be out of debt because we haven’t worked on it.” Chairman Burton asked Surveyor Sterrett for his best guess on clearing three hundred feet. Surveyor Sterrett asked how wide they want to go and do you want the big trees out? Board Member Heimlich asked if twenty five feet on each side is enough. Jack Pherson commented that right now it would be hard to walk through there to see if you have a tile hole. He said, “When we put that in, that was some of the first eighteen inch solid plastic tile that had come out on the market.” Board Member Heimlich said so it is solid plastic. Surveyor Sterrett said, “The roots can still get in a joint. I have some pictures of holes we found in the tile. I don’t know how they got in there. I think the main tree that got in it there was a willow.”

Chairman Burton asked for and estimate if we leave the big stuff, because we assume the big stuff was there when the plastic was put in, and remove anything within fifty feet or less. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know. What do we do with the brush? I would probably have to get a couple of contractors out there to guess what it would cost.” Chairman Burton suggested we come back with it in two weeks. In the meantime explore the cost and have a definite on how much money is in the maintenance fund. Jack Pherson said they have to be careful with a dozer in there. Surveyor asked if they wanted to just leave it stacked on the property. He stated, “I need to get a hold of the landowner and talk to him about what to do. I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for about a year.” Trent said that is a problem that you can’t get a hold of him and this just keeps getting pushed back. Attorney Loy stated, “When it comes to notifying landowners for our projects, the only thing that we are legally obligated to do is to send notice by Certified Mail to the tax statement address and if he doesn’t respond, he doesn’t respond.” Surveyor Sterrett asked, “We just notify him that we are going to remove the trees off and pile them?” Attorney Loy said, “Yes, and (tell him) ‘if you have any objections, questions, problems or whatever please respond by a reasonable date down the road, otherwise we will assume this is fine with you’.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think it can probably wait until fall.” Chairman Burton asked if the contractor can get in off of Pherson’s property. Trent Pherson said, “Yes, they can come in through the field so there won’t be any yard damage.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We have a similar problem on the Guy Malone Tile Drain, which is on the agenda. It is out by Dick Foutch’s, south of Bud’s. The tile is plugged up somewhere. We dug along East Shafer Drive on each side and found it was plugged there and then the tile continues on to a ravine about five hundred feet, and empties out into the ravine and then here are wild maples, soft maples growing up over the tile. At the same time, Mrs. Bedrick came in and was going to build a house on this land, and the tile pretty well cuts diagonally across their property. So, I discussed it with her and she was coming to the Drainage Board meeting today, if she would like to say anything.”

Barbara Bedrick addressed the Board, “I have a handout. We are asking for a variance because we have three acres, but the way the drainage tile runs through there……It’s a one story house so it is long. We are building it for my mother in her retirement. I have drawn in where we would probably put the house now. We were going to put it in the middle of the property off of 900 Drive, but obviously there is no way to do that with seventy-five feet .….(drain right-of-way). We are asking for a variance back to twenty-five feet. Where I have drawn the house would be the closest. We are supposed to meet with the builder this afternoon, and it could possibly even be farther away than that. The tile is kind of penciled in twenty-five feet away from that. We have trees all over the property. We have been letting them grow for seventeen years. Obviously we didn’t know there was a drainage tile. The people that sold is kind of forgot to mention that.” Surveyor Sterrett said the trees are all along the tile. He said it used to be mowed and there weren’t any trees on it and now there’s soft maples. Board Member Ferguson said when Red Burns owned it they kept the whole thing mowed.

Chairman Burton asked, “So your dotted line on either side would be the fifty feet and then you are going to be on back from the twenty-five?” Barbara Bedrick said, “That is close to forty right there and actually we may bring it up closer to East Shafer depending on how the trees are there.” Surveyor Sterrett stated she has a front setback to meet. Barbara said it is sixty and twenty-five, so eighty-five feet from the center of East Shafer. Chairman Burton asked, “The tree line that goes over, is that maples?” Barbara Bedrick answered, “That’s woods, that’s eighty year old trees.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “That’s been replaced (indicating on handout). I think it is corrugated metal pipe, at least that is what the outlet is. After she had it mowed off we found a tile hole right here where she has that circled.” She stated they had it bush hogged and left the trees. She said the whole three acres would be mowed. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We need to get the trees off of the tile. We need to find out why the tile is plugged up. It has been running every time I have been out there. When we dug down at the road, water came up so the first thing we were going to do is dig at the sinkhole that we found. Wrede’s have been out there and dug once at the road. We need to get them back out there now and we were just going to try to troubleshoot the tile, dig holes in a couple of places.” Chairman Burton asked how big the tile is. Surveyor Sterrett said it is eighteen inches at the outlet. Chairman Burton said we assume it is eighteen or less. Surveyor Sterrett said it is about nine feet deep at the road. Chairman Burton asked, “Assuming she is going to work with us on the trees over the tile, do you have an issue with granting the variance?” Board Member Heimlich said, “No, not if it is going to be that far away, what we are talking about is Consent to Encroach.” Attorney Loy asked, “Twenty-five feet does it, from the centerline?” Barbara Bedrick said yes and it could be more. Surveyor Sterrett gave Attorney Loy a copy of the deed for nine acres and the deed for what she sold off. Attorney Loy stated he would need a copy of her survey when it is prepared. Chairman Burton said, “In this situation would you be willing to say that you agree not to build within twenty-five feet of the tile that goes across your property? Does she need to be specific?” Attorney Loy asked, “Do we care where, specifically, that she is so long as she is twenty-five feet away?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I can’t think of any reason why we’d be concerned about that other than if you wanted to just grant where the house is going to be.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, if we had a motion that it is at least that, we are going to have to get the paperwork later anyway.” Attorney Loy said, “Normally I attach Exhibit A showing where this is going to be situated. I can have something prepared for the Board to sign so you can take it to Area Plan.”

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant the Consent to Encroach to the Bedricks for a house no closer than twenty-five feet from the centerline on both sides of the Guy Malone Tile Drain. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Board Member Heimlich said that Bob Leader, who was next on the agenda to discuss the Airport property on the Lane Ditch, would not be here today. He said, “He was going to be here and he was asked to fly today so he called to see if he needed to be here and I told him no, not today, that it wasn’t going to be discussed until the following meeting. He did have a list of points that he e-mailed me and I told him it was mostly points that we had discussed in the past. I think his concern was that we were committing to dredging that whole area right away and I said no. I said that I agree with most of the points that he was making and I said that we would discuss it on the 21st, so I think he is going to be at that meeting. I think also he talked to the SFLECC people and a couple of them are going to be here and some other Airport people.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported on repair that was done on the Hendress Tile Drain on the east side of Gutwein’s Morning Song, south of Reynolds. Board Member Ferguson stated that they moved that tile. Surveyor Sterrett said, “We allowed them to move the tile (location shown on map of site) and tie back in to the County tile. Spark (Robert) Kelly was having trouble with drainage over here and he said he thought they messed up his tile that used to go into the County tile and wanted to know if he could tie into the County tile, the new one. I said yes, you have to get permission. So he did, and came over and he dug down to the tile and the tile was full of water. The tile is not six years old. So, I got a contractor out there the next week and we dug a hole here at the edge of the driveway and there wasn’t any water in the tile at all, well there’s a catch basin down here and there wasn’t any water in it. So we dug here so we wouldn’t have to dig in the drive, plugged up. He wanted to hook on right here. That’s where he dug his hole. So we came over here and dug a hole and it was still full of water. We dug a hole here and it was still full of water, so we got down in this hole and looked up the tile and we could see twenty feet up there and there wasn’t any problem so we just started peeling the dirt back off of the tile and it was in thirteen foot sections. I checked the grade every section and it was good grade until we got to this one thirteen foot section and it had a hump in the middle, nine tenths, about a foot, hump. And the ends of that tile were on grade. It is a twelve inch tile. Actually what we did. We uncovered that section, took it out, dug the trench down to grade and we put that section back in and the water took off right away. So, my question is, do we pay for that out of maintenance or are we going to try to say they put it in wrong. I think Tillett put it in.” Chairman Burton asked, “When you pulled that out, it wasn’t a drastic jump? (Surveyor answered no.) It was just a nice arch.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know how it happened. We thought there might be a big boulder under it but there wasn’t, and they got each end on grade. The bill, just called Randy DeVault who worked on it and he thought it was going to be $525.00.”

Attorney Loy stated, “If you like, we can initially assume that Tillett or whoever put it in….send them the bill and see what happens.” Board Member Heimlich said he guessed that would be the first thing to do. Surveyor Sterrett said he has been in contact with one of Tillett’s engineers, but it’s not Tillett any more it is Titan. Attorney Loy said it is worth a try. Chairman Burton said to send the bill to them and see what they say.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Dan Alexander, who is doing the spraying for Townsend called and would like a two week extension to finish spraying the ditches. He said he does not see a problem with it himself. He said they had an August 31 deadline and they still have the north east part of the County to do. Dan Alexander had said there were 8 to 10 days it was too windy or raining. The Board had no objections as long as he guarantees the same coverage.

Chairman Burton recognized Terry Beasy who addressed the Board concerning the John Downey Drain at Camp Buffalo. Terry Beasy stated, “If you look at the map, you will notice that is a picture of the John Downey Tile as it passes through Camp Buffalo. We have a building that has been donated by Waste Management to Camp Buffalo. It is going to be set up as indoor pellet and archery range. We met with Denny and Denny has seen the location where we would like to put the building. The ditch is currently being maintenanced from the south side because there are some rather large trees growing on the north side. We would love to, because of the grade of that ground, it starts uphill very rapidly, get a Consent to Encroach of about ten foot. So we would be sixty-five foot from the top of the ditch bank to the corner of the building along the north side, away from the maintenance side. And then as you notice, the ditch falls away so the other corner of the building is actually 85 feet from the top of the ditch bank, so we are only talking about one corner of the building.” Attorney Loy asked if it is a tile or an open ditch. Terry Beasy said, “It is actually an open ditch, but it was at one time a tile that went clear through the Scout Camp back in the 50’s the Scouts put in a lot of trees over the top of it and it caused a lot of problems like what you folks have discussed today so it eventually was dug out to an open ditch. That’s a property deed and everything else. As far as the Encroachment, that’s basically one of the things we need to get the State plan release for that building.” Attorney Loy noted, “Sixty-five feet.” Chairman Burton said if that is all in order, we could make a motion.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant the Consent to Encroach down to 65 feet on the John Downey Drain to Camp Buffalo. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Beasy continued, “One of the other things we have looked at just recently, we have the White County 4-H shooting sports going to move to the range facilities at Camp Buffalo. We have looked at how to try to fit them in best to the program that we currently have established at Camp Buffalo. We would love to take part of the John Downey Ditch and turn it back into the John Downey Tile. About six hundred foot of that John Downey Tile is currently a twenty-four inch tile. It goes on across County Road 800 and splits into two sixteen inch tiles. That tile was old clay tile that was replaced at the Landfill’s expense in 1993 or 1994. It was done by Mike Ezra. It was done in conjunction with White County Drainage Board at that time. The Landfill had abused that tile at that time with the lack of a said pond so it was replaced at the Landfill’s expense, no cost to the people who used the tile. The Landfill has, a month or so ago, vacated our portion of that tile. So the watershed shows 382 acres on to the John Downey Tile and you automatically remove forty from the Landfill that has been vacated. Some of the others, Boy Scouts show seventy acres coming in; a couple of the other landowners, the biggest would be Robert Hackler. The tile currently as it comes out is twenty-four inches. It is eight foot from the top of the ground to the bottom of the tile. So there is six foot of dirt over the top of the tile. I did measure that, Denny. The ditch is in somewhat disrepair. The first one hundred and fifty feet, from where the yellow line starts, there’s some erosion that has caused some eight to ten inch washes of material into the ditch so the tile is not completely drained. The ditch is in need of some maintenance. We would love to put the first six hundred foot in a twenty-four inch tile, because the area as you can see, on the Scout Camp is a largely wooded area so there is not a lot of runoff that would come in to that nine hundred foot opening in between. I spoke with Bobby Crosby this morning. He indicated as long as we maintained the silt trap and the water could get away from his property, he did not have an issue with it. The question is, with maintenance in place and the silt problem because the trees shade the grass on the banks so much that it makes it hard for the ditch bank to establish vegetation, and wherever the deer, which are quite prolific in the Boy Scout Camp, cross they have a tendency to cause a bare ground wash that washes into the ditch and poses problems. We could maintain a silt trap ahead of the tile we would put in to make sure that it stayed open, but the question is would the people in the watershed be interested in turning that back into a tile through that portion of the Scout Camp that could be mowed over and maintained to keep the tree roots out of it. Does the Board have a recommendation? A question was, whether a twenty-four inch tile where we wanted to put it would be big enough to handle the flow from the twenty-four inch tile. As we look at that, there’s not a lot of directly adjacent farm ground that surface drains into that area. I have walked that portion of the ditch and there are three tiles that come in. One of them is a solid tile that the Boy Scout Camp had put in to pump some water during the building of the lake, which is currently running no water because there is no water being pumped to it. There’s another tile that drains the shooting ranges that you see that are just north of the ditch and that is a blow sand hill. As of Friday morning there was no water coming out of that tile. And the other tile comes off, you see a little hook stone driveway that goes around the end of the woods there, like a little horseshoe, there’s a short tile that comes from that area right out to take water off of that little bench until the lake is finished. Those are the only three tiles that would impact that open area of ditch between the County tile we have proposed putting in.”

Attorney Loy said, “Any time you turn an open ditch into a tile, that is reconstruction.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Yes, I’ve told Terry that is a reconstruction.” Terry Beasy stated, “What we are trying to do is, we want to meet the goals of the Drainage Board and the goals of the folks in the watershed, while maintaining the fact that we have a budget to contend with on a project which right now is zero. So we are looking at a cost-effective approach. We understand that it would be reconstruction. We understand the ditch would have to be dipped before the tile could be put in so it is back to the original bottom. Which way would the Board like to see us proceed? Would you prefer to see it as a tile throughout the entire fifteen hundred foot? Do we need to get somebody else to take a look at it? What’s the Board want to do?”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “I haven’t looked at it. I’ve been out there with Terry but I never went down and looked at the tile outlet or anything like that.” Chairman Burton asked, “So, ciphering through your question there, were you asking that this be done on maintenance, is that it?” Terry Beasy answered, “I don’t know if the ditch is in the red or has money in the fund. I have no idea where it stands financially.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “When you vacated it there was six thousand dollars. It hadn’t been collected on since 1999. It brings in $1,376.00 a year.” Terry Beasy explained, “The tile we were looking to put in, with some creative seeking of 501C3, organization being the Scouts and 4H was going to be about $7,800.00 for that six hundred foot and that was not installed, about ten dollars a foot on the pipe.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Boy Scouts were going to pay for that section, was that right?” Terry Beasy said, “Well, what we are working is trying to put it together as a project.” Board Member Heimlich said, “That’s the six hundred (feet) and you say there’s another about the same amount?” Terry Beasy said, “Nine hundred. If it were all hooked together the twenty-four inch tile might flow it, but if we separate the two and any water comes in, then obviously the tile size needs to enlarge to handle the incoming water between. There’s not a LOT of incoming water, but the concern is that you still have maintenance between pipes, if you will. We are looking for direction in what way……obviously we need to contact the landowners, which I did a limited bit this morning and he indicated that as long as we took the water off of him and we were going to dip the ditch down where he thought it had problems. And I said what about putting tile in all of it and he said he didn’t really have an opinion at that point, but when it starts costing him money he might.”

Chairman Burton asked, “You want to do the six hundred foot, regardless of how that turns out?” Terry Beasy said, “Yes, in order to facilitate the range for 4Hers.” Chairman Burton said, “So we need to do the Reconstruction Hearing regardless of whether we are doing six hundred feet or fourteen hundred feet.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Whether it is reconstruction or maintenance we need to have a Hearing.” Attorney Loy said, “When it comes to a conversion, the conversion part is a reconstruction.” Surveyor Sterrett said he didn’t know if a twenty-four inch tile is big enough or not. Chairman Burton asked if we need to have specific facts and figures before we notify the landowners. Attorney Loy said yes. Board Member Heimlich asked what Engineer Todd Frauhiger would charge to look at this. Surveyor Sterrett said he would find out. Chairman Burton said Todd will be up here on Wednesday.

Terry Beasy stated, “We really want to look at this as our primary option. If we have to short change the way we are going to do something in conjunction with 4H, if it is just feasibly impossible, we understand that as well, we would like to accommodate that, keep everything placed neatly in that range for safety reasons obviously and we don’t feel it will have a huge impact on the drainage in the woodland lot, which is the majority of Scout Camp. We don’t want to alienate the neighbors of Scout Camp through the process. We would love to see if we could get your gentleman to take a look at, to see what his feelings would be as a drainage project in whole on this and make some recommendations on this that we could carry to the watershed owners as well and see what their feelings are. We don’t want to alienate neighbors of the Scout Camp and create bad neighbors over our projects. We would appreciate any help you can give us.”

Board Member Heimlich said, “That’s the key, is the people upstream not being adversely affected by whatever is done. There should be a way of doing it where they’re not, but we do have to make sure that is the case. Right now you don’t have a petition to reconstruct. I guess we could have a landowners’ meeting first to get an idea what their feelings were.” Terry Beasy said, “Yes, we don’t want to force reconstruction and cause people a bunch of money and alienate neighbors.” Surveyor Sterrett asked if reconstruction would be at their expense. Attorney Loy said, “It would be at your cost.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, THAT part, although he is talking about the section between there and the end of his, where the tile is now, as coming out of maintenance money that is there now.” Terry Beasy said, “Which would address Mr. Crosby’s concern with the ditch continuing to wash there at the mouth of the tile.” Chairman Burton said, “Since nothing is going to happen today, let’s contact Todd (Engineer Frauhiger) and see how friendly he is to this scenario and if Todd says twenty-four inch tile is fine, then we’ve answered that, we know where we are there.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Have a landowners’ meeting first and get an idea, the scope of the project. I don’t know if two weeks is too soon, it would depend on Todd. What did you say; there are seven or eight landowners? This is a landowners meeting not a legal…..” Secretary Kiser said we still have to send letters and they have to have a few days notice. Terry Beasy said, “Some of the landowners that we don’t think it will affect, number one Boy Scout Camp, the State Highway drains in off of Boy Scout Ca mp Road, Denny, so it wouldn’t be affected by this. They have a five acre in that, so we’re looking at Bob Zerth, Hackler, Crosby and Coonrods basically as the landowners we need to meet with. I’ll have some conversation with the ones that will talk to me and see what their thought process is, offer to take them back and show them what we are wanting to do and get everybody up to speed.” Board Member Ferguson asked if Kenny Lawson would be included in that. Terry Beasy said no, Kenny Lawson doesn’t drain into that; he goes the other way into the Ackerman Drain. Board Member Ferguson said Denny should have a list. Terry Beasy has a list (assessment roll). He said basically about fifteen acres is Bob and Jerry Zerth’s, then Mabel Coonrod and people across Hwy. 16, because that goes clear across 16, the Hacklers, the Scouts and Crosby is right there, are all that are affected by that part of the drain. Secretary Kiser asked, “How about September 5th?” Chairman Burton asked Terry what his building schedule is. He said, “We just need to be ready to go by fall, late fall or early winter.” The Board was agreeable to the Landowners’ meeting on September 5th. Surveyor Sterrett said, “We’ll need to get some grade and some shots.”

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to adjourn. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned.