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September 5, 2006 Tape #017

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M., EDT in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building in 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. Others signing the register were Anthony L. Neverdowsky, Jack Pherson, Terry Beasy, Clay Watson, Virginia Gourley, Monell Hurley, Bob Crosby and Walt Hough. Charlie Mellon was present.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Chairman Burton called the landowners meeting on the John Downey Drain to order. Surveyor Sterrett reported he has been out and shot some grade on the John Downey Ditch that Terry Beasy wants to put a tile in through the Boy Scout Camp. Surveyor Sterrett recognized Terry Beasy who had a handout for the Board to refer to.

Terry Beasy explained, “The opening in the trees is the John Downey Tile coming in to the John Downey Ditch. What we would love to do is put a piece of tile in where the green section is, and dip the ditch where it is red. We would like to see if the tile fund would pay to dip the ditch, to re-establish the drainage, and then we would pay for putting the tile in. I think the ditch would probably need to be dipped clear down to Boy Scout Road just to get the silt out and get the drainage re-established. Then, like I say, our project would encompass putting in the tile and I think we’ve got a couple of soft spots we need to over-dig and refill and bed it in sand. What we would do is remove the trees from that area and that area would become a hundred yard shooting range. It would be mowed so there would be no woody growth over it. We would allow access in the range for maintenance of the tile. The only place we would have any issue with that, would be where the backstop or the back berm would go across the ditch. It would still be maintenanceable because there wouldn’t be any structure on it, but it would require moving some dirt if we were to access that. Other things we had proposed to do was, we are only looking to put in a hundred yard range, but we wanted to put in six hundred foot of pipe, or tile, with the hopes of carrying that in a flat spot on the back side of the berm, which, hopefully the deer would use as a crossing point instead of crossing the ditch, because there are so many deer at Camp Buffalo that where they’ve crossed they pick a path and wear the grass out and when it rains it washes that in and causes us a pluggish, as it was the first time you saw the ditch there. So we are hoping to get Mother Nature to use the flat spot to cross instead of constantly eroding the ditch bank. So, hopefully kind of improve the drainage a little.”

Chairman Burton said, “So what you are proposing is that you will cover the cost of the tile?” Terry Beasy said, “And the installation.” Board Member Ferguson asked how big of tile they are putting in. Terry Beasy said they are hoping to be able to put twenty-four inch tile in, which matches the Downey Tile as it comes out. He asked Surveyor Sterrett how much fall there is between where the current tile exits and the inlet to theirs. Surveyor Sterrett answered there is eight hundredths per one hundred feet. Terry Beasy said there would be nine hundred feet between the exit of the old and the entrance to the new. Surveyor Sterrett said, “There would be eight tenths fall from the tile, you’re going to have a dropoff from the tile.”

Terry Beasy stated, “We would follow any recommendations. I talked a little bit with Denny and we talked about putting about three riprap ridges across the ditch to decelerate the water. It would be at ditch bottom, but it would basically hold back silt from running into the tile, with a silt trap at the end. We are willing to work with the County Surveyor.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I had Todd (Engineer Frauhiger) out there. Todd was worried about surface water coming over and increasing the flow of the ditch, other than the twenty-four inch tile that comes out into it. And, Mr. Crosby said that he didn’t think there was any surface water that was coming across him.”

Chairman Burton asked, “So, the dipping would be considered maintenance?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, it’s got a foot right at the tile, about a hundred feet up from the tile outlet, it’s got a foot of silt in it there and the rest of it, about a half a foot down to the Boy Scout Road.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “The tile outlet is right where here?” Surveyor answered yes. Chairman Burton asked how many feet would need to be dipped. Surveyor Sterrett answered nineteen hundred and fifty. Chairman Burton asked if there was enough in the Maintenance Fund to do that. Surveyor Sterrett answered that the fund has $6,200.00 in it. Board Member Heimlich said that should be plenty. Attorney Loy asked if that was something that he would have done anyway, regardless of this project. Surveyor Sterrett said it is something that needs to be done, the tile is staying half full because of silt. Board Member Heimlich asked, “Todd thought the twenty-four inch tile was….inaudible…” Surveyor Sterrett said, “There’s twenty-four inch coming into the ditch and thirteen hundred feet, well that would be 700 feet is where they want to put their tile and then there will be 600 feet of twenty-four inch so there will be 700 feet of open ditch and he didn’t see a problem with twenty-four into a twenty-four.”

Chairman Burton asked, “So there’s nineteen hundred and fifty now but when they are done with the tiling there will be only 750 left?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “In between the tile, but then there will be some downstream where we are going to dip.” Chairman Burton asked if there is anybody here that would like to address the Board concerning this. Bob Crosby said he farms the ground upstream and he can’t see a problem if it is done right, if they don’t sink it. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It has to be dipped out and then bedding put down for the six hundred feet.”

Chairman Burton asked, “This is considered Reconstruction?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, this is just a landowners meeting, we have to have a Hearing.” Board Member Heimlich said, “We have to have a Hearing on the tile part. Attorney Loy said, “Yes, because we are converting part of an open ditch to tile.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We did send out landowner letters for this meeting.” Board Member Heimlich said, “The dipping part we can do under maintenance.” Surveyor Sterrett and Attorney Loy agreed. Chairman Burton asked how many landowners are affected. Surveyor Sterrett stated there are seven including the highway. Attorney Loy asked how many are here today. Bob Crosby said two. He said the gentleman with him represented another landowner. Chairman Burton stated, “At this point we’re moving to a Hearing.” Board Member Heimlich said, “We have to have a formal Hearing and approve the Reconstruction.” Attorney Loy agreed, “Yes, and the scheduled assessments would be one hundred percent.” Surveyor Sterrett said there wouldn’t be any change in assessments. Attorney Loy said we still have to have notice and a Hearing to give people an opportunity to object; otherwise you’d have a problem. Surveyor Sterrett said, thirty days? Attorney Loy said yes. Board Member Heimlich said, “As far as the schedule though, since all the cost is the camp’s, we can go ahead and do it. Surveyor Sterrett said, “That’s what we were looking for was objections and there doesn’t appear to be any.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported, “Since the Surveyor’s office has now been checking the building permits (for proximity to regulated drains), we ran across one in Monon that there was an existing trailer there that went out and they were going to put another one in. (Drawing displayed) This is the Watson Tile (Branch of the Winkley Drain) and it goes on down to the McKillip. See tape for locating site on map. This is where she wants to move the trailer in. This is a city storm sewer through town here, there’s manholes for it on every corner. There’s a manhole right here. So, I went over and found the tile and drew a sketch where she is proposing to put the mobile home. (Board Member Heimlich asked if the tile is out in the street.) Yes, the tile is out in the blacktop.” Attorney Loy asked if this is the same tile we had problems with through the trailer court. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, we’re still having problems with it, but that is a little different story. It runs under the trailers, this runs down the street so I don’t see any problems with it. Of course there’s buildings all along on these lots and they’re all…. (encroaching)….” Board Member Heimlich said, “The proposed mobile home is fifty two feet from the tile? So there really isn’t any problem with that?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t see any problem with that. It is just a matter of getting it done and recorded.” Chairman Burton said, “Technically this will become a right to encroach?” Attorney Loy said, “A Consent to Encroach.” Surveyor Sterrett said this deed hasn’t been recorded yet. Attorney Loy asked, “Are you just now buying the property?” Virginia Gourley said, “I bought it but I don’t have all the paperwork done to get it transferred over.” Attorney Loy asked, “That’s the deed transferring title to you?” Virginia answered yes. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think she gave this to Area Plan with a letter…. (from the seller Daisy Croft).” Attorney Loy asked when she will be recording this. Virginia Gourley answered, “Hopefully within a week. I have to get with Daisy to get her to sign another paper.” Attorney Loy asked to keep copies and for her address (She said 407 Linville Street Monon, IN, maybe West Linville). Surveyor Sterrett said actually GIS has it as West Linville.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant Consent to Encroach to Virginia Gourley on the Watson Tile (Branch of the F. M. Winkley Drain) in Monon. (The trailer will be 52 feet from the tile.) Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Attorney Loy stated, “I will prepare the document for you to sign. There will be something in there that is required which says this consent pertains to property conveyed to you by deed recorded on a certain date. So you’re not going to be able to record what I am preparing for you until you record that. Our document has to be recorded before you put the improvement on.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked the Board to set the rates for Maintenance Modification on the Julia Connor Drain saying, “I brought this to your attention at the last meeting and we have a little more information. We are trying to clean four drains over there, the Big Pine, J. C. Vanatta Branch #1, Connor and Bush. The Julia Connor Drain, we are trying to do it on maintenance and it only brings in $569.55 a year. It has $2,380.00 in the maintenance fund and my estimated cost of the project is $6,800.00, so we propose to raise the rates a hundred percent which will bring in $1,149.48 a year. A hundred percent sounds like quite a bit but it’s on about a dollar per acre except for the State Highway which is assessed two dollars an acre. That was the only variable.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “That is considered a variable rate? I’ve never seen one like that before.”

Surveyor Sterrett said, “The drain wasn’t petitioned, but I think it needs cleaned. These people that are on this drain also pay on the J. C. Vanatta Br. #1. The people on the east end of the Connor are not going to get much benefit from cleaning the Vanatta if this isn’t cleaned.” Chairman Burton said, “So they’ll get a double whammy, a two hundred percent increase (if we increase the Vanatta).” Board Member Heimlich asked, “So you are proposing raising it to $2.00?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “If we use maintenance money that would leave about $4,500.00 and then bringing in $1,150.00, that would take four years to pay off the drain, pay off the maintenance (project).” Board Member Heimlich said, “That sounds reasonable, we have done others, raised maintenance for three or four years to pay for a project. It would probably take four years because you’re bringing in a little over a thousand a year and there’s little over two thousand in it now. It depends on how the bids come in.”

Chairman Burton asked, “Are we proposing that this be a rate hike for this project and then go back or would it stay at that?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I would just leave it at that. Bringing in $569.00 a year, you can’t do much maintenance.” Board Member Heimlich agreed.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the rates for the Maintenance Modification on the Julia Connor Drain at $2.00 an acre, flat rate, and $10.00 for minimum parcels. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett asked the Board to set rates for Maintenance Modification on the J. C. Vanatta Branch #1 Drain. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “The maintenance fund has $9,000.00 in it. My estimated cost to clean it is $15,500.00 and if we didn’t raise the rates on it, it would take three years to pay that off. It brings in $2,000.00 a year. I was looking at that (ditch) the other day and down south of SR 18 there are outlets in the ditch, I imagine there are twenty some of them and they are all under water.” Board Member Ferguson said there are twenty-one minimum parcels. Surveyor Sterrett said the ditch is 13,000 feet long. Chairman Burton said, “It is fifty cents to seventy-five cents an acre, if we increase that to a dollar….do you know how many are fifty and how many are seventy-five?” Board Member Heimlich said, “It says one is twenty-five, and one is sixty-six, the State Highway is sixty-four and the rest fifty to seventy-five. So this is a true variable rate.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I would say we would raise it a percent.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “My problem with it, this is one of those that is a reconstruction and we are proposing to do it under maintenance. With these others you have a Hearing if you modify the rate. So you have a Hearing. With this one you don’t have to raise the rate, but we really should have a Hearing before you do the project. Don’t you agree, George?” Attorney Loy said, “Yes, whenever there is any doubt, have a Hearing.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, paying that amount of money out of maintenance, really when you’re digging the whole length of the ditch, it’s really reconstruction.” Attorney Loy said you can raise the rate twenty-five percent one time without a Hearing.

The Board considered another proposal from the Surveyor’s office that was on the printout. Board Member Heimlich stated, “If we did, as the second proposal is, increased it 100% for two years, you’d have the project paid for and then you could go back to the old rate. That’s normally what we’ve done on those other ones. Raised it for whatever period of time it took to pay it off and then return to previous rates. That way there would be a Hearing, which I think we should.” Chairman Burton said, “And they could respond to that Hearing.” Attorney Loy asked who will know two years from now to drop the rate back. Secretary Kiser explained that each year the Surveyor’s office notifies the Auditor’s office the first of the year which drains to collect on and how much to collect on them. Surveyor Sterrett said you do not need a Hearing to drop the rate back.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the rates for the Maintenance Modification on the J. C. Vanatta Branch #1 Drain as per the second recommendation, raise one hundred percent for two years and a ten dollar minimum. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he should hear by the middle of this month from DNR on the Big Pine Drain, whether it has approval or not, whether we have to have a Hearing.

Surveyor Sterrett reported on the drainage review for Schroeder Swine Division stating, “Bill Schroeder II (owner) is going to build two swine buildings on eleven acres and he has provided us with a drainage plan. Todd (Engineer Frauhiger) has looked at it. I called him this morning, he’s in Florida.” Board Member Heimlich asked if this is a different site than their other buildings. Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, here’s Smithson, here’s their other buildings. This is toward Chalmers, here is CR 350.” Secretary Kiser said their other buildings are almost directly north of the ones they are going to build. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Todd has seen it and reviewed the calculations. The detention pond is going to be placed back here. Right now he owns eleven acres but he is buying the rest of the farm on contract. There is no outlet for the dry bottom detention pond. Todd didn’t think that was a bad thing. He said if they wanted to put an eight inch pipe through the bank and let it run out into the field like the surface water does now, he said that would be alright. Looks like they are going to put a swale here and around here. Todd is alright with it.”

Board Member Heimlich made the motion to approve the drainage plan for Schroeder Swine Division. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that, “(Contractor) Allen Howe came in to discuss doing some ditch work west of Monon, south of SR 16, on some open ditches (indicated on map) for Milt Cole and he wanted this outlet cleaned out, this is Branch 3 (H. Kesler Drain). This is the only legal drain we have. (Open ditches indicated on map.) Of course it goes through Milt and one or two other people. He didn’t want to wait on the Surveyor to do it on maintenance. So, he wanted to do a friendly cleanout. I told him that would probably be alright if he got permission from the landowners.” Board Member Ferguson said he did that other one and paid for it. Board Member Heimlich asked how many landowners there are. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I think Winger, Kesler and I think there’s a Hornback that lives in that little triangle piece, but the dipping would be from this side. I drove up there and there’s a County road tile issue right here. I met Steve Brooke (County Highway Superintendent) and Allen Howe and Milt is going to put a new tile in here. There’s a pocket of water right here and he is going to let the County Highway and the neighbor over here hook on to it. That’s what I was told. So, he’s saying he has four and a half a foot of fall from the road to the main ditch, and of course I don’t see any problem of him dipping that out on himself. This woman met us out there, she’s from Brookston, and she said that this ditch bends down here, it’s on Winger, so he actually got her permission, well it’s her dad’s property, while we were standing there.”

Chairman Burton said, “So he’s going to stand the money? (Board Member Heimlich said he is paying for everything.) When you said friendly I figured they were all donating.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, we just did that one, didn’t we have procedure that was used for that, as long you just do the same thing we did for the other one.” Attorney Loy said as long as you approve of what he is doing. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t have a problem with Allen Howe doing it” Attorney Loy said, “And this other guy paying for it.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, I don’t have a problem with it, as long as he gets permission from the other landowners.” Board Member Heimlich said it is on our right-of-way. Attorney Loy said we are ultimately responsible and have to be careful. Surveyor Sterrett asked, “What does he need to do? “ Board Member Heimlich said, “I’d say whatever we did on that other one, whatever procedure, what was the name of that one?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “It was the Renwick Drain a Branch of Amelia Suits Drain and the Reiff was another one. There’s water standing in their ditch and it has these open ditches coming in to it and he really doesn’t have any outlet if it’s not cleaned it out. Do you see a problem with landowners?” Attorney Loy stated, “Well, as long as the work is done right, we’re responsible for any work that is done on the drain that we know of. If we give somebody permission to go ahead and do it, our concern is, number one, is it done right? (Board Member Heimlich said it has to be cleared through you) and then, since we’re not employing them, we are giving them permission to go on our right-of-way but they have to get the landowners’ permission in writing ahead of time. It’s not handshake, but in writing. What we are going to do is definitely maintenance, right?” Surveyor Sterrett answered yes.

Secretary Kiser reported that she told Jack Pherson that the Surveyor’s office sent a letter about removing trees on the Hinshaw-Burch Drain out to Mark Bramlage by

certified mail.

Chairman Burton asked an onlooker (Anthony L. Neverdowsky) if there was something he wanted to bring up. He asked if they had figured anything out about the situation at Buffalo (Harp-Helfrick Drain). Chairman Burton answered, “There is no time clock on it, there have been several people up there to look at it, trying to sort through the feasibility of trying to do something. (Mr. Neverdowsky said he hoped so.) It is a complicated scenario. Somebody wrote a comment that normally our expertise is field drainage and that situation is that area is recreational. To me the prime implement of doing maintenance in that area is just not what I’d say to be normal procedure. Dipping and piling it up on everybody’s docks and saying ‘here, level it out’ is maybe one of the biggest obstacles there. That’s just my personal comment.” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t see how we can get in there and do any dipping.” Chairman Burton said it is not a dead issue. Mr. Neverdowsky said they dug some out a couple of years ago I guess. Chairman Burton stated, “Unfortunately what may have been done ten or twenty years ago sometimes is not available to us anymore. That’s what I view as the biggest obstacle, is what’s within our capacity to legally do and as I was quoted, ‘it’s moving, not at the speed that would be desired, but it hasn’t been ignored’.”

Mr. Neverdowsky stated that if they get a couple of good rains over there, it is going to be all backed up; there will be no drainage out to the river. He said big rains over there just dumps sand and silt in it so that part of the drain is going to be clogged up and within less than a year there won’t be any drainage at all. Chairman Burton asked, “Currently it is not affecting the ditch?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, ‘It is not affecting the ditch.” Chairman Burton stated, “We have asked opinions from several different directions. One opinion has come back, I think Chad Watts reflected to Jason Coonse that there are some different ideas and possibilities out there but they aren’t shaping up at this time. That’s my opinion at the moment.” Mr. Neverdowsky said if something isn’t done in a short time all that water is going to be backing up in somebody’s yard because it’s not going to drain through that pond any more, that pond is full. He said it is waist deep at the max. He said one culvert is rusted away and caving in. Chairman Burton stated, “I brought that to the attention of the proper authority and he said that under current inspection that is not an issue. So that’s where we are at the current point and time and that is all I can report to you.”

Charlie Mellon asked for an update on the Big Monon project. Board Member Heimlich said they had a Hearing last Thursday and it was continued to September 21, 2006. Charlie said, “The people who say it doesn’t need dipped out on the lower end, it is out of its banks over the weekend east of West Central School. The field is full of water.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I was up there on Tuesday.” Charlie said taking the trees out might have helped a little bit. Board Member Heimlich said, “It helped, there’s no question about that. There’s places just north of the County Line where there’s five foot of silt supposed to be taken out of there. Down here on the South end it averages a foot. And, that’s one of the things we’re looking at.” See tape on more discussion on having an engineer or surveyor look at it again.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.