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December 18, 2006 Tape #024


The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:45 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.

Board Member Ferguson moved to approve the minutes of the December 4, 2006 meeting. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Dale Ringer was next on the agenda, but he was not present to address the Board. Board Member Heimlich explained that he had talked to him and he asked to be put on the agenda. It had to do with the (Pugh) tile out at Wolcott (Mr. Ringer’s business is WITKO, just north of Wolcott.) Surveyor Sterrett reported, “I called Kevin Emond Friday and he called me back this morning and he said they have been working in Kentland and they would get to that project as soon as he could. I asked him if that will be by the end of the week and he said yes, we should be there by the end of the week. But it is supposed to rain.”

Surveyor Sterrett showed the Board some pictures of the site north of Wolcott off of County Road 900 taken back in April after a big rain. He explained, “The tile is not really broken down, there’s no holes, the tile runs under the road and up under these trees back here. Kevin said he went back after it rained, not the April rain, and he said he saw water coming up out of the ground and it was going over the surface and then it was going back in the ground. So he thinks it is plugged with roots at that tree line. So, when I got all those calls I made out a work order and sent it to him. The work order was sent in October.” Board Member Heimlich said he got a call from Jim Pinkerton over there as well (Surveyor Sterrett did, too.) and he indicated that it was reported the 24th or 25th of October. Jim Pinkerton said he is on Highway 24 and feeds into that tile via the ditch along CR 900. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Kevin Emond says there is more surface water now than there has ever been and it is taking it longer to get out. It is flooding the WITKO lot on a two inch rain and before it didn’t stay that long. That was back in April but I think they are complaining about the October rain and I don’t know how much that was.”

Board Member Heimlich asked where the tile starts. Surveyor Sterrett said, “It looks like it starts about a half a mile west of Wolcott, goes under the highway (24) at the culvert. There’s an air well there. We had roots in it right there on the Dwyer property. We had them taken out and new tile put in and they paid for all that (willow tree removed off top of tile). Then it runs down the side ditch and crosses under the road then there’s a waterway. I walked the tile and I saw holes this big over the tile, is all I saw, I didn’t see any big ones, and that’s on the north side of the trees actually.” Board Member Heimlich asked if it is in the waterway or off to the side. Surveyor Sterrett said there’s not really too much of a waterway back the other side of the trees, and doesn’t know if it is in the waterway or not.

Chairman Burton asked the Surveyor when he let Emond know (about repair needed). Surveyor Sterrett said he sent him a work order October 19, 2006 to cut the trees off of the tile. He sent a letter to the landowner saying we are going to remove fifty foot off each side of the tile, regardless and then we are going to dig down and see if the tile is obstructed. Board Member Heimlich stated, “I’d say if he doesn’t get there this week, we need to be looking for somebody else, because on a matter like that we need someone who can be a little more timely.” Chairman Burton said, “So we want to set Friday as a date. I would like for you to give him a call back today.”

Surveyor Sterrett recognized Dave Hornback who is here to ask for a Consent to Encroach on the James Carter Drain on his North Sixth Street property. (Owner, DC & MM). Mr. Hornback explained that he would like to put water and sewer lines to the back part of his property to a warehouse. Mr. Hornback is in the process of selling the entire property. After a thorough and lengthy discussion, Board Member Ferguson made the motion to grant DC&MM a Consent to Encroach on the James Carter Drain down to, no closer than twenty-five feet to install water and sewer lines along the entire northern boundary of the property. This would accommodate any future development and the future owners would not have to come back. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Attorney Loy got a copy of the deed and stated he would have the document ready tomorrow.

Secretary Kiser asked the Board to sign the assessments on the J. P. Carr Drain Reconstruction to be filed with the Auditor. The Board signed the assessments.

Surveyor Sterrett reported the Auditor’s office gave him a bill from Ralph Hall that was brought in to their office. The bill is for work he had done on his tile (the Lydia Criswell Branch of the J. T. Williams Drain) and now he has apparently decided the County should pay for it. The work was done back in March. Secretary Kiser said she looked minutes up and two or three years ago Mr. Hall presented plans A,

B and C for the County to take over a tile he put in, without telling us, to bypass a portion of the County tile. The Board discussed it with him at a meeting and said we want to take it over then if we are going to take care of it. And, we never did do anything more about it, it got dropped. (After this meeting research showed this discussion was in 1999.)

Chairman Burton asked the Surveyor, “Without authorization can he repair County tile?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Not usually. We require them to come in and at least inform us. I was told AFTER the fact, sometime this summer. Simons (Jim/JVS Excavating) came in and told me, ‘I worked on that tile out there and now I think it’s a County tile’ he said.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “He didn’t know it was a County tile when he worked on it?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “He didn’t act like he did, no. What should I do? The tile is terribly in debt, it brings in $1,700.00 a year and right now after all that work we had done at the highway it is $3,782.00 in debt.” Surveyor Sterrett told Charlie Mellon that the State Highway paid for the work they did. They put all new tile under the highway.

Board Member Heimlich asked if assessments had been raised on the tile. He said there’s two issues, one whether we allow that claim. There isn’t money in the fund to pay it so do we raise the assessments on it? Chairman Burton said whether or not the contractor knew it was a County tile; he thought he was working for Mr. Hall. See tape – for discussions while Surveyor Sterrett went and retrieved that information and reported back, “It is a variable rate, he (Hall) is paying $3.00 an acre, Joanne Hall is, if that’s his wife, it was raised in 1995. 742 benefited acres.” Chairman Burton figured he has about half of the acreage. Board Member Heimlich said it currently would take over two years to get it out of debt. Surveyor Sterrett explained the project at the road cost $1,175.00 and fifteen tile holes is what was fixed on Hall and it cost $2,200.00, using about 75 feet of tile. Surveyor Sterrett said it is in bad shape there at the highway. He said the tile is actually a fifteen inch tile, it is plugged and they ran an eight inch chaser around it we found out later. So, the tile under the road which he believes to be a twelve inch is dumping into an eight inch.

Chairman Burton asked if the Board can table this until January. Board Member Heimlich stated, “We can do anything we want, because I don’t think we are obligated to pay it, certainly, because he didn’t come in. I’m not saying that we wouldn’t, but we don’t have to decide today.” The Surveyor will send Mr. Hall a letter asking him to come in to the January 2, 2007 meeting to discuss it further and explain that one of the issues is there is no money in the fund.

Board Member Heimlich asked Secretary Kiser to get copies of the minutes of the meeting where Mr. Hall’s tile was discussed. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to table the claim issue and notify Mr. Hall to come to the January 2, 2007 meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Secretary Kiser said this is Bud’s last Board meeting due to his retirement and she has certainly enjoyed working with him. Secretary Kiser explained that she is going to “semi-retire” at the end of March and according to P.E.R.F. rules, she has to quit her job to draw her P.E.R.F. retirement benefits. She has to “separate” from her employer for sixty to ninety days before returning to work part-time back in the Surveyor’s office without benefits. She said it is something for the Board to think about, they may want to appoint Mary Sterrett (Drainage Assistant) to be the Board Secretary for the coming year since she won’t be in the office April, May and June.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Mr. Pimmler has submitted the amended drainage plans now for putting the dam in the existing ditch at the Monticello Spring Factory expansion project construction site. The Board looked at the plans. That is what we approved at our last meeting.

See tape – Surveyor Sterrett explained how he figured the final J. P. Carr Ditch reconstruction assessments. He explained that there had been some sell offs since we started the project and we will probably get calls from new owners because the original owners got the assessment letters.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that he and Board Member Heimlich received copies of the objections/remonstrances on the Indian Creek project in the mail from Cass County Surveyor Jenny Lombardi.

Chairman Burton adjourned the meeting.