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February 5, 2007 Tape #003

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, John C. Heimlich and Ronald Schmierer, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett and Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett in attendance.

Those signing the register were Robert Whitaker, Pat Whitaker, Richard Bol, Jerry Thompson and Joe Raub. Those not signing the register were Ed and Joe Beiriger, Hugh Pence, Charlie Mellon and the Scroggs.

Chairman Schmierer called the meeting to order. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 15, 2007 meeting as presented. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer opened the landowners meeting on the W. W. Raub Drain in Big Creek Township. Surveyor Sterrett reported, “This is Chalmers down here, about three miles, the tile comes in here at CR 450 and then it is an open ditch to Big Creek. We plan to start on Raub’s ground here about at a farm crossing and clean it out to 450. This tile is full of water because it won’t drain right here.” Chairman Schmierer said, “It is part tile and part open? (Sterrett said yes.) Do you think if you get it open it will…….” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, it will relieve the pressure on this tile.” Chairman Schmierer asked how many feet will be cleaned. Surveyor Sterrett answered five thousand feet, a little less than a mile. He said, “My estimate is $5,705.67 and hopefully that is high. There is $3,970.00 in the fund. It is fifty cents an acre, brings in $757.00 a year. It hasn’t been collected on since 2001. So, if my estimate is close it will put it in debt two years.” Someone asked when it was cleaned the last time. Surveyor Sterrett thought 1975 by Dick Kelly.

Joe Raub said, “One thing I want to say, I’m sure you are going to go ahead and do it, but I remember the last time it was cleaned out in about less than a week and I don’t think it was cleaned out very good. I just think somebody checks to make sure it is done right.” Bob Whitaker said, “They did a good job at the roads where the bridges were but the rest of that was a very poor job. That’s why it is still high today.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Well, we have .06 percent fall. That doesn’t sound like much but that is quite a bit for White County. That’s .06 percent from road to road and then it falls off on north of 400 to .136 and this is the proposed grade which is a drop here of half a foot from the culvert. This is where the silt is right now. This is the water line up here as it exists when we surveyed it. This is the proposed water line down here. You can see the water line would be below the silt after it’s done. Then north of 400 here there’s quite a hump and from there on there’s probably a foot coming out down to that farm crossing.”

A landowner asked, “Do you guys do a total volume of what’s going to be dug out?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, two thousand eight hundred and three cubic yards I calculated.” Chairman Schmierer asked if there is a lot of brush on it. Surveyor Sterrett said there’s no brush, a few trees, one or two. A landowner asked, “How is that distributed as far as the dirt is concerned? Equally on both sides? I remember there was a little problem on that the last time.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Usually dredge it from one side and usually let the contractor and landowners decide which side. We have a problem with where we want to put the silt is why we called the meeting. I put in the specs that between the two roads, 400 and 450, it would go on the east side and from 400 north it would go on the west side. There’s a fence on the east side. That’s what we can discuss today if somebody doesn’t agree with that.” Chairman Schmierer asked if anybody had a problem with that. Someone said Bob does.

Someone asked (Beiriger), “What are you going to do south of 450? That’s the County tile in there and it’s been broken down. I think Ray Culver fixed it a couple of times. It’s no good. Unless you continue that ditch all the way across up to us that we got an outlet. We haven’t gotten anything out of it, never got anything out of it. Twenty-five years ago we looked into it, had a tiler out there, but it seems like that County tile stops thirty or forty feet from our line so we have to get an easement from Ray to get into it. We have a pretty wet spot east of it that could’ve been brought in to it.” Chairman Schmierer asked if we have done a lot of work on that tile. Surveyor Sterrett said no. Chairman Schmierer asked if he thought the tile will run if we get it open. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I don’t know, that’s a half a mile from where the tile outlets where they’re talking about. The tile ends close to their property line.” Chairman Schmierer asked if it has an air well or catch basin where it starts. Mr. Beiriger said, “There might have been one at one time, but I know Ray did do something to it, I think it was the County tile.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “Are you aware Ray did a bunch of work on that?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “No, we haven’t done any work on it, the last claim we had on it in our most recent records was Kesler repaired a tile on the Whitaker farm in 2000 for $154.00.”

Mr. Beiriger said, “There really isn’t any use to start at the road if you don’t go all the way to the end of that…..inaudible….beginning of the ditch…” Surveyor said, “You mean dig an open ditch? This is not reconstruction; it’s just maintenance on the existing open ditch.” Mr. Beiriger said, “I don’t think Sparky’s is working very good, his tile is under water.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “His tile is under water, I mean there is water standing on the waterway.”

Bob Whitaker stated, “Back to my subject. I would say it is probably twenty feet deeper on dirt on the west side than it is on the east side. And I thought every time you dredge a ditch, it is every other turn, that’s what I asked Denny when I came in, a month ago I asked him.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “There’s a fence on the east side. It is a horse fence, electric fence I believe.” See tape - Inaudible conversation about length of fence and who it is on….is it a long distance?…….quite a ways……….on Ruemler.

A landowner spoke, “I’ve noticed in the past, when you get in a situation like this, if there is some overseeing as far as the person doing the work, the dirt isn’t a problem as much as it is the large rocks and so forth. If he leaves large rocks that’s totally bad. Silt on top of your ground won’t hurt a thing and still be productive but when you start leaving a bunch of rocks that you should’ve taken care of to begin with, you just need somebody to oversee that the guy does it properly.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We have in the specs that rocks twelve inches in diameter or larger have to be picked up.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Denny does go out and inspect before we pay them, I’ve gone with him before.” One landowner asked if that was normal specs, twelve inch rocks. The answer was, yes, all rocks twelve inches in diameter or larger shall be buried with a minimum of three foot of cover. This excludes rocks piled by farmers.

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Will that cause a hardship if we put the dirt on the sides that he said? Make it unfarmable?” The landowner answered, “It isn’t going to make it unfarmable, it is I just thought how much taller do you want it on one side over the other?” Chairman Schmierer asked, “How much is it now, is it that much?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “I have a cross section. We took a cross section every two hundred feet, so I can give you every two hundred feet starting at the road. One point four, two point three, west side is higher. Station 34, one point five, three point one.” Chairman Schmierer asked why can’t we let the landowner and the contractor work that out the best they can. Surveyor Sterrett said, “Well it would probably come back to me.” Chairman Schmierer said, “The landowner where the horses are isn’t here today I suppose.” The answer was no. Charlie Mellon asked if that electric horse fence is in the seventy-five foot right-of-way. Surveyor Sterrett said it is right on the bank. Charlie Mellon thought it should be taken down off of the seventy-five foot right-of-way. Charlie asked if this is on the low side. The answer is yes. He said then that should be the answer. See tape for discussion on reasons for which side to put spoil and landowners responsibility to remove the fence. Surveyor Sterrett said they can remove it and then put it back if they want to take the risk

One landowner said, “Logically, I think it should be on the low side.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I guess we can notify them to move the fence. That would be their expense; they put it on the right-of-way. What is the Board’s favor, do you want to notify them to move the fence so we can put it on that side?” Board Member Heimlich said, “Is this all under maintenance or are we going to have a Hearing on it? This IS the meeting, so we don’t need to go to a Hearing.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “No, Ray Culver signed the petition to have it done on maintenance.” One landowner asked, “What kind of time frame are you talking? In a year’s time you will have it done.” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “I’m ready to go to bid right now.” Chairman Schmierer said, “If you’re ready to send out for bids we will probably have it done before farm season this year.” It depends on how busy the contractor is. Chairman Schmierer asked if they wanted to ask the landowner to move the fence. Board Member Heimlich said that is commonly what we do. Board Member Burton said, “They can always come back and encroach within reason when the project is done.” Chairman Schmierer agreed and said go ahead and notify them to move the fence. He said, “I would entertain a motion to direct the Surveyor to go ahead and get quotes and move on with the project.” (Joe Raub asked about the project affecting his crossing – See tape.) Surveyor Sterrett said they would not be disturbing that crossing.

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So, it (spoil) comes off the east side all the way?” Chairman Schmierer said, “That’s what it sounds like and the landowner is to move the fence and we need a motion to direct the Surveyor to get quotes and get the job done."” Board Member Burton stated, “I make that motion with the stipulation that the fence can be removed and she wouldn't have to finish it until the dipping is done. It can be, with the idea she comes in and does an encroachment request.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We haven’t been doing that with fences have we George? There’s a fence running along the top of the bank and we’re going to take the spoil off that side and we’re going to send them a letter to move their fence.” Attorney Loy said, “Give them a reasonable time to do it and opportunity to do it themselves and if they don’t the contractor will do it and we charge them.” Board Member Burton said, “The question is, do we need an encroachment agreement if they put the fence back within the seventy-five foot right-of-way?” Attorney Loy answered, “The fence isn’t a permanent structure unless that is really going to cause…..inaudible.” Board Member Heimlich said, “I will second the motion then.” The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer explained that they will go back to collecting on the ditch. He said that if we get this open and the tile doesn’t work we will have to go back out and see why the tile isn’t working. If we have to work on the tile we will have to raise the maintenance rate. See tape for conversation on collections and assessments on it.

Surveyor Sterrett presented the drainage review for Annerino Subdivision. Mike Annerino, owner, is asking for an exemption from the Drainage Ordinance. This is on Road 76 E at about 800 N. It is a four lot subdivision. The Board reviewed the drawing. Surveyor Sterrett said that he and Engineer Frauhiger went out to see the site and they did not have a problem with it. He said, “Everything drains to the lake, there is a house sitting right here, the lake comes around here, they’ll have to direct their water away from that house. This is a house here; I think it is being torn out. Todd and I recommend the exemption be approved.” Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the exemption for Annerino Subdivision. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported on the Classification of Regulated Drains. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “According to Indiana Code 36-9-27-35 A” (One of the landowners, Mr. Beiriger, on the W. W. Raub Drain interrupted with questions for Attorney Loy concerning getting access to a tile – See Tape – inaudible - multiple conversations in background.)

Surveyor Sterrett said, “We have petitions to fix some drains and I am supposed to report that in here. One of them is the Stockton Tile petitioned in 2002, (Joseph) Kellenburger Tile which was petitioned in 2002, the reconstruction of A. K. Ruth open drain petitioned in 2002, Milton Martin open drain that was in 2002, Mertz and Muck was maintenance and we are getting ready to get quotes on that. The Hickman Branch of the Coonrod open drain we are getting ready to get quotes on that, no sorry that was in 2005, so I’ve got about four drains up to 2005. We have one back in 1998 that’s the B. K. Roach open drain and it was petitioned for reconstruction and I don’t know what happened to that. It is on Skinner, McDaniel, Clerget and Seymour. It’s east of the Range Line (CR 300 E). We couldn’t find any records on it, anything being done on it. (Burton said 375 N) Yes. I looked at it here where the legal description starts close to the road is full of brush. This is pretty clean here. It is open ditch.” Chairman Schmierer said he did not remember having landowners’ meeting on it. Surveyor Sterrett said the petition was approved in March 1998. He said, “I got Skinner, McDaniel, Clerget and Seymour are on the petition. I suppose that would be Lloyd Clerget.” Board Member Heimlich said that would be Nancy Sickler Seymour. Chairman Schmierer said, “All you can do is see what you can do with it. The rest of them are 2005 or later?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes, we’re up into 2006 now. I’ve got the William Coonrod, it’s a maintenance job and it’s 1,900 feet long. I’ve got that ready for quotes on it. A drain that drains into the Big Pine, Oliver Holladay open, it’s about a half a mile long, has been petitioned for maintenance. The Roudebush and Mellon open, it’s been petitioned for reconstruction. It drains into the Big Pine, too. It is quite a lengthy ditch. They are on separate maintenance, but when they reconstructed before they reconstructed them at the same time. We have some problems at the head of the Bell Ditch. It’s got a tile that is three-quarters full all the time. I think we can do a half a mile of that. That’s one that I looked at. No one has petitioned it. It is causing problems at the tile. Then the W. W. Raub (discussed today). The J. T. Williams Drain which is Hunt, we just accepted that. And the Carter-Hines, we just accepted that. And then Branch 5 of the Ackerman, ‘’Blackie” Blackman says it’s not working properly. I haven’t been out to look at it yet. That’s the one that comes down where Hwy 16 turns and goes north. You might remember this in 1998 the Hancock open, Rick put in these notes that he did part of it, half of it and was supposed to do the other half.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Russ Sickler thought it was done. It was done enough to satisfy him I guess. Whether they got the other half or not, I don’t know. I’ll have to look into that. From our notes, there’s 7,950 foot of ditch and 2,900 foot of it was dipped and de-brushed in 2001. There was $11,738.00 spent on it out of maintenance. Almost $2,000.00 of it, they replaced or repaired nine outlets. So that wasn’t all dipping. At the time there was two options when it was brought to the Board’s attention. One option was for doing the whole thing and that quote came to $13,500.00 and the other, option two was $9,900.00 for doing 2,900 (feet), and that option two was accepted. As far as I know they only did 2,900 feet.” Chairman Schmierer asked if he has looked at it. Surveyor Sterrett said he and Russ are going out to look at it.

Surveyor Sterrett presented a list of drains to be assessed in 2007. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We took some off and put some on, if you want to look at them. We sent all of our notices to the other counties that need to be collected (shared drains) but we haven’t heard from Tippecanoe, Jasper or Pulaski.” Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett if this was a list of those that will be on (answer yes) and if he had a list of those that aren’t on (answer no). Chairman Schmierer asked for a motion to approve the assessments for this year. Board Member Burton so moved. Board Member Heimlich seconded. Motion carried unanimously. (Assessments list signed by Board.)

Surveyor Sterrett presented a petition for maintenance on the William Coonrod Drain branch. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “That is the one that I was telling you about that is 1,900 feet long and we are ready to do it. We had two landowners adjacent to the ditch and we got letters to them out. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept the petition for maintenance on the William Coonrod Branch of the F. M. Coonrod Ditch. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Sterrett reported that more drains have been put on the GIS.

Mr. Scroggs from Idaville asked if there was anything that could be done about the big pond three-tenths of a mile east of Idaville. (Mr. Scroggs had been in to the Surveyor’s office recently and discussed this.) Surveyor Sterrett stated that he has not had time to go out and look at it yet. Mr. Scroggs said he thinks at one time there was a big drain under the highway and he knows at one time someone had put a disc blade in the tile and it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Chairman Schmierer said if the tile is broken under the highway, the State Highway would have to be notified about fixing that. He said that Surveyor Sterrett can look into it. Mr. Scroggs claimed that the last few years it had been drying up but we’ve had a lot of rain this year. Surveyor Sterrett said as soon as it thaws out he’ll be out to look at it.

Hugh Pence of Minoaki Farms approached the Board saying, “I was in here last year and raised the question about doing something about making a bigger tile going south. And I guess what I would like to request is if Denny would come out and meet with me soon and just look at the whole area and just kind of review. We have several options out there of solving the problem I think. We’re taking water from four farms. We are losing about ten or twenty acres every year on our farm somewhat. This would be about three miles southwest of town here. I think the old C. C. Spencer Ditch is too small and with today’s agriculture you can’t go on with losing as many acres and all the hassle about it. I think there’s several ways to solve the problem, and what I would like to suggest is we go out and take a look and consider all the options and come back to the Drainage Board and make some recommendations of what the alternatives might be.” Chairman Schmierer stated, “You work with the Surveyor on it and we will see what we can get done.”

Charlie Mellon asked for a report on the Big Monon project and stated he met someone that has a big enough machine to dip the whole thing from one side of the ditch. He said Gutwein has to work from both sides. Board Member Heimlich reported, “What they are talking about now is not doing anything down in that deep area where it was going to take a huge crane. We are supposed to get a more detailed proposal from the engineer this month. I forget the exact location where he was figuring on starting, but with the amount of silt in the deepest part down here by the lake, and the amount of fall that was there, we could save a lot of money by not doing any digging down there and still get a pretty good percentage of benefit on the project. Most of the digging would be in the middle section. The engineer didn’t think the permits were going to be a problem as long as we work with them.” Charlie said there are tributaries along the county line that really need cleaning out but he doesn’t think they are even talking about the tributaries. Board Member Heimlich said they would be on their own.

Chairman Schmierer asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded. Meeting adjourned.