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May 21, 2007 Tape #011

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:55 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 Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary E. Sterrett and Charles Mellon in attendance.


Chairman Schmierer called the Drainage Board to order. Board Member Steve Burton made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 7, 2007 meeting, Broad Member John Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Next on the agenda was Echo Lane Estates Drainage Review and was presented by Surveyor Sterrett. Showing the drainage plans to the Board, Surveyor Sterrett said, “Todd and I went out and looked at this last week and Todd has redone the calculation on it. Chairman Schmierer said, “You know where it is at John, it is where that guy built the barn to have a boat repair business and the barn is still there. It is not there any more, it is going to be a subdivision now.” Chairman Schmierer asked if Todd approved the plan and Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes.” Looking at the drainage plan Surveyor Sterrett said, “This is West Shafer Drive and this is the lake, they are going to build a road with a cul-de-sac, this gentleman owns this lot and this lot, still looking at the plans, he will have side ditches down the road and they will go into the detention pond, this side ditch will cut across a culvert and go into the detention pond. He already has a rock chute with a pipe under it for an outlet to the detention pond. He is a Contractor so he already has some earth work done out there.” Again showing the plans Surveyor Sterrett said. “These two lots are going to be zoned business or they are already zoned business.” Chairman Schmierer said, “We zoned that business a long time ago and this is going to be housing back here.”


Chairman Schmierer asked if the Echo Lane Estates was ready to be approved? Surveyor Sterrett said, “It is ready to be approved. Todd (Frauhigher) called this morning and said that he had talked to the Engineer. He congratulated him on the nice job that he had done, that it is one of the better one that we have had with all the calculations and plans.”


Chairman Schmierer entertained a motion to approve the Echo Lane Estates Subdivision Drainage Review, Board Member Steve Burton made the motion to approve and Board Member John Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Next on the agenda Surveyor Sterrett talked about the project on the A. K. Ruth Drain. Chairman Schmierer asked, “Have you got started on the A. K. Ruth project already?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “We have the plans done and the estimate.” Showing from the drainage map Surveyor Sterrett said, “This is Three Hundred (300) East, this is the Little Monon, this drain comes down here and the project will probably start there, it goes through a woods and then through another woods and ends up at Sixteen (16), this is Thomasville.” Chairman Schmierer asked if part of it was along the highway and Surveyor Sterrett answered, “yes”, about one thousand (1000) feet. Surveyor Sterrett thought that part of the drain had been cleaned when Rick Raderstorf was the Surveyor but it is backed up again.


Surveyor Sterrett said, “The ditch was petitioned.” Chairman Schmierer asked if the project would be done under Maintenance or Reconstruction. Surveyor Sterrett said, “That is what my question was going to be.” Nine landowners signed the petition that was carried by Steve Carlson but Steve never signed the petition. At the present time there is Six Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eleven Dollars ($6, 711.00) in the Maintenance Fund. The drain was not collected on last year because the balance was four (4) times what it brings in annually. The annual assessment is Fifteen Hundred and Sixty-five Dollars ($1,565.00) per year. The assessment rate is One Dollar ($1.00) per acre and this rate was raised in Two Thousand and One (2001), Fifty (50) cents per acre and Ten Dollars ($10.00) Minimum. There are a lot of lots in Thomasville and they are Ten Dollars ($10.00) per Lot or Ten Dollars ($10.00) Minimum.


Surveyor Sterrett said, that the last Reconstruction was in Nineteen Seventy (1970) and that followed the same route that he has marked. The Surveyor’s estimate for this project is Eighteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Three Dollars ($18, 993.00). Charles Mellon asked, “Will we have to go Reconstruction on that?” Board Member Heimlich answered, “Well, either that or a Maintenance Modification, I would think that we would have to do that probably since it is not taking in right now. We could use that money and then however many years that we wanted, at whatever rate to pay for the dipping.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “My estimate is probably high but there is a lot of brush on it, the dipping is nothing it is mostly brush.” Board Member Burton asked, “You got Six……….” Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Sixty Seven Hundred (6,700) and Nineteen Thousand (19,000) was my estimate” Chairman Schmierer said, “So you would be Thirteen Thousand (13,000) short, approximately.” Chairman Schmierer continues, “Rather than making it higher (the maintenance assessment) for two or three years why would we just be as well off doing it under Reconstruction.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “We would have to have a hearing regardless.” Chairman Schmierer responded, “Go ahead and let’s have a hearing and do it under Reconstruction.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do we want to set the rates on the minimum/lot?” Chairman Schmierer asked, “For Reconstruction?” Surveyor Sterrett stated, “That there is Eight Hundred and Twenty-Two (822) acres in the water shed.” Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would say that put the minimum/lots for Reconstruction, if it is Ten Dollars ($10.00), I don’t know why you wouldn’t put it at Twenty-Five (25) or Thirty (30). Wouldn’t you John, we have before.” Surveyor Sterrett replied, “That is where you are going to get your complaints from Thomasville. That is where it was before on the Maintenance Modification.” Board Member Heimlich asked how may acres in the water shed and the Surveyor answered, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Two (822) acres. Board Member Heimlich continues, if you use $6,000.00 of the Maintenance Fund so we would have Thirteen Thousand (13,000) Board Member Heimlich figured the cost at about Fourteen Dollars ($14.00 or Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) per acre. Chairman Schmierer asked, how many lots would we have and the Surveyor said, probably about seventy (70). The Board decided to assess Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) minimum/lot and Fourteen Dollars ($14.00)-Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) per acre when figuring the assessments of the Reconstruction of the A. K. Ruth Drain.


Chairman Schmierer said, “They (Thomasville) will complain about it. They were in here wanting drainage at one time.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “We can have a Reconstruction Hearing on the A. K. Ruth sometime this summer.”

Attorney Loy asked, “How many land owners all together?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Didn’t say, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Two (822) acres.” Attorney Loy replied, “Seventy (70) some of which are lots.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “Yes, but some of them are combined into parcels but they are paying for every lot. Some of them have changed into metes and bounds description too, I suppose that was to reduce their minimum. Then they are only paying Ten Dollars ($10.00) on two point four (2.4) acres and before it was twenty (20) lots and they would have paid Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).”


Chairman Schmierer asked what else the Surveyor would like to discuss with the Drainage Board. Chairman Schmierer said, “I told John and Steve about Charlie Geier putting a buffer on the ditch out there is that what you are getting at.” Surveyor Sterrett, “Yes, I have some pictures of the James Carter Ditch .” Chairman Schmierer said, “I told Denny that I thought we should send him a letter and tell him that they (trees) are his responsibility to take out or get out of the way or we will move them at his cost if we have do any work on the ditch, what do you think?” Surveyor Sterrett said, “On the other side of the ditch is a junk yard with cars parked up against it.” Chairman Schmierer replied, “If we have to work there he will have to remove them too.” Board Member Heimlich said, “It is no big deal right now just so he understands that we got the record that those are there at his risk and they will be taken out if we need to work there.


The Surveyor next wanted to discuss the Holcomb Tile in Reynolds, the tile that run diagonally out of the North corner of town. Surveyor Sterrett said, “I walked that the other day and found a suck hole on the rail road track. It is not sucked clear down to the tile so I don’t know if it is on our tile, I don’t know exactly where our tile is at but there is an air well on the fertilizer place (Excel) right on the right a way. Surveyor Sterrett call the Railroad guy and he hasn’t gotten back with me. I guess I will just keep calling him. It (suck hole) is between the track and the right a way, we can probably get a jet in there at the Fertilizer Plant and go up stream but if there is a hole there I don’t know if we want to go through it or not. Do you have any ideas on how we can get a hold of the Railroad? I called this Joe and he seems to be the main man that is in the field, he tells me to call his boss but when I call him I get an answering machine. The last time I talked to Joe, I said Joe why don’t you call your boss and tell him what I want since it is not a big problem because he let on like it wasn’t going to be a big problem. He never called me!” Board Member Heimlich said to drop VeraSun’s name and perhaps you might get a quicker response. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he had told Joe that it was VeraSun and the Town of Reynolds involved.


Surveyor Sterrett then talked about the J. P. Carr Branch that the County had jetted out for John Brettnacher. We started on the East side of the Railroad, John dug a hole and we jetted West towards the highway and got under the Railroad however when we got to the East side of the highway the jet would not go any further. Chairman Schmierer asked if the tile was broke down on the highway? Surveyor Sterrett answered that it had to be broken down on the highway. The Surveyor said that they took four (4) bucket loads of gravel out of it. Chairman Schmierer asked if the tile was broke down in the highway right a way and the Surveyor said that it had to be broken there. Chairman Schmierer wanted to know if the State Highway Department had been notified and the Surveyor said that he was writing a letter to the Highway Department.


Surveyor Sterrett said that he had talked to the State Highway Department regarding an air well, which the State put in, with a suck hole around it. That suck hole is located about five hundred (500) feet North where it crosses under the railroad. The Surveyor had called the State Highway Department and they were going to come out to take care of the problem but they haven’t been there. Charles Mellon stated that is what drains the road ditch. Surveyor Sterrett stated that in his letter to the State he told them that it was a hardship on the farm land and a hardship on the right of way. Board Member Burton asked if John Brettnacher had ever called the State? The Surveyor said that John had called the State and the Railroad but he didn’t think the problem was with the Railroad. Board Member Burton said, “Sometime in those situations you will get a response out a private individual as where the Government unit gets……..” Chairman Schmierer stated that John had talked to the Railroad guy because that is where we got the information on the Railroad guy, John gave it to Ron and Ron gave it to the Surveyor. The Surveyor said that we were on the County tile but there is another tile broken down on the East side of the Railroad about two hundred (200) or three hundred (300) feet North of where the County tile crosses. That is the tile John was having problems with; it is not a County tile.


The next item on the Surveyor’s agenda was Mitch Billue from the Parks Department, their silt trap is full. Surveyor Sterrett said, Mitch has one estimate from Wrede’s it was five hundred and fifty (550) cubic yards of silt has to come out. Dennis Sparks gave him (Mitch Billue) an estimate of Eleven Thousand Dollars ($11,000). Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is he wanting us to pay it out of the Buss Ditch? He was wanting some help on fixing it. The County paid Five Thousand dollars ($5,000.00) in 2002 for the retaining walls when they updated by putting in the spillways in and the silt trap. Surveyor Sterrett said, “It really is pretty nice down there.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Yes, they did a nice job but now it is filled up with silt.” Board Member Heimlich asked, “Is that the only silt trap that was put in?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Yes!” Chairman Schmierer stated, “Now the problem you got is if you go to work and send money off the Buss Ditch down there you are setting precedence if you send it out of the ditch fund.” Chairman Schmierer said, “That it is up to the Board, I’m not in favor of it, are you guys?” Board Member Heimlich replied, “Not at this point, I don’t know exactly what he………..he just said wanted help, what does that mean?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “He hasn’t collected all the funds he had yet to see how much he had and he hadn’t gotten the second estimate yet.” Board Member Heimlich said, “He needs to do that and hopefully there won’t be anything left.” Surveyor Sterrett said that right now there is Seventy-eight Hundred Dollars ($7,800) in the Maintenance Fund and the yearly assessments are approximately Three Thousand Dollar ($3,000) per year. Chairman Schmierer said, “If you send that money off the drainage out there if you do that there you are going to Buffalo and do it, your going down to Lane Ditch (Greg Jacobs). You are going to have problems if you do that.” Surveyor Sterrett said, “That he had gotten an E-mail from IDEM saying that he (Greg Jacobs) had not met their requirements regarding silt. Surveyor Sterrett asked Attorney Loy, “What can IDEM do, can they fine him (Greg Jacobs)?” Attorney Loy replied, “IDEM has all sorts of fines.”


Charles Mellon wanted to mention to the Board that there is a cesspool out on Sixth Street. Mr. Mellon said, “All you have to do is go down here past……….it smells worse than a hog farm. The canning factory is raising the devil with the City the smell is coming over there in their air conditioners and it is making some of the employees sick. It is not the City’s problem that is still the County. Chairman Schmierer asked where is the cesspool? Mr. Mellon replied, “South of the Jail where they hauled in all that dirt. The water has been in that hole, they have ruined the drainage along the road there. The water has been in that hole since last fall and you probably read in the paper Thursday or Friday where the mosquitoes, the West Nile it is Indiana already and that would be a perfect place to grow out of. Steve said that some contractor was supposed to do it but they had to wait until they got all the dirt in there. They have hauled all the dirt in there, there has not been any hauled in there for the last month and both of the bulldozers that were in there all winter are gone. Something has to be done!” Chairman Schmierer said, “They are going to bring the bulldozer back in and level it some more, I’m sure from what they said the other day.” Mr. Mellon said, “All they would have to do is dig a trench in that hole right across the drive, its got all kinds of fall, into that ditch right along the railroad track and in a half hour all that water would be out of there. If some else is coming in there put a tube across the road that they automatically build in there, you guys probably didn’t even know about it. Then they can drive in there and drive out. That is a hell of mess out there, the road is cracking along the edge there because the water level is right up to the road, it been that way all Fall.”


Chairman Schmierer said, “I didn’t notice it, that is in the City limits so I didn’t pay much attention to it.” Mr. Mellon said, “That is still County.” Chairman Schmierer replied, “Along that side of the road?” Mr. Mellon said, “You bet down there, that’s Jail property, the County owns that clear to the railroad track.” Chairman Schmierer replied, “The County owns the ground but we are in the City Limits.” Mr. Mellon said, “Not if you own the ground your not within the City Limits, like the Jail.”


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.