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July 2, 2007 Tape #014


The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members Ronald Schmierer, John C. Heimlich and Steve Burton, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi in attendance.


Others in attendance were Sharon Watson, Rick Conwell, Galen Logan and Charlie Mellon.


Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes for the June 18, 2007 meeting. Board Member Burton so moved. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.


The next item on the agenda is Windward IDEM project. Surveyor Sterrett explained what the waiver was granted for and showed photos of this project. The photos were taken in February of 2007. He further explained that the duplexes and triplexes were going to be put in on top of the bank on the White County side. There was a ravine running down the line and that is what the waiver was granted for on the drainage ordinance because everything was going to run into the ravine and into the lake. Now that plan from 2003 has changed. Mr. Jacobs went to Area Plan and got a primary approval for PUDs (which are the Florida-style). Mr. Jacobs then wanted to change that and since then he has dug a big hole. Mr. Jacobs has taken all the dirt and moved it over onto the Carroll County side. It is all lake level now on the White County side. Attorney Loy asked, “Mr. Jacobs’ prior plan was for 50 feet above lake level, right?” Surveyor Sterrett replied, “That is what the waiver was granted for”. Chairman Schmierer stated that he felt that the Drainage Board should send a letter stating that Mr. Jacobs does not have a drainage plan anymore. Attorney George Loy asked, “Did we issue a waiver or approve a drainage plan?” Surveyor Sterrett replied, “We granted Mr. Jacobs a waiver from the drainage ordinance; because some of the water is going back this way and there were a couple of retention ponds in Carroll County and some of the water was going into Carroll County.” Surveyor Sterrett went on to explain that part of the ravine is still in tact and some of it is not and that part of the section is now lake level and you can see some of the erosion in the photos dated February 2007. He further explained that rip-rap had been put in around the shoreline.


Surveyor Sterrett also presented a photo dated August of 2004 which showed a dam that had been built. Mr. Jacobs actually dammed up the ravine. Chairman Schmierer stated that in August of 2004 that Mr. Jacobs had approached the Board to use the money off of the drainage ditch. Mr. Jacobs had two outlets going through the dam, but now the dam has been removed. Surveyor Sterrett asked if there was any action that the Drainage Board should take? Chairman Schmierer stated that he didn’t know what action could be taken, but that Mr. Jacobs needs to be informed that he needs a drainage plan.


Attorney Loy stated, “I think we need to send him a certified letter confirming that since his drainage plans have entirely changed that the exemption no longer applies.” Attorney Loy also asked, “Do you know what house they are referring to in the email that you got that is in danger of sliding into the ravine?” Surveyor Sterrett replied that he thought the house belonged to Greg Jacobs, but that he was not absolutely sure.


Chairman Schmierer agreed with what Surveyor Sterrett was saying that Mr. Jacobs is outside the scope of what we agreed to and there should not be a problem saying that we are pulling it back. Attorney Loy also mentioned that we don’t want him to misinterpret that he is exempt from our drainage ordinance for all purposes or any other purpose.


Surveyor Sterrett also stated that he brought it up at the Area Plan meeting when Mr. Jacobs was trying to get primary approval for that change and it was turned down. Surveyor Sterrett brought up at that time that Mr. Jacobs needed a drainage plan and Mr. Jacobs said yes, I can get you a drainage plan. Surveyor Sterrett said he thought we should still send a letter.


Charlie shared that at the meeting the other night, someone said that he has been shut off by the state and that he cannot do anything.


Chairman Schmierer entertained the motion to send Mr. Jacobs a letter revoking his waiver. Board Member Burton made the motion and Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carries.


Attorney Loy said that he will help Surveyor Sterrett draft the letter.


Surveyor Sterrett asked to review claims as there are some rather large bills on some of our tiles.


Surveyor Sterrett opened up discussion on the Ferguson tile. This spring the tile broke down at the catch basin near the State highway. We waited for the state to get in there and fix it and they didn’t do anything so I got Tony Cain out there with his excavator to dig down at the catch basin and found that the tile had collapsed, plugged up the tile up north and left water standing. Tony went ahead and dug further down in three or four places and spent two days out there trying to decide what was wrong and found out it was broke down and had to wait for the water to drain off for a couple weeks. He finally got in to fix it and repaired all of the tile holes and that bill was $4,192.00. After that was repaired, Ned went out to plant corn and found two more holes. We went back out to further repair the tile and that bill came to $3,500.00. I believe these repairs put that tile into about one year of debt.


Surveyor Sterrett opened discussion on the J.P Carr tile on the property of Orville Logan & Mrs. Nelson. The outlet was messed up and it was sucking dirt into the ditch. We just had the ditch cleaned out. The tile comes in right at the bend and runs up through here, around the hill, and comes down through here, then runs over this way. This is where we had some small tress removed over the tile right now; the property owners removed the trees. There were probably three or four holes on the Nelson property and then when it got over to the Logan property there were three more holes plus the outlet was bad. So, he repaired six holes, repaired the outlet, and hauled away the fence wire and rocks. He charged us $50 for the use of the truck. That bill was $4,478.00 for repairs. That was paid by the J.P. Carr. There is money in J.P. Carr to cover these repairs.


Tentatively we have received permission to dig on the CSX railroad on the Holcomb tile. The Holcomb tile runs north of Reynolds. Surveyor Sterrett met with the gentleman last Thursday and he is going to allow us to dig there since it back off of the gravel. Chairman Schmierer asked if this was out by the fairgrounds? Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”


Surveyor Sterrett also received a call from landowner Criswell up in Liberty township, west of the Boy Scout Camp. He has a road that goes back to his house along the lake which is Linback Road. This is the Downey ditch. The problem is on the road. The road services approximately 15 or 16 landowners. This road is off of 16 right there by the junkyard. The canals are all silted up. Our regulation ends 700 feet west of Boy Scout Road. So this would be approximately 800 feet downstream from the regulated drain. Nick went down and looked up the property owners and found out that this road was in the name of Beatrice Huffman. Surveyor Sterrett called BJ and he said that it is not a county road and that they do not maintain it. The pipe or culvert is collapsing under the road. Surveyor Sterrett looked at it and determined that it was a 4 or 5 foot pipe. It goes in about halfway and then drops down a foot and then on the west side there is a 10 inch riser coming out that they kept throwing rip-rap and gravel into and it has pushed the riser away from the pipe. It is sitting down right on top of the culvert. Surveyor Sterrett thinks that it is sucking dirt there, but you can’t really tell.


The landowner Criswell wanted some help on it if he could get any. Surveyor Sterrett said that he would present it to the board since it was within 700 feet of a regulated drain. We discovered that the road is privately owned. Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t think we want to get into privately owned property in any way, shape, or form.” Board Member Burton stated, “We don’t have any authority to do that.” Chairman Schmierer stated that he believed that this problem has been looked at before several years ago. There is a lot of gravel that runs through there. The hole is washing the gravel from the drive. Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t think there is anything we can do about that.”


Also, over toward Burnettsville and Idaville is the C.M. Mertz #2, which is already in debt. Dick Coble came in this spring and the water was running out of the tile again. We went out and looked at it and it was coming up out of the ground south of where we did all of the repairs. There are three tiles there. Surveyor Sterrett called Alan Howe right away and he said that he would look at it. He said that he could not work on it at the time because there too much water and mud and he couldn’t get in there. We had the willows removed and repaired some of the tile and spent quite a bit of money on it. Alan never got to it and Dick Coble called back and said he was going to get Brown to work on it. Brown came out and worked on it and took the dirt off the top of the tile where it was running after it dried out and he said he found about 10 patches in that tile and then replaced 120 feet of it. He said he let the water run two weeks and the water was about 10 inches deep in the 15 inch tile and went ahead and repaired it because the water never went down. It looks like he did a good job because Nick and I have walked through there and they have beans planted in the waterway now. The bill for the repairs was $2,175.00. The C.M. Mertz is $7,975.00 in debt. This does not include the $2,175.00 for the most recent repairs. Chairman Schmierer suggested that maybe we should raise the rate. Surveyor Sterrett said that the rate was raised to $3 per acre about this time last year. Chairman Schmierer stated, “We continually spend money on that area.” This tile is being sprayed this year. The estimate is $235. It will be 4-5 years in debt at the current rate. Chairman Schmierer further stated that if we are spending money on it then we need to raise it to pay its way out of debt.


“There is nothing that says we can’t raise the rate again, is there?” Chairman Schmierer asked. “No, there isn’t” Attorney Loy replied. This year we have spent $7,000. Howe charged $4,000 to remove the willows and repair the tile that was there. There was a $180 water bill from the fertilizer place. Then DeSabatine came and power washed it out and he charged $1,940. So, the total for the past year is approximately $8,200.


Chairman Schmierer suggested that we set-up a landowners meeting or a hearing and let them know what we need to do with it. It was decided that a hearing should be scheduled. Board Member Burton suggested that maybe the rate could be increased for 2 years and then dropped back down. Attorney Loy gave the following explanation, “We could raise the rate for two years as a surcharge to pay for the work and then drop it back to $3 per acre.” All were in agreement that this would be the best solution. Chairman Schmierer stated that it should be put together and put it in the form of a hearing.


Wayne Chapman called this morning from Carroll County and they are not going to have a joint board meeting on the Friday tile which runs southeast along Springboro Road and those 3-acre tracts. He decided that those people should have been assessed. He was having a hearing because the 3-acre tracts were not being assessed, but he decided since the previous landowner was being assessed that it slipped through the cracks and that he was just going to send a letter to inform them that they are going to be assessed for that tile. They are no longer going to have a hearing on this.


Chairman Schmierer asked if anyone had anything further for the Drainage Board.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.