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November 19, 2007 Tape #024

The White County Drainage Board convened at 11:20 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana, with Board Members, John Heimlich and Steve Burton, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi in attendance. Board Member Ron Schmierer was not present.


Chairman Burton opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes for the November 5th, 2007 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried.

The next item on the agenda is to approve the petition for maintenance on Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain & Branch #1 of Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain. Surveyor Sterrett explained, “As you know we are going to clean Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman up by Headlee. Howard Blackman circulated a petition for those that were on that ditch. It was signed by Ron Roth, Ralph Nice, Ron Roth Jr., and both Blackman’s that are on it also signed the petition.


After reviewing the petition, Board Member Heimlich stated, “I would move that we accept the petition for maintenance on Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain & Branch #1 of Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain.” Chairman Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “We have the ditch surveyed, cross-sectioned, and grade established. We will probably go out tomorrow and finish what we have left of the branch. So we will be ready to have a landowner’s meeting at the next Drainage Board Meeting.”


Surveyor Sterrett added, “I also have a Certificate of Approval for construction in a floodway that was addressed to the Drainage board. This is for the McKillip Ditch, south of Monon where they are replacing a bridge on US 421. INDOT requested this. I looked back in the files and found that 2005 was when we had received the plans for that project. I think Todd and I looked at them. It says that they are replacing the existing three-span concrete slab bridge that will be replaced with a single-span concrete box beam structure. This project will also include minor approach roadway work (which looked to be about 500 feet), including resurfacing. In addition, there will be minimal channel grading and riprap will be placed along the banks for a total of 115 feet. Details of the project are contained in information and plans received at the Division of Water on May 9, 2007, June 28, 2007, July 30, 2007, August 1, 2007 and October 18, 2007. Downstream at the US 421 stream crossing at Monon, Monon Township, White County.”


“They had to write to the DNR for approval,” Surveyor Sterrett added.


Board Member Heimlich stated, “I do have one thing. Don Ward was in this morning regarding Bridge 229 and the beaver dams. Did he talk to you, Surveyor Sterrett?”


“Yes, he spoke with me, but I didn’t know what to tell him. There is no maintenance fund for that ditch and it is not regulated down where they are,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“Yes, it’s not regulated where the beaver dams are but, there isn’t any maintenance on any of where it is regulated?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


“My question is where we can use, since it is downstream and will be obstructing the regulated drain, are we able to use maintenance money for that? The other thing Don said was that maybe we could take it out of the Bridge Construction money. The question is what authority do we have in regards to that?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “I think we can take it out of General Drain Improvement. You can do $1,500 on a drain that is not regulated. Well, it doesn’t say that, I don’t think the code says regulated; and you don’t have to pay it back.”


“That was his main question was on authority to do that since it is not in a regulated portion. He wanted to get them out of there because it was affecting the building of the bridge,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


“Yes, it is affecting him getting out into the ditch and trying to get elevations and if we don’t trap the beavers they will probably build it back. He wasn’t concerned about that though,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“I didn’t know if we could, since it was backing up water on a regulated drain. The regulated drain is about 3 miles away, but where this is at is the outlet for the regulated part.” Board Member Heimlich stated.


“The regulated part of it is 3 miles away,” Surveyor Sterrett commented.


“I guess my thought is that if we spend money on that, what is going to stop us from 3 miles downstream and 3 miles upstream. There are a lot of dams on that ditch. There is one at 100 West that I have seen. I’m not sure if it is a beaver dam…that ditch just kind of takes care of itself down there. I think we can spend $1,500. I don’t know much it would cost to get it out of there. I haven’t seen it,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“What was the end of your discussion with Mr. Don Ward?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “He was just going to come to you. I told him it wasn’t on maintenance or that it was not a regulated drain.”


“I’ll talk to him again and see if there is a way. He said that he could probably do it and just take it out of Bridge Construction. If he thinks he can get authority to do it through that,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Don and I will have to go out and look at it.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked Attorney Loy, “Can we spend $1,500 out of the General Drain Improvement Fund on a drain, is that in the Indiana Code?”


“Yes, I think I remember drawing up an ordinance based upon that,” Attorney Loy stated.


“The discussion was on Bridge #229 on Moot’s Creek in Brookston. Don Ward said that downstream there is a beaver dam which is backing up water and affecting the building of the bridge. However, it is unregulated down there. What authority do we have in getting rid of the beaver dam?” Board Member Heimlich stated.


“Who owns the land adjacent to where they are located? My first thought would be to just get their permission to go on and take care of it and do it on that basis. Does that answer your question? ” Attorney Loy asked.


“No, not exactly. We were looking for where the money would come from in order to pay for it,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“Do you have any idea of how much it will cost?” Attorney Loy asked.


“According to Don Ward, the dam is pretty elaborate,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


“I don’t know whether or not you can get an excavator close to it or not,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“So, we are building a new bridge, replacing an existing bridge. It is not part of a regulated drain. It is an outlet for a regulated rain, correct?” Attorney Loy asked.

“Yes,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“Get permission from the landowner and if it’s directly related to the construction of the bridge I think that would be a legitimate cost. You will want to document that very well. You’re only funding alternatives are Bridge Fund or the General Drain Improvement Fund, right?” Attorney Loy asked.


“Yes, that is how I would look at it. Don and I will go take a look at it and report back,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


Chairman Burton asked if there was anything further for the Drainage Board.


Chairman Burton then adjourned the meeting.