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December 3, 2007 Tape #025

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:35 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana, with Board Members Ron Schmierer, John Heimlich and Steve Burton, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi in attendance. Engineer Todd Frauhiger was also in attendance.


Others in attendance were Charlie Mellon, Ryan Blackman, Terry Blackman, Ron Roth, other Ackerman Drain landowners, Odie Kilmer, and Michael J. and Suzie Ford.


Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes for the November 19th, 2007 meeting. Board Member Heimlich moved to approve the minutes as presented. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried.


The second item on the agenda was the Landowner’s Meeting for Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain & Branch #1 of Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain.


Ron Schmierer explained, “I will let Surveyor Sterrett explain those in attendance what we are planning to do. Primarily, ladies and gentlemen, the purpose of the landowners meeting is to get all the landowners on board and have good communication of what we are planning or would like to do. We started this several years ago rather than have a hearing. Some of the counties don’t do this, but we think landowners should have a voice in what we’re doing since we’re spending their money. I’ll let Surveyor Sterrett go forward with explaining what we’d like to do.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Branch #5 of the Ackerman has been requested to be cleaned out, which starts west of Headlee about ¾ of a mile and comes down to where State Road 119 and State Road 16 come together and then there is a Branch #1 of Branch #5. We have a tile that runs out through here that is blocked up most of the time. We have put a lot of repairs in that tile, so that is why it has been requested to be cleaned out. Branch #5 is paid by the Ackerman Drain which has $40,000 in it right now.”


“Are we presently collecting on that drain?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, it brings in approximately $11,000 per year and the $40,000 does not represent what has been collected in 2007 yet.”


“What is being collected now?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“$11,000 is being collected right now so there will be over $50,000 in the fund,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“We are planning on doing this strictly with maintenance money; there will be no new assessment to the landowners for this project. Who petitioned this, do you know?” Chairman Schmierer added.


“Terry and Howard Blackman; it was signed by Ron Roth Sr., Ralph Nice, and Ron Roth Jr.,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“What is your estimate of the cost?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


“There is a small amount of brush on the main and there is also some brush on the branch. My estimate is for $11,651.31. $7,631 for the dredging and leveling and $4,020 for clearing, just on one side,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“So, if it went back on in about a year and half, it would go back off again?” Board Member Burton asked.


“Well, you have been collecting on it, haven’t you?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes, we are collecting on it. It has to get up to four times what it brings in. It would have reached its limit this year,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“There is a pretty good amount of money in that drain fund. We cleaned the main branch several years ago, didn’t we?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “That was Branch #6, we cleaned from here, clear over to here, and these branches here (showing the locations on the map). That work was done in 2002.”


“Do we have any questions on what we’re trying to do?” Surveyor Sterrett asked.


One landowner stated, “There was no maintenance assessed on it last year, not according to my property taxes. There is this year…”


“It was assessed this year though. You got by then,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


“There hasn’t been any other work done?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


“There have been some smaller bills. County Line repaired a couple of washes, Shideler sprayed it, Blackman repaired two tile holes on that branch I was talking about on the tile…,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“Does anyone else have any questions?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes, I have a question about up there at the highway where those weeds are….is there any way that can be eradicated out of there?” a landowner asked.


“That broom, grassy looking stuff…I don’t know what it is. It will be dug out of there when they work on it. I can talk to Dan Alexander (Townsend Tree Service) who does our spraying…” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“I have seen it. I know what you’re talking about right up there on the highway,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


The landowner continued, “The pipe where it goes under the highway is bad. I think that’s a lot of restriction on it. I didn’t know if there was someway we could eradicate that or get it out of there.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “They have a chemical they can put in ditches now. I will have to check with Dan Alexander. Of course, it will be dipped out of the ditch, but there will still be some on the slopes.”


“When is it due to be sprayed?” Board Member Burton asked.


Surveyor Sterrett answered, “It was sprayed in 2003, so probably next year it will be due.”


“That would be a situation where a lot of times we don’t spray it when we clean it, but this may be a situation that even if we dig it out…,” Board Member Burton explained.


Chairman Schmierer added, “We have sprayed some right after we’ve cleaned them before. We could probably spray it this year if we get it cleaned in time. I don’t know if you’ll get it cleaned in time, I doubt it.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “I will check on that.”


Chairman Schmierer addressed landowner Ron Roth Jr., “Do you have a question?”


“How far from the Y…are you just going to dig to the Y or are you going to dig on down to the bridge?” Ron Roth Jr. asked.


“We were just going to do the Y,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“Will any sediment from that go into the main part of that ditch?” Mr. Roth asked.


Surveyor Sterrett added, “I suppose it could. It’s only about 300 feet down. It (the sediment) usually comes down.”


“I didn’t know if that happens or not. I wouldn’t want it to plug the main part up,” Mr. Roth continued.


“We can dig it a little deeper there at the Y, not too much, kind of put a little silt trap in there. We can put it in the plans if that is what you want, it’s not that much farther,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“Does it make sense to do that?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yeah, we can take it down to the bridge,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“There is plenty of money in the fund, why not do it right, if that’s what you say needs to be done? I understand what you’re saying and I know where you’re talking about,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


“It would only be about 300-400 feet,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“It could be added in then,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


“Yes it can, it’s not a problem,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“Does anyone else have any questions?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Chairman Schmierer continued, “If there are no further questions on it, I’d say that you can go ahead and get quotes on it.”


A landowner asked about the crossings. Surveyor Sterrett explained that the crossings are plenty deep right now and they are, in fact, below grade. The crossings should clean themselves out. Surveyor Sterrett showed the audience on the plans where the crossings were located and explained that you could tell that they were below grade. He explained that the first crossing, south of the junction, was about a foot below grade. He explained other crossings were the same.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “The ditch was cleaned along with the main in 1975. The grade that we are using now is the same grade that was done in 1975.”


Chairman Schmierer ended the landowner’s meeting for Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain & Branch #1 of Branch #5 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain.


Board Member Burton thanked the landowners for coming and for their participation in the meeting. He added that communication is a big thing and that is the purpose for the landowner’s meeting.


The next item on the agenda is the Shafer Shores Townhomes Drainage Review.


“I think you probably have something on this, Engineer Frauhiger?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes, there is supposed to be someone here to represent Shafer Shores Townhomes,” Engineer Frauhiger stated. Odie Kilmer is in attendance to represent Shafer Shores Townhomes.


Engineer Frauhiger continued, “I don’t think that I spoke with you on the phone, but I did leave a message. Is your surveyor, Todd, here today?”


“No,” Odie Kilmer replied.


Engineer Frauhiger explained, “We’re not ready to recommend this for approval on this project yet. I spoke with the surveyor on the project, Todd, but the concern was that there are trench drains that go across the driveways and in a couple of locations there are only approximately two tenths (.2) of a foot of difference in elevation between the surface of the trench drain and the garage finished floor elevation. Right now, they have not actually had a chance to design the outlet system for that trench drain system. Please correct me if I am wrong Odie, but my understanding is that there will be a pipe put in underneath the road going around the end of the unit and somehow working its way down to the lake.”


“Is that correct, Mr. Kilmer?” Engineer Frauhiger asked.


“Yes,” Mr. Kilmer stated.


“I spoke to the Todd, the surveyor, on Friday and I think he is going to go ahead and start. This is on the agenda for final approval of Area Plan next week. I have thought and mentioned it to Todd…Todd thinks he can have the calculations done Tuesday or Wednesday for me to review for the outlet pipe for the trench drains. That is the only issue we have, everything else is ready to go. I don’t know if there is a possibility of doing a contingency approval so it can stay on the agenda for Area Plan. The approval would be contingent upon getting the calculations submitted and having them approved by Friday. If they are not submitted and approved then the contingency approval goes away and it would have to be dropped from the Area Plan meeting.”


“It would be approved by you?” Attorney Loy asked of Engineer Frauhiger.


“Yes, approved by us,” Engineer Frauhiger stated.


“If the calculations are submitted and approved by Friday then they can stay on the Area Plan agenda,” Engineer Frauhiger continued.


“I don’t have a problem with that,” Attorney Loy stated.


“I am Odie Kilmer, architect hired by Starr Associates. We found out that we needed to have the drainage plan. We fully intended to size that pipe with cleanouts both at this end and probably a cleanout at the other end so we can feed it and take it to daylight. We’ll size it…oversize it and Todd is probably right, there are a couple units I think Unit 9 and Unit 3 that if the trench drain clogs those might take a little water. On all of the others, the fall is 3 to 4 inches it then goes around the curve and goes on down. He’s absolutely right, we have no problem with drainage, if we need to raise the floors a couple inches to satisfy that is not a problem at this point. We would be happy to do that. We beg your indulgence to help us get this thing put together,” stated Odie Kilmer.


“I would not see a problem with the contingency approval based upon having the calculations approved by Friday in order to keep it on for Area Plan next week,” Engineer Frauhiger stated.


“Counsel, is that alright with you?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes, I don’t have any problems,” Attorney Loy replied.


“Do you have any problems with that Board Member Heimlich or Board Member Burton?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“No,” Board Members Heimlich and Burton replied.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to give contingency approval to Shafer Shores Townhomes contingent on those calculations being approved by Engineer Frauhiger by Friday. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion was made and seconded for a contingency approval for Shafer Townhomes. Motion carried.


The next item on the agenda is the Ford Acres Subdivision Drainage Review.


Engineer Frauhiger explained, “Surveyor Sterrett and I had a chance to speak with Michael Ford on Friday afternoon. When we requested that a drainage plan be put together Jim Milligan put this drainage plan together. However, after looking at this and meeting with Mr. Ford we’ve come up with something that we think will work a little bit better.”


Engineer Frauhiger explained the drainage plan that was presented by Jim Milligan, “There is a culvert running underneath under County Road 425 East. Surveyor Milligan had a swale that was going to be graded across the property and he called this the Primary Route, which ran toward the neighbor’s house. He also had a Secondary Route, with the water eventually flowing surface across the back to the area where it normally goes. Mr. Isom, the adjoining landowner to the north had some problems with that. The site actually falls southwest, so you would actually be bucking grade to take toward Mr. Isom’s property. Please correct me if I’m wrong Mr. Ford, but what we are suggesting is that a swale be graded right along the front of the property. There are two large trees sitting where the swale will turn (in front of the trees) and graded back this property line to the back. So, the water will have a way to get around the site. It will not be impacted when the site is developed, even if they fill in the middle of the site, the swale will still get the water around to the back. Did I speak out of place?”


“No, that is exactly what we discussed,” stated Mr. Ford.


“So, it would not be done the way it is drawn, but how I described,” Engineer Frauhiger.


“Do you have the plans drawn to show that or anything ready for us to sign for this?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Engineer Frauhiger replied, “No, I was ready to recommend approval based upon the verbal description. If you want to go back and get Mr. Milligan to actually draw it that way…I think we could almost make that a pencil drawing on the current plan on how we’re going to direct it around. I don’t think it is a huge deal.”


“Do you guys have a problem with that if he draws on top of that?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Here is the way that he had the swale designed. I think that is alright.”


“The swale is fine and it will be basically going this way (showing the location on the drainage plan),” Engineer Frauhiger stated.


Chairman Schmierer entertained a motion to approve the drainage review for Ford Acres Subdivision. Board Member Burton made the motion as discussed. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Surveyor Sterrett wanted to discuss having a Landowner’s Meeting on the Oliver Bell Ditch at the December 17th, 2007 Drainage Board meeting. Surveyor Sterrett explained, “There is a tile coming into the Bell Ditch, it’s a 24 inch I believe, and it is standing full of water. It is at 700 West and just north of the Chalmers blacktop.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained a few photos from 2006 which showed some of the drainage problems. He continued, “We just repaired it about month ago. The tile runs out in the field and we keep having to do repairs. It’s time to get this ditch cleaned out.”


“You think the ditch needs to be cleaned out to open the tile up?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes, we’ve surveyed a ½ mile of it and it will definitely need to be cleaned out to get the water out of there. So, that Landowner’s Meeting is scheduled for the next drainage board meeting. The assessment is $1.00 an acre and it brings in $5,000 per year. There currently is $9,855 in that fund. There are 88 landowners (88 parcels/57 landowners) and it contains 5,282 acres. My estimate was $2,500.”


Board Member Burton asked, “Help me clarify this in my mind, how does this ditch run and what does it dump into?”


“It flows east and it flows into Big Creek. It’s about a ½ north of the Chalmers blacktop,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“Whose property would we be cleaning it on?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Waterman Family Trust and Irvin Furrer,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“You are only planning to do a mile of it?” Board Member Burton asked.


“We plan to clean ½ mile of it. There is a 9 ½ foot culvert underneath 700 West. Cleaning this should adequately take care of it,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“Last week Joyce Weaver from the Pulaski County Surveyor’s Office called and there is someone on the upper end of the Helfrick that wants that ditch cleaned out. I believe the landowner’s name is Plackovitch. It is on the main Helfrick. There is 1.0 mile in White County and about 1.5 - 2.0 miles in Pulaski County,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“What does Joyce want to do?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “White County maintains the fund. She said that they can get out there and survey it in the next month or so and get the quotes on it. She wanted to know if that would be alright and just do it on maintenance. I told her that I would have to take it to the Drainage Board. They don’t have landowner’s meeting in Pulaski County, they just do it.”


“I would like for landowners to be involved,” Board Member Heimlich commented.


“Does that affect any landowners in White County?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“Yes,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


“I don’t know how they could do it without a landowner’s meeting. I don’t know how you’d do anything like that without letting the people know what you plan to do,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


Charlie Mellon added, “Plackovitch has a new tenant and he is probably the one that wants that cleaned.”


Chairman Schmierer explained, “That isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m saying that the Surveyor must just go do it without ever having a landowner’s meeting or anything. How can you do that? She can I guess, but that is not what we do.”


“What if they go ahead and survey it and get estimates and then we have a landowner’s meeting?” Surveyor Sterrett asked.


Board Member Heimlich replied, “That would be fine, but I think we need to have a landowner’s meeting before we spend money.”


“We need to have a joint meeting either in Pulaski County or White County. It doesn’t matter where, but we will have a landowner’s meeting before we spend any money. That is the way it has to be done,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


“So you don’t have a problem with them surveying it?” Surveyor Sterrett asked.


“No, let them do it if they have the people to do it. Does she hire an outside surveyor?” Chairman Schmierer stated.


“No, I spoke with someone in her office I think they have someone there. I don’t know for sure,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“Joyce told me over the phone that the culvert under the county line is standing full of water. So, that is why they think they need to clean it,” Surveyor Sterrett commented.


Charlie Mellon replied, “It’s not full…”


“Well, it’s half full. That is why they think they need to come on down into White County,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


“That was cleaned up through us to the county line a long time ago,” Charlie Mellon shared.


Surveyor Sterrett continued, “It was put in maintenance on 1998. At that time there was $5,989 owed to the General Fund.”


“I remember when we put that on maintenance. This same ditch runs branches off and runs down into the bayou down by the lake,” Chairman Schmierer added.


“There are 1,171 acres that drain into that and it brings $3,612 a year,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Go ahead and tell them to get it surveyed and then tell them we’ll have a Landowner’s Meeting. I don’t care where we have it, Pulaski County or White County, but we will have the meeting. That is the way we do things.”


“Did you hire some tree trimming company to clear some brush off of some of the ditches?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Townsend Tree Service? They do the spraying on the ditches. They have been doing a good job.”


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


Board Member Heimlich mentioned that he had a Monon Ditch meeting last Friday (11/30/07). He said that one of the contractors had some questions and concerns because he was digging according to the Surveyor’s Report on the profiles and he was getting down into blue clay. Board Member Heimlich explained, “It really didn’t make sense. The idea was to take the silt and that was it, but there were places where the profile was probably 3 feet off from the amount of silt that was coming out. So, we had a meeting to clarify what they were doing, but they are making good progress.”


“Did you agree to just go to the bottom?” Surveyor Sterrett asked.


“Well, yeah, beyond that it’s definitely a reconstruction. The idea was just to go down to what the original grade was,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


“They say they can feel the bottom of it with a drag line,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


Surveyor Sterrett mentioned that there is an Indian Creek Board Meeting tomorrow (12/4/07).


Chairman Schmierer then asked if there was anything further for the Drainage Board. Chairman Schmierer then adjourned the meeting.