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March 3, 2008 Tape # 005

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 Heimlich and Steve Burton, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi in attendance.

Charlie Mellon was also in attendance.


Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes for the February 19th, 2008 meeting. Board Member Burton moved to approve the minutes as presented. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Surveyor Sterrett presented the information that was submitted to FEMA in response to the flood damage to county drains. Surveyor Sterrett reported that he, Board Member Burton, and Board Member Heimlich met with representatives from FEMA in Lafayette on Monday, February 25th. FEMA also came to White County on Wednesday, February 27th, to meet with the county, city and other entities.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that information given to FEMA was that the washes on regulated drains would probably come to about $1,500.00 per repair. It was also reported that there would be approximately 3.5 washes per drain on 216 drains and the total came to $1,134,000. FEMA then asked the Surveyor’s Office to calculate how many washes occurred the year prior and the costs incurred. After looking through statements, the amount of work done on washes was approximately $10,000.


FEMA also asked about information on the yearly budget for the drains. The Surveyor’s Office concluded that the budget is the amount of money that the 216 drains bring in through assessments each year. The amount collected through assessments was $485,000 per year and that information was submitted to FEMA.


Surveyor Sterrett also submitted photos of some flood damage to one of the FEMA representatives.


On Friday, February 29th, Mr. Larry Fisher from FEMA called for some additional information. He was requesting information on the amount of money spent on wash repairs for 2005 and 2006. $20,692 was spent on wash repairs in 2005 and in 2006 there was $8,640 spent on wash repairs.


Board Member Heimlich added that according to an email that he received from Pulaski County, FEMA informed them that the information for the Monon Ditch would need to be added to White County’s list of damages. Board Member Heimlich said that EMA Director Gordy Cochran was supposed to get in touch with the representative from FEMA and take care of getting that added. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he would speak with Gordy to make sure this was taken care of.


Board Member Heimlich explained, “What this estimate was for…White County has already met, there is no question that we are going to meet…for the county level $3.11 multiplied by the population of the county. For White County that is only going to be about $75,000 so there is no question about that. However, to get the federal money it has to be $1.24 multiplied by the state population, which that figure is $7.6 million, I think, so that is the figure that they are trying to come up with in evaluating all of these counties in order to get federal help.”


Board Member Burton asked, “If they approve this, we have to match 20? There is a match involved.”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I think it was 25 percent. Also, I have written down $3.11 per capita for county and $1.24 statewide per capita for state. I remember that they spoke about cost share on debris and that was 25 percent, but that was the only one I had written down.”


“In this case a match doesn’t mean much. It has to be fixed anyway,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


Surveyor Sterrett explained that copy of work orders for flood related repairs are being kept in a separate file and the Surveyor is also taking photos of everything in case FEMA needs any information.


Surveyor Sterrett explained that when the FEMA representatives came to White County last Wednesday that they wanted to go out and look at the wash outs, but they were not able to because there was fresh snow on the ground. FEMA did take copies of photos that Surveyor Sterrett had taken.


Surveyor Sterrett explained that there have only been approximately 15 washes turned in so far. The board agreed that once farmers can get into their fields that more washouts and damage will be reported.


Board Member Burton stated, “We’re ok with this number and we won’t be required to account for this number until it’s time for them to write a check…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I think if we do get public assistance then they will come up to inspect every site is what I was told. I don’t know how that will be possible, but I will be taking photos of everything that is turned in to us. We are going ahead and repairing them, I hope that’s alright as long as we’ve got documentation.”


“Yes, I had asked that question also. They said that the repairs could be done, as long as…,” Board Member Heimlich.


“They probably aren’t repairing much right now are they?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, Allen Howe has got about 10-15 of them repaired over by Headlee.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that County Line Tiling/Excavating has started work on the Esther Fraser.


Board Member Heimlich explained, “Both sides of US 24 are done as far as you see on both sides. I don’t know how far west he is…”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “He was supposed to start at Honey Creek, but he couldn’t start there because he kept sliding in to the ditch. So, I think he started at about 100 East and there is about ½ mile from there to Honey Creek. He said he would wait on that, which is alright because if any silt goes down it’ll be dipped out.”


Attorney Loy wanted to make sure that all board members were aware that he had sent a letter to Sandra Dukes regarding the mobile home she owns that sits on a portion of the F. M. Winkley drain in Monon.


Board Member Heimlich explained, “The town of Monon experienced quite a bit of flooding this last time and they want to fix the tile that is broken underneath the trailer. Attorney Loy sent her a letter telling her that the trailer must be moved or the county will move it.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Ms. Dukes did call and spoke with my secretary last Friday stating that she was working on getting it moved, but that there had been a lot of rain. The letter stated that it would be removed by March 10th or the county would (or could) move it.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “Can you do it by March 10th? There are people living in there, right?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “David Scott, with the town of Monon, said that he would help with contacting the people living in the trailer if the county has to move the trailer. I do have a work order ready for whenever it does gets moved.”


Attorney Loy explained that he had tried to contact Ms. Dukes via phone, but did not get any response, so that is why a letter was sent.


Surveyor Sterrett explained that he spoke with Ms. Dukes a couple weeks ago and she said that when the weather was good she would move it and explained that she had someone ready to move it.


Board Member Heimlich inquired about the item on the agenda for the next meeting “Troy Furrer Hogs”.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Mr. Furrer wants to building a hog building.”


“Oh, it’s a drainage review?” Board Member Heimlich asked.


“Well, he hasn’t submitted a drainage review. I think he is going to ask for a waiver from the drainage ordinance. He didn’t have his IDEM permit, so I suggested that he wait until he got his IDEM permit before he came to the board. He was going to get letters from the adjoining property owners stating that they don’t care if he builds another building or not,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


“If it covers so much ground, how can it be exempt?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It is 81’ x 235’ which is approximately 19,000 square feet.”


“How can he ask for a waiver on a building that size?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


“We have given waivers to others,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


Board Member Heimlich explained, “It depends on the ground surrounding it. If it is all his then…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It is not all his. We granted one to Roger Wiese because that was all his ground. We have also granted one to Smock. His father owned property in the back and his father wrote a letter explaining that he didn’t care if his son ran water on his property. In Furrer’s IDEM report, there isn’t a drainage plan but there is a soil report and some maps. I didn’t know whether the board….”


Attorney Loy asked, “This item is on the agenda for next time, right?”


“Yes, if he gets his IDEM permit. He is going to come to the Drainage Board meeting once he gets a permit,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


The Carter-Hines Drain Landowners “Meeting” will also be on the agenda for the next meeting.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “I am submitting the application for the permit from DNR for the Carter-Hines. I have already met with three of them out in the field. Next week, the DNR should send a letter informing me that we’ll need to contact the adjoining landowners by certified mail. We have already contacted them for the landowners meeting, but we will have to contact them again because DNR could have a hearing on it if someone writes back to them to request one.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “We better explain to them that they will be receiving a certified letter and what it’s for because they might wonder what is going on.”


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