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March 17, 2008 Tape #006

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.

Daryl Johns of SFLECC, Joe Roach, Michael Triplett, Mike McLeland, Pauline Andrews, Alice Hare, Patricia Tolley, David Tolley, Marlin Hunt, Claude Butt Ralph Hall, Greg Pownell, Jerry D. Altman, Jerry Wyant, Robert Tobey, and Ray Smolek was also in attendance. There were also several landowners in attendance that did not sign the sign-in sheet.

Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting asking for approval of the minutes from the March 3, 2008 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried.

 

The next item on the agenda was the Carter-Hines Drain Landowners’ Meeting. Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett to explain what the project will include and get input and thoughts from landowners.

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained that the project is to clear the brush off of the Carter-Hines Drain on ONE side only (per DNR regulations). The project is to start at (if there was a road 750 E, it would start at 750 E) one half mile west of 800 East. The project is to clear brush up to 500 North, which totals about 28,000 feet. The Drainage Board must go through DNR to be approved and meet their regulations before any work can be done and that is currently in progress. Landowners who live within a quarter mile of the site will receive a certified letter from the Drainage Board informing them of the facts of the project and, if requested by any landowners, the DNR will conduct a hearing. This drain is also part of a Cass County drain and they have sent a letter waiving their rights.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “In 2002, we did part of the Carter-Hines to a certain point, didn’t we?”

 

“Yes,” Surveyor Sterrett replied. Surveyor Sterrett also explained that the brush had been cleared from 500 North to 600 North in a previous project. There had also been a clearing and dipping project that went from 600 North up to the end of the ditch and also included some branches, which was Reconstruction.

 

“We are trying to do this project of clearing brush on maintenance,” stated Surveyor Sterrett.

 

Chairman Schmierer replied, “We have enough money in maintenance to do that, right?”

 

“There is approximately $54,000 in it and my estimate for this project was $27, 480.”

 

“We are only taking brush off of one side per DNR, right?” Chairman Schmierer questioned.

 

“Is this ditch being assessed on now?” Board Member Burton asked.

 

“We did not collect in 2007, but we are collecting in 2008 because of the proposed project. The yearly assessment brings in $13,258.00. So it has reached four times what is assessed,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

“So we’ll collect for two years and then it will be back off,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

Chairman Schmierer then asked if there were any questions from the audience.

 

Raymond Smolek asked, “Is there going to be any digging?”

 

“No, sir…just removing brush from one side which is what DNR would allow us to do. Are there plans in the future for digging?” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

“Yes, I believe that Mr. Smolek has petitioned it, but we were going to get the brush off of it first and then dip it later,” Surveyor Sterrett.

 

“Well, I need it cleaned,” Mr. Smolek stated.

 

“We have talked about cleaning it and it is still in the process. You have a petition in for it and it is still in position to be cleaned, but what we are doing first is taking the brush off of one side of it so it can be cleaned, instead of just doing it at the same time. We have done that before, done both at the same time, but this time we decided to get the brush off first. I don’t know how wholly it is up by you, but some of it is really wholly.”

 

Mr. Smolek stated, “I cleaned a lot of it off 15 years ago, but can we at least dip a couple miles on the lower end?”

 

“We haven’t got permission from DNR for that. This project is just for clearing. The only permission we can get from DNR this time is to clear brush,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

Darryl Johns, Shafer-Freeman Lakes, asked, “What would be the timeline on the dipping, Surveyor Sterrett, with having to get all the permits and everything?”

 

“Probably 2 years with the line of ditches that I have in front of me right now,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

Patricia Tolley stated, “We are actually not on the very end of it. We are on the end of the route of the drain as you have it listed now…Before they put either the tax or did the clearing in our area. In 1994 they put a tax on and in 1997 we received a letter that it was going to be cleared. The route of the Carter-Hines ditch before that time drained in…the letter stating where it drained through…it drained all the way down to 400 to the bay where it then entered into Lake Shafer. It still does drain that far today, but since NIPSCO gave that land back and the DNR owns the land from 400 to County Road 500 and you can’t tax them or mess with their land…I don’t know if it was either Jim or George Milligan changed the reading that it ends at 550, well it doesn’t. It still drains, the water all doesn’t stop at us, it looks like it does sometimes, but it doesn’t. My problem is…and I fought this…I’m like an old dog barking at the same tree and I guess I will be until I die because if you look back in your records…Mr. Schmierer when we had this battle a few years ago you said I should have come to the commissioners first and I did, but it didn’t do me any good. So, that is why we went through a lawyer, which since they didn’t take it out of county still didn’t do me any good. We were never part of the original Carter-Hines Ditch. It started on the east side of State Road 39. If you look back through your files and look at all the people that received notices and everything you would find out that I am right. In 1994 we got a letter from Jim Milligan and that is when we were first made a part of it without any legal steps being taken, chance to file a remonstrance, or anything except that we were going to be taxed. In 1997, we received a letter then from the Surveyor who was George Milligan…we received the letter on Saturday…saying that they were going to come and clear our land, if we wanted to save any trees we had to move them. On Monday morning I called in and told him that I didn’t think that we were a part of it, wondered when it was going to be done. He said that he didn’t know who was going to do it, let alone when, but if you want to save any trees you have to notify me and I’ll have to make an appointment and come out and approve the trees you are going to save. So, I asked Mr. Milligan if he would please contact us when he knew who was going to do it and when they were going to start because I felt like he said I had time to stop it before it was started. The next day a bulldozer was loaded down on our property and my husband went down to talk to the man. He said he wouldn’t be starting until the first of the following week and, of course, Mr. Milligan hadn’t notified that he had signed a contract that very day. I think you, Mr. Schmierer, told me that legally he could not have started the work for 30 days after the contract was signed?”

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “After he signs the contract, I don’t know when the starting time in that. I think there…”

 

Mrs. Tolley continued, “Well, he signed it on Monday, moved the bulldozer in on Tuesday, and when I came home from town on Wednesday morning he was down there crashing through. I have to tell you that I felt like I lived in Czechoslovakia when I heard a kid tell about how it felt when the tanks came in to their town because I felt like we were never given a chance to do anything to stop it.”

 

“Do you know where she lives Surveyor Sterrett? Are you familiar with that?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

“Yes,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“My problem is this…we have a creek, it is a wide creek. Roger Bowsher, when they started the work on State Road 39 coming west, Roger used to own land on the next road east of ours. He asked the contractor or the surveyor if they were going to do the other side and he said no, the fall of the land was such that the water would go through regardless and I think that is a correct assumption so I’m not sure why they moved in on it. I was very happy to hear Surveyor Sterrett state that now DNR does not allow them to clear both sides like they did to us because they certainly messed up our bank and we certainly have a lot of erosion since that time from trees being taken. My problem is this…I love my neighbors, I want them to drain their land, but if you see our creek you understand why we weren’t a part of it to begin with and I can’t understand why we pay for them to drain their land. We have our natural drain. The land was my grandfather’s and my father’s and now it belongs to my husband and I. It was always a creek. When I was growing up, kids from the lake would sometimes come through with their boats and we felt like we were being invaded. My father always said we don’t own that water, as long as they are in their boats they can do it. If they step out into the creek then they are on our land, because we pay taxes on that land on the bottom of the creek. I do feel that we should not be paying for other people to drain their land. I don’t want to be part of the Carter-Hines Ditch, like I said we fought this once before. It is not necessary. We have other land that does drain into a ditch and we do pay taxes on it, but we were a natural creek and we still are. Supposedly we are at the end of the ditch now, but no we’re really not because it still drains through DNR property out to the bay and then goes to the lake. So, I am opposed.”

 

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Surveyor Sterrett, where does the legal…”

 

“As far as I know, it starts at 550 N and our project starts here (indicating the starting point on the map),” Surveyor Sterrett responded.

 

“We’re not going down on that part,” Chairman Schmierer.

 

Board Member Burton stated, “So, really her issue…she feels that she is being assessed and shouldn’t be assessed on the Carter Hines.”

 

Mrs. Tolley stated, “Excuse me, but we were never taken through the legal steps to make us a part of this ditch. The only way that we were made part of this ditch was when Mr. Jim Milligan put taxes back on the ditch and he put it on the route of it, and we were on the route of it. But before that time, it ended at State Road 39.”

 

“This would be back in 1994,” Board Member Burton stated.

 

“You would have to look through the records to find it wouldn’t you Surveyor Sterrett?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

“I have copies and copies,” Mrs. Tolley stated.

 

“So what I’m getting at…your issue is, you feel that you shouldn’t be assessed part of this ditch and that is really not part of the issue here today. Today we are discussing the clearing,” Board Member Burton explained.

 

Mrs. Tolley stated, “Well, we will help pay for the clearing as long as we are a part of it. We have been, and we were very upset when they came in on us, because number one even when he said we could save trees, when Rob Isom moved his bulldozer in right away he damaged good trees. When we fought it, we ended up saving some scrub trees that would have been trees we would have wanted to go. But, we never wanted it done; it’s torn up our land…”

 

Board Member Burton stated, “But that is not part of the scope of this project.”

 

“It’s not part of the scope, but we will be paying on the project because we are considered part of the ditch,” Mr. Tolley stated.

 

“We could go back, Surveyor Sterrett can check if it was correctly petitioned or if you were correctly included. That is something our legal team needs to confirm,” Board Member Burton stated.

 

Claude Butt stated, “I would like to have you gentleman or Surveyor Sterrett explain what authority the DNR has over all of this, what the implications are, and just how big of a hurdle this is. Can you explain some of that?”

 

“If a ditch is ten miles in length or more then we have to go through a 368 Review,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“And they call the shots?” Mr. Butt asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, pretty much so.”

 

“They tell you what you can do and what you cannot do. They are telling us now that we can clean one side,” Chairman Schmierer explained.

 

Mr. Butt questioned, “If a landowner insisted on both sides being cleaned he has no right to want that?”

 

“I don’t know that that would work. I don’t think it would work,” Chairman Schmierer responded.

 

Surveyor Sterrett added, “I don’t know if he can clean his own side or not.”

 

“I suppose that you could do it on your own if you wanted to, but we couldn’t go in and do it because we can only get permission to do one side. That is all we can do,” Chairman Schmierer explained.

 

Mr. Butt asked, “Is this a long drawn out process?”

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Well, you turn in your review notice. They then have 14 days to tell you when they will meet you out at the site and then there is 30 days to send out public notices and then you have to wait 30 days and prove that you sent public notices to the landowners that within a quarter mile of the project and then after that 30 days they will either approve or deny the project. It’s about 90 days.”

 

“Do they really know what they are doing? Do they really get involved in knowing that the ditch needs to be cleaned?” Mr. Butt asked.

 

“They did come out and look at it, I will admit that. We did not get off the road, but…,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

Board Member Heimlich explained, “To answer your question, this is not only DNR but the other agencies that have jurisdiction over the ditches, in many cases they are not really concerned with whether the ditch needs cleaned or not. That is not what they are there for. I have been through this on meeting with different agencies on bigger ditches and you get frustrated and they’ll tell you up front that they don’t care whether the ground is drained or not. Their job is to protect an owl or a bat or whatever the case may be.”

 

“So, I would suspect the original purpose of that ditch was for drainage and not to raise some animal or something like that,” Mr. Butt replied.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’m sure you’re right…”

 

Board Member Heimlich stated, “I agree, but that is not what you’re going to run into with these agencies.”

 

Gary Johns stated, “That is just if you’re contracted. If the landowner wants to go out there, he can go out there any time and do it.”

 

Attorney Loy stated, “We are not authorized to tell you that.”

 

Mr. Gary Johns stated, “I just want to back up what Mr. Smolek said, that ditch does need dug up.”

 

Chairman Schmierer responded, “I’m sure it does, but we have to repetition it (resubmit it to DNR) to do that.”

 

“I understand what you are saying, I just wanted to say that I agree with that 100 percent,” the landowner replied.

 

“I don’t think anyone has any quarrels with it, we know it needs to be dug out…but we’ll have to petition to do that after we get the brush off,” Chairman Schmierer explained.

 

“The lower end is pretty well clean as far as brush goes,” Mr. Johns commented.

 

“Well, we’re not even going on the lower end, are we, Surveyor Sterrett?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

“No, we are going to 750 East,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“We couldn’t clean to 1100, huh?” Mr. Johns asked.

 

“We’d have to go through another 368 Review with the DNR,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“As a farmer, if I owned a long stick backhoe, could I go in and clean it? If I got the agreement of the landowners to do it…” Mr. Butt asked.

 

“We’re not going to tell you that. We wouldn’t dare tell you that you could do that,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

“Would you fine me if I did?” Mr. Butt asked.

 

Attorney Loy, “I trust you understand that we can’t pass on the authority that we don’t have ourselves.”

 

Mr. Butt replied, “I understand.”

 

“It seems like we are doing everything we can to come up with a solution for drainage here,” one landowner stated.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Right, that’s what we’re trying to do, but the DNR is keeping us from doing it as fast as we’d like to.”

 

“I hate paying taxes on a ditch that helps somebody up north of me to flood me. How does that work? You are going to work north of me and it’s not going to do me any good, except flood me but I’m paying for getting it done…” one landowner stated.

 

“Has your end been done before?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

The landowner replied, “Yeah, well it’s been cut so it’s my understanding from State Road 39 on they never have to touch it because there is so much fall.”

 

“Right, I know what you are talking about that, but I can’t answer that…maybe Surveyor Sterrett can answer that…I don’t really know…” Chairman Schmierer replied.

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “No, I don’t really know…”

 

The landowner added, “But anyway…paying for all up north and everything just to flood me is not too good. I mean…”

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Surprisingly, that quarrel comes up every time we clean a ditch. Everyone on the bottom end doesn’t want to pay for the top end because the water is coming downhill. You are not the first one to bring that to our attention, but I don’t know how you get the water to the lake or off the ground if you don’t have a place to go with it, so…”

 

“The State Road 39 bridge must be holding it back. If you get all that water there, it’s going to bottleneck right there,” the landowner stated.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “We really won’t know until Surveyor Sterrett goes out to shoot levels either, and you can’t shoot levels with all of the brush on there right now. Am I right?”

 

Mark Hines addressed the board, “I would like to make a statement that I am on the upper end of the Carter-Hines and when we did that work in 2002 the lower end did not help us pay, we did our own. So, I just wanted to clarify that. At that time, would have been the time to do the whole job and everyone goes down, but there was a great big squawk and so we went to 600 or so North, which is a tremendous help to me. But, I dumping my water on whoever is down south of me, but there was a big squawk and no one wanted to pay, so we paid and we got drainage.”

 

“I remember the battle, very….” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

(See tape for discussion regarding how much water landowners had during the flooding in January.)

 

Mr. Hines stated, “I mean…that’s the way water flows. I’m not complaining it’s just the way it is. That is why I say to them that are below me…so the water runs and we have to live with it. You can’t change the water course, let’s just all work together to get the work that needs to be done finished.”

 

Mr. Tolley stated, “I have another question. Did you say that Cass County signed off that they are not part of this?”

 

Chairman Schmierer replied, “No, they signed off their rights to the maintenance we’re having done. They signed off that they do not need to be sitting in on this board meeting. They will still be assessed.”

 

“Yes, they will still be assessed, but if they hadn’t signed the waiver then we would have had to have a joint board meeting with Cass County Commissioners too,” Board Member Heimlich clarified.

 

Mrs. Tolley stated, “What these people are saying, and I know for us being on the bottom, I question why so far east of us they were hooked on to this ditch instead of going to a closer, large…I asked this question several years ago and I was told that there was a hill in between. Well, I think we can go around hills, but we do have an awful lot of water if you are on the lower end, like Mr. Geier and us are on. We have a huge amount of water coming through our property now and it does help them drain their land which I am happy for because we need the farmland. However, while we’re helping them we’re definitely taking away from our land. I questioned why it had ever allowed to……”

 

“Well, that would be a surveyor question as to the watershed,” Board Member Heimlich stated.

 

Mrs. Tolley added, “I think someone a lot of years back wasn’t thinking too far ahead. They took the easiest route.”

 

“They took the natural route,” Surveyor Sterrett commented.

 

Mrs. Tolley stated, “The fastest, easiest route.”

 

“When they take the brush off, do they pile up all the brush?” one landowner asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”

 

The landowner stated, “If you have CRP, that conservation ground, how does the DNR look at that because they are probably going to destroy part of that.”

 

“They will be required to seed it back. The contractor will be required to reseed it and that will be in the contract,” Board Member Heimlich stated.

 

“We’ve done that before,” Attorney Loy stated.

 

Richard Lucas asked, “Which side are they actually going to cut brush off of?”

 

“That is one that I cannot answer right now…Can you answer that Surveyor Sterrett?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

“Well, east of you we planned to clear the brush from the south side…” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

“That is what side I am on. Are you going to come in and tear my yard up?” Mr. Lucas asked.

 

“No, no. There is no brush on the north side. So we’ll start cleaning about a quarter mile east of there where the ditch bends and goes south. I have cleaning from the south side there. So there will be no cleaning west of there, of 900,” Surveyor Sterrett reported.

 

Attorney Loy stated, “By law there is 75 foot right-of-way measured from the top of each ditch bank in each direction, within which all County Drainage Boards have a maintenance right-of-way and there shouldn’t be any kind of permanent or non-permanent structures within that right-of-way.”

 

“I guess since all they are going to do is clear brush, and there is no brush in there, why would they come in there anyway. There really isn’t,” Mr. Lucas stated.

 

“And again, it’s part of the contractor’s responsibility, even if you’ve got grass way, that the contractor come back and re-establish what it was prior to that. So, if you have a yard there and they come and take some trees out, I’m sure that contractor is going to want to move them, and not have to restore your area, but if he does disturb that he is going to put that back to the best he can with the way it was prior,” Board Member Burton explained.

 

Mr. Lucas asked, “So before they do this I will actually know when they are going to do it? So I’m not like this lady over and come home one day with a bulldozer in my front yard.”

 

“Is there brush on your side?” Surveyor Sterrett asked.

 

Mr. Lucas replied, “A couple of mulberry trees is about it. I figure as long as they are there I’m not losing any of my yard.”

 

“Leave them there,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

Mr. Lucas stated, “That is what I’m saying, will they take those out because I would rather they just be there. Sooner or later the ditch is going to wash away and I don’t have yard anyway. The trees are high on the ditch bank; they aren’t down in the water or anything.”

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “What we plan on doing is clearing off one side and up the slope on the other side. That is what is being allowed.”

 

Ray Deno stated, “We have a beaver dam back in there. Who is responsible for keeping that cleaned out?”

 

“You need to notify Surveyor Sterrett. If he knows about it he can get the guy to trap them and get them out of there. We just need to be notified so we can trap them and get them out of there. That is what we try to do, that is what the law says you have to do anymore,” Chairman Schmierer explained.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I think we’ve pretty well informed you of what we have to go through with DNR. I don’t think many of you realized that, I know you, Mr. Butt, did not. So, that is where we’re sitting right now and we’re waiting on approval so we can go ahead with it and get the brush off.”

 

Surveyor Sterrett added, “Landowners that live within a quarter mile of the project will receive a certified letter from the White County Drainage Board stating the facts about DNR and that they can have a hearing with them.”

 

Mr. Smolek stated, “Can we push the ditch cleaning forward since everybody is here that is pretty well involved and there are a few of us that would like to have that ditch cleaned. Would this be a good time to go ahead and sign a petition?”

 

“You have a petition, don’t you?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, I think Mr. Smolek is the only one on it. There might be a couple more signatures.”

 

“We need to get this project started so we can get some drainage,” Mr. Smolek stated.

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I have it in line.”

 

Board Member Burton explained, “So, it is in the process. As far as trying to move this up, legally we couldn’t do that with proper notification.”

 

“Right, and it will have to go through DNR and the brush will have to be removed before it can be surveyed,” Board Member Heimlich stated.

 

Mr. Smolek asked, “So, could we like this fall start this ditch cleaning project? Instead of two years from now?”

 

“We have to get it cleaned, get the brush off of it before we can petition DNR again. So, I can’t answer that,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

Board Member Burton explained, “The other thing that you are referring to….there is a list. This is not the only ditch needing cleaned, so it’s in the process of moving forward, maybe not fast enough obviously, but it is there and it is moving forward even though it doesn’t look like it is.”

 

“I don’t know how far out we are now,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

“Two years,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

Chairman Schmierer added, “Two years isn’t bad because when I came on this board in 1997 we had some that had been petitioned 17-20 years. So, we’re down to two years so that’s a little bit of progress.

 

Bob Roth asked, “At the start of the project are we going to be on the north or the south side?”

 

“Start a half mile west of 800 East and there is less brush on the north side, so I picked the north side. That is how I did my estimate,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.

 

Mr. Butt asked, “Is the DNR involvement always a two step process? Meaning…do we have to consider brush separate and we have to consider the cleaning separate?”

 

“No,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“So my question would be why weren’t they both entered the first time?” Mr. Butt asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett, “I haven’t got it surveyed yet. It is a little easier to do without the brush.”

 

Mr. Butt questioned, “So do they have a survey before they will approve?”

 

“Yes,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“When do you plan to start he project?” one landowner asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “As soon as we get DNR approval…which would be 60 days from now.”

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “We won’t do it during crop season. We’ll wait until fall.”

 

Another landowner asked, “Can we get signed off as a landowner when the job is done to make sure we get enough cover over all of the stuff that they are burying?”

 

“If you see a problem, don’t tell us six months after the contractor has left. Tell us before he leaves. Call Surveyor Sterrett before he leaves. The problem of it is sometimes they will do it in the winter and someone will come to us in May and it’s hard to get the contractor to come back and fix anything. If we still owe the contractor money he will come back and finish what he has to do. With the contractors we are using now, we haven’t had near the problems that we had for while,” Chairman Schmierer explained.

 

Chairman Schmierer thanked the landowners for their participation in the Carter-Hines Drain Landowners’ meeting.

 

Troy Furrer was on the agenda but was not in attendance.

 

The next item on the agenda was to request partial payment for Esther Fraser and A. K. Ruth projects.

 

Board Member Burton made a motion to make a partial payment to County Line Tiling/Excavating for the Esther Fraser and A. K. Ruth and to have County Line Tiling/Excavating come back and clean the flood slides and pull that money out of maintenance. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Steve Carlson owns woods on the A. K. Ruth, before Mr. Ezra came in and cleaned it Mr. Carlson cut the timber off of it and then Mike went through and dipped it. Mr. Carlson now thinks that the contractor should dig the stumps out on the side of the ditch.”

 

“Why would you want to take the stumps out that helps hold the ground?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “This is what my specs say. ‘Contractor shall clear one side of the ditch within the right-of-way. Side will be determined by the contractor and the landowner and the surveyor. The width of the clearing shall be such that the spoil may be properly leveled and sloped as herein specified. In other words, you have to go out eight feet and only have a rise of one foot. The opposite slope must also be cleared of all trees and brush. Cut trees shall no be left on the side slopes of the ditch for extended periods of time where there is danger of water carrying them downstream. Remove any fallen trees and brush from the ditch bottom. All trees should be removed from the bottom and banks with minimum damage to the ditch bank. Cut trees and brush shall be burned or buried with a minimum of three foot cover. Holes for burying should be a minimum of 20 feet from the top of the bank. To prevent erosion all trees shall be cut as close to the ground as possible and stumps of live trees two inches or larger shall be treated with Tordon or similar chemical with a half hour. Contractor will be responsible for regrowth of stumps for a period of one year. All stumps more than five feet from the top of the bank shall be dug out and burned or burying with a minimum of three foot of cover.’ That is just our standard.”

 

“Where are the stumps that the landowner is talking about?” Board Member Heimlich asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No. I am not going to dig any out that’s inside the five feet from the bank. My thought is that any tree that Mr. Ezra would have had to cut down in order to level the spoil, then that stump should come out probably.”

 

“Those stumps should, but if they are in the bank we don’t want them to take them out,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

“No, but he’s talking…I think he’s talking about some of the trees that he cut. He wants those stumps taken out,” Surveyor Sterrett explained.

 

“His stumps?” Chairman Schmierer asked.

 

“Do they fall in the area that Mr. Ezra would have needed?” Board Member Burton asked.

 

“That is pretty hard to determine because as you can see there is no pointed top of bank it just slopes gradually,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would say that is a decision that you’ll have to make when you get out there.”

 

“He is also complaining about the sticks and brush not being cleaned up. I don’t know whether Mr. Ezra left the sticks or the landowner left the sticks,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

“So, you really haven’t talked to Mr. Ezra about this yet?” Board Member Burton asked.

 

“Yes, he couldn’t remember,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.

 

“So, there is a possibility that Mr. Ezra might be ok with this if he gets out there and looks at it,” Board Member Burton stated.

 

“He might be,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would just say it’s something Surveyor Sterrett can make the call on.”

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Anything outside of what Mr. Ezra would need to level off would not be our responsibility.”

 

“No, it’s not,” Chairman Schmierer stated.

 

The next item to discuss is the Victor Tile in Brookston. Surveyor Sterrett described several photos that he had taken at the site owned by Greg Jacobs. See tape for description of photos. Surveyor Sterrett explained that what Mr. Jacobs wanted to do was to either cut a swale where the tile was to get the water drained off or replace the tile; he had the tile on site.

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We discussed it with Todd and he thought it would be alright for him to temporarily put in a swale in there until he got a drainage plan together.”

 

Board Member Burton stated, “There is his retention pond there in the middle where the water is coming up and he is pumping it from there to a small ditch.”

 

Surveyor Sterrett added, “He crushed the tile there and water came up so he dammed it up. So that evening we explained to him how to repair that tile by digging a trench.”

 

Surveyor Sterrett continued, “This is about the route of the county tile, pretty close to it.”

 

“So that gives you an idea that the county tile is farther out in the middle of the property than I thought. It is just about in the middle,” Board Member Burton explained.

 

“Is he asking to leave the area coming back to the airwell too or just from Kent’s to…?” Board Member Burton asked.

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I don’t know. I never measured how far it was from the outer well, but he did not expose the tile from the airwell, let’s say 200 feet north. We told him to come back from where he had it dammed up, dig down and find the tile where it wasn’t flooded so he could see it; put some rip-rap around it and dig a trench back to where he crushed the tile then he could release the water off the tile and he could repair it.”

 

“And this is just temporary, right?” Board Member Burton asked.

 

“Yes, just temporary. Instead, he dug a trench all the way to Kent’s to the tile out there. So the water is running on top in a trench,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

Surveyor Sterrett added, “So now he has a trench down to where he has opened up the county tile. So, he dug out our county tile.”

 

The Drainage Board continued with more discussion about photos taken at the site.

 

“I asked him if he had to haul that off, he said he wasn’t sure. He said he just had it tested and it tested alright,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

 

Board Member Burton stated, “As we are looking at this….he wants to build a twelve foot deep retention pond…we know where our tile is…and our extent of 75 feet in either direction…is there an issue building a retention pond within our right-of-way?”

 

“You don’t want don’t do that, I would say no,” Attorney Loy stated.

 

“Mr. Jacobs is having a plan done by a surveyor,” Surveyor Sterrett reported.

 

“I have seen all kinds of plans that don’t go according to plan,” Attorney Loy stated.

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So should he spend $5,000 upon my advice to get a plan and he shouldn’t because it’s going to be denied?”

 

“So long as it is ok with you and Engineer Frauhiger, that’s fine, and then…that he builds it according to plan,” replied Attorney Loy.

 

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