Get Adobe Flash player


May 4, 2009 Tape #10

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana. Board members present were: President Ronald Schmierer, Vice President Steve Burton, and Drainage Board Member John Heimlich. Also present were the White County Drainage Board Attorney George Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi.

Others in attendance were Engineer Todd Frauhiger, Charlie Mellon, Jim Hallar, Todd Redlin, and Sharon Watson.

The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the April 20, 2009 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The second item on the agenda was to open quotes for the Walter Chapman Maintenance Project. Attorney Loy explained, “It appears we have three quotes, Gutwein Bulldozing and Excavating of Francesville, Howe Excavating of Royal Center, and County Line Tiling/Excavating of Winamac.”


Quotes were as follows:

Gutwein Bulldozing & Excavating $ 6,650.00

Howe Excavating $13,800.00

County Line Tilling/Excavating $ 6,500.00


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Did you have an estimate on that?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, my estimate was $9,750.00.”


Attorney Loy explained, “He has clearing all trees and brush from one side of ditch and dredging ditch to original flow line and leveling spoil.”


“Does that fix those tile holes too?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, those will be separate. Whoever got the quote, I was going to send them a work order. It’s kind of hard to estimate to repair a tile hole.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “County Line Tiling/Excavating was the low bid. Do you have a problem with that?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Do the others say the same thing?”


Attorney Loy replied, “Gutwein states to do work specified by you. Howe states excavator and labor cutting brush.”


“I think Howe still cuts by hand, doesn’t he?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, he probably does.”


“That’s why his is a lot higher. Do you have a problem with County Line (Tiling)?” Chairman Schmierer stated.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No.”


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to award the Walter Chapman Maintenance Project to County Line Tiling/Excavating, the low bidder at $6,500.00. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda is to set rates on the John Youngmeyer Tile Drain.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This is the tile up near Buffalo. Right now…it is $1,600 in debt after we did $3,900.00 work on it and there is still work to be done.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “It’s in debt how much right now?”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “$1,608.00 in debt…it brings in $704.00 per year. So it is 2.3 years in debt. It is now at $2.50 an acre. There are 12 different landowners and 3 minimums.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Even after you get it fixed it’s going to take some maintenance for quite some time to come. So, I would say that you’d be better off to go to the $5.00 and $10.00 minimum then I would the other one. Those landowners all know it’s in debt and they all know they want something done with it, so…”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “You know…it’s hard to estimate what’s left to do. It could be another $3,000.00.”


“You still have to go back down there. It’s still plugged up in the woods,” Chairman Schmierer stated.


Board Member Heimlich asked, “How big is that tile?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It’s a 21 inch outlet, I think it’s 15 inch and 18 inch through Hunt…it’s pretty good size.”


“A lot of the blockage was in the fence row, wasn’t it?” Chairman Schmierer asked.


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Down at the bottom end it was blocked. They’ve replaced 120 some feet of tile there and took the trees off.”


“So, we’ll have a Maintenance Modification Hearing, this is just to send out the notifications out for that, right?”


Chairman Schmierer replied, “Right. Well, what’s the favor of the board?”


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the maintenance rate at $5.00 an acre and $10.00 on lots for the John Youngmeyer Tile Drain. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda is the George Bossung Ditch with Arni Dahlenburg.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Mr. Dahlenburg wants to close in this open part of the ditch…about 1,700 feet. So, he wants to tile it and we talked about vacating it. I told him we’d have to have a hearing. I’ll have Arni tell you what he wants to do.”


Mr. Dahlenburg explained, “We’re not asking the county to pay any part of this. We want to run a tile there because the ditch is not giving us adequate drainage. It’s going across the field at an angle, which makes it very bad farming. We’re going to lay a 15 inch right down the side. There is no one else involved at the end of the ditch. Frank James is the only person that has any other ground coming into this ditch and it’s about 150 feet from where we’ll close it. He sent a letter that he has no disagreement with what we want to do as long as we pick his tile up. We’ve guaranteed him that his tile will be connected in and, as a matter of fact, we may replace his tile because he wants a new outlet and we’re going to replace it when we do it.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I have Wesley Krintz in the watershed.”


Mr. Dahlenburg continued, “Krintz, Spoles…but they have no tile coming across into our field. The only thing we get is water off of their lots. I have talked to all of them and they have no disagreement, in fact they’ll be better off when we close it and drain this than it is now. If the county….the road along there is extremely wet and Roger Wiese on the other side of the road would like for us to take the tile completely up to the road and see if we can get Steve Brooke to cross the road and bring the water on the south side of the road into our tile…if he would cross the road with it.”


Attorney Loy asked, “The tile that is going to replace the open ditch…who wants to maintain that?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, I suggested that he vacate that part of the open drain where he wants to put the tile in…then it’s his.”


Attorney Loy replied, “Then it’s his…sure, you can do it that way. The other deal would be a reconstruction.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, there will have to have a hearing with the landowners.”


“For the vacation…ok, James and then…everybody up in the woods. They don’t have any tile; it’s just that they’re in the watershed,” Board Member Heimlich stated.


Mr. Dahlenburg stated, “It’s just that they are on the side of the hill and everything runs toward us.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Would everyone in the George Bossung watershed have to be contacted? Or just those people are affected by this one?”


Board Member Heimlich replied, “I think you have to notify everyone in the watershed.”


“Whoever is being assessed,” Attorney Loy stated.


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would say go ahead and set up a hearing for it. We have to have a hearing with all the landowners to tell them what we’re going to do. You have to have a hearing by law to do that. Denny will get the letters sent out to the landowners and we’ll put it on for a hearing.”


The next item on the agenda is the F. M. Winkley to discuss a private crossing.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This is west of Monon. We have a private crossing that the neighbor noticed…it’s broke down. It’s bent down on the other end. There was only about a three or four inch gap at the time I was there. It’s a 36 inch culvert. I don’t know whether the water got under the outlet and swirled and sucked it down and it broke or if it’s rusted out.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do they still use it?”


“Yes, that’s how they get across,” Surveyor Sterrett replied.


Chairman Schmierer stated, “They’re going to have to fix it before they use it, aren’t they?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, it’s not obstructing the driveway, it’s just obstructing the flow.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, what’s your question?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, what do we do? Is it the landowner’s responsibility to repair that?”


Attorney Loy stated, “I’d have to check the statute, but I believe it is.”


“Don Simmons owns it. Ledyard was who reported it. He owns north of there and he was walking the ditch and looking at his tile outlets. It’s about 200-300 feet south of his line and he noticed it was broke down. The day I was there the water was getting through, but on high water it would probably cause an obstruction. It’s a 48 inch culvert. It looks new, it doesn’t look that bad,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.


Attorney Loy stated, “It is the responsibility of the landowner, unless it’s going to be reconstructed or there is a maintenance project…then we may replace it as part of the project.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “But in this case, it’s not affecting the crossing…it’s the ditch having restricted flow.”


Board Member Burton stated, “And a non-owner of that crossing is the one that brought that to our attention saying that the water was obstructed.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I have not notified the landowner yet of anything.”


Attorney Loy explained, “The owners are directly responsible for any obstruction or damage to the drain that results from the existence of a private crossing. All maintenance of a private crossing that was privately constructed or constructed as part of the work on a drain is the responsibility of the owner.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “We’ve been through this before I’m sure…the only time we’ve ever done anything on a private crossing is when we reconstruct the ditch.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Right, and the statute allows you to make that part of the project.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “He needs to be notified.”


Surveyor Sterrett, “I’ll give him a call.”


The next item on the agenda is Ramsey Development (Monticello Health Campus) Drainage Review.


Engineer Frauhiger explained, “This is the original drawing. There are three detention ponds. Detention pond #2 has a direct connection to Buss Ditch. Detention ponds #1 & #3 both had an outlet pipe that went into an existing pipe, which you can’t see, underneath Sixth Street, and flowed over land in to Buss Ditch. Here is the existing pipe under Sixth Street which I think will be replaced with the new project. The outlet from the large pond from detention basin #1 flows through that pipe, over land and into the Buss Ditch down in this area. We suggested a change….we’re going to eliminate the outlet pipe over here. We’re going to put an outlet pipe in detention basin #1 directly into Buss Ditch to keep the water from going underneath Sixth Street and over land. We’re going to leave the emergency overflow structure here so if there is ever some type of blockage in this pipe the water will overflow here and will continue over land the way it generally goes right now. We’re going to take the normal flows off of the overland portion downstream and pipe it directly into Buss Ditch. They’ve got this discharge elevation set up above the 100 year storm so it should always have free flow in the ditch. The other thing is that detention basins #1 and #3 are wet bottom ponds. They will have about 10 feet of water in them. The normal water surface elevation is 673 and the bottom of the pond s 663; the same for the other pond; so there is 10 feet of water in the ponds at all times. There is a berm that is going to be constructed along Sixth Street to keep vehicles that could possibly leave Sixth Street from getting into the water. The same on this side…it would protect it from Sixth Street and then if anyone were to veer off of Gordon Road and get over that far they would hit the berm and not go into the water. This area is additional commercial development. These ponds have been sized to take that water in when that development is done. They are assuming 80 percent impervious on that existing agricultural field and I agreed with those calculations. We checked calculations on all the pipes sizes, pond sizes, we suggested going into Buss Ditch….They are asking for a Consent to Encroach, so there is a 25 foot easement left to the top of bank on the south side of the ditch. I spoke with the engineer and explained that if there was any additional cost in the future from dredging that ditch and no place to put the spoil and the material had to be trucked away that it would be at the developer’s expense and they understand that.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, they’ll need a letter of encroachment and we’ll put that in there.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Right now the hospital side is good to dip on, but who knows what they are going to do over there.”


Engineer Frauhiger stated, “And it’s approximately 700 feet from Sixth Street to the back property, so you’re talking about a 700 foot stretch of ditch that would be impacted.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Also, the Simeon Davisson tile that we keep vacating, that needs to be vacated down here too. My opinion is there is a tile running from the boat place on the south side of Gordon Road that ties into the Simeon Davisson tile. They put a note on their plans…”


Engineer Frauhiger, “They are going to re-route it after they get the exact location and anything that goes into it, the engineer said they would pick up and put back in. Right now they haven’t got the exact location or exactly how they are going to re-route it.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Their surveying firm has done a survey, wrote a legal description and we’ll need to have a hearing on that.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So this is ready to be approved?”


Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Yes.”


Board Member Burton made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Ramsey Development (Monticello Health Campus). Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Board Member Burton made a motion to grant a Consent to Encroach to Ramsey Development (Monticello Health Campus) on the Buss Ditch to within 25 feet from the top of bank. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda is a request from exemption from the drainage ordinance for Kauffman Subdivision.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This is located west of Buffalo on State Road 16. It’s a two lot subdivision and their surveyor is requesting an exemption from the drainage ordinance. There is already a house on it, a couple barns, and it’s up on top of a hill. They won’t have to give any additional right of way. There is a ditch on the west side and a ditch on the south side. The water goes to the east.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you see any problem with the exemption for it?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t see any problem with it. Don Ward and I went out there for Area Plan to look at it.”


Attorney Loy asked, “Just as a result of this subdivision, they aren’t building anything else on it?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “They will probably build on Lot 1, but it will probably be less than 10,000 square feet. I’m fine with it, especially with the open ditches there.”


Board Member Burton made a motion to grant an Exemption from the Drainage Ordinance for Kauffman Subdivision. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you have something for the board?”


Todd Redlin stated, “It relates to the Walter Chapman watershed. The Denton-Culp branch…this is all tied into one maintenance fund watershed. After Eric Ledger and I…we’re affected, we’ve got private ditch that ties into this Denton-Culp. I’ve got a 10 inch tile and an 8 inch tile that are brand new installation within the 18 months. They were six inches out of the water; my ten inch up here is now in the water. My concern is that we are cleaning….I have two concerns, my other concern is that Steve Tiede and my employer did a friendly cleanout on the bottom end of this ditch at our expense earlier this year. I’m not complaining about that because we had a tile project and we needed to get the ditch cleaned and to expedite it we did a friendly cleanout. My concern is that we are leaving the middle, we aren’t cleaning this….but we’re cleaning this which has been neglected for years…my concern is that I’m going to end up with a whole bunch of silt on our end that is going to have to be dipped out at some point in time and I’m getting left out on this end and I’ve got tile under the water. My suggestion is that we look at the watershed and increase the maintenance fund to have working capital to use in the future. I doubt that there is any chance that the Drainage Board is going to vacate the drain, it’s a regulated drain. So, if it’s a regulated drain, let’s at least work together to have enough working capital in the fund because the amount of work that needs to be done on that drain…County Road 500 West to all the way back to the Denton-Culp…there is probably 18 inches of spoil that could come out of that. I’ve got a ditch that comes across through here.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Does that go through the woods where we were talking about?”


Todd Redlin replied, “No, that’s all clear cut. There is no brush on it.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, on the Denton-Culp there is no property that is assessed in Jasper County?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, it would be the Walter Chapman. If we did a maintenance modification Jasper County would be involved because it’s paid by…”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “What is it assessed at right now?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$1.00 per acre.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “How many assessed acres?”


Chairman Schmierer explained, “Well, it’s $1.00 an acre and it brings in $2,376.00 a year…”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “It is 2,376 acres. It includes the Johnson Branch, Denton-Culp and Walter Chapman.”


Chairman Schmierer explained, “With doing this it’s going to bring it way down in funds.”


Mr. Redlin replied, “That is in my concern…we’re going to draft the funds out with this project and you still have a half mile stretch that has trees on both ends and Richel Enterprises has already cleaned the bottom end. I’m not arguing…we needed to do that in order to get our tile project completed and it was no brush, any easy dig at a reasonable rate. My fear though is if we leave that woods in the center, we’re going to get the silt flushed down on us and on the Denton-Culp I’ve got two tiles that in another year are going to be under water and not functioning. Of the 2,300 acres, Richel Enterprises has about 300-400 acres.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Can he petition to raise the rates?”


Attorney Loy replied, “Anybody can ask.”


Mr. Redlin explained, “I’m going to look at it from a realistic perspective because it’s a regulated drain. You guys don’t have any intention of vacating it, so let’s at least be able to function because that’s an area…there is very little grade, it’s sandy, mucky…those ditches require maintenance and a $1.00 an acre at the backhoe rates today doesn’t get you very far. We want to participate and be good stewards, so part of that means let’s work together and let’s maintain the drainage and improve it.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “You’re right, if you don’t have….if you have a backhoe fix a couple tiles you’re going to have rest of the money spent…and it needs to be raised. It’s very unusual for a landowner to come in and ask us to raise the rates.”


Mr. Redlin stated, “And that is my fear, with the project that you have let, by the time we build up enough funds to do the really ugly part between 850 and 900 we’re going to be…it’s a never ending battle, even going to $2.00 an acre you go from $2,400 a year to $4,800 a year.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “The thing of it is, no matter what you raise it to once you’re not spending the money it’s not collected on.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you want to set the rates now?”


Chairman Schmierer replied, “I don’t care. What’s the favor of the board?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We’ll have to have a joint board, unless you request…”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “They might waive their rights. Well, we can set it at $3.00 and if we decide at the hearing that is a little high we can bring it down a little.”


Board Member Heimlich moved to schedule a Maintenance Modification for the Walter Chapman and set the rate at $3.00 an acre. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer asked Surveyor Sterrett to send a letter to Jasper County Surveyor to ask them to waive their rights on it.


Board Member Heimlich stated, “If they don’t waive their rights then we’ll have to have a Joint board to do what we just did.”


Mr. Redlin explained, “I understand… what I have seen so far is that you guys as a board are willing to be reasonable with projects that you are doing and it’s a regulated drain so you have to work with what you’ve got. So, with that being said we just want to be good stewards and make sure that we can take good care of the drainage and that’s part of it. I think $3.00 an acre is quite reasonable…I own land in the Monon watershed, so anyone that wants to argue about $3.00 an acre being reasonable can talk to me.”


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