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October 5, 2009

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 Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi. Drainage Board Attorney George W. Loy was not in attendance.

Also in attendance were Engineer Todd Frauhiger, Charlie Mellon, Charles VanVoorst and Sharon Watson. Also, Brian Dunneback and Wayne Beck were in attendance representing Horizon Wind Energy.

The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the September 21, 2009 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Schmierer seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Surveyor Sterrett asked to amend the agenda. Surveyor Sterrett asked to discuss the Unroe Drain after discussing the Esther Fraser due to Engineer Frauhiger being in attendance.

The next item on the agenda was Meadow Lake Wind Farm Phase II.

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What do we need to review on the ditch and tile crossings? Is that what they are presenting us for the next phase?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, we just got these this morning. Wayne and Brian are here from Horizon Wind Energy.”

Board Member Burton asked, “Are they alright?”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Have you looked over it?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I went over it with them just to figure out where they were at. The first ditch there…is the Miller Ditch which is in White County, but Benton County controls it. So, I guess the question would be if Benton County needs to be notified also.”

Chairman Schmierer responded, “I would say they probably would, wouldn’t you?”

Board Member Burton asked Mr. Beck, “Have you?”

Mr. Beck replied, “I haven’t notified them. I was unaware the process between Benton County and White County as far as maintenance on the drain.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “So, this is for the crossing of that ditch?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No. They are running an access road along…”

Board Member Burton stated, “It’s basically an encroachment.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Oh, they are running an access road along the ditch.”

Board Member Burton stated, “It would be an encroachment.”

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Mr. Beck said they were doing it like they did Big Creek where they went 30 feet from the top and then came back 16 so it would be 14 feet from the top of the bank.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Ok, so Benton County…do they have more acres than we have?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Evidently, I think it goes by length of the drain…from what I’ve read. They have more length of drain than we do. Anyway…”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “You’d probably have to ask them for a waiver. Tell them what it’s about and ask them to waive their rights so that we can get approval because otherwise I don’t think we can without a joint board.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “But usually the controlling county asked the other county to waive their rights. I could ship them off a letter.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “It seems silly to have to convene a joint board to do that.”

Board Member Burton stated, “How many towers would it affect? Mr. Beck you aren’t asking anything different than you did in Phase I?”

Mr. Beck replied, “No. It’s exactly the same.”

Board Member Burton stated, “So, we just need to get in contact with Benton County and work this out amongst ourselves.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Could we give approval on that Miller contingent on Benton County waiving their rights?”

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve Consent to Encroach for Meadow Lake Wind Farm Phase II Ditch and Tile Crossings contingent on contacting Benton County. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Board Member Burton stated, “If we just call Jack (Steele) we might get it quicker than a letter. If you don’t have time to call I might give him a call. That would be the best place to start.”

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

Board Member Burton asked Mr. Beck, “Have you had to gotten in to Benton County far enough to work with Jack Steele at all?”

Mr. Beck replied, “No. If I need to do anything please let me know.”

Board Member Burton stated, “You can let Wayne (Beck) do the leg work if they need to see information.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “It shouldn’t be a problem, but that is a ditch that is jointly controlled so this board doesn’t really have control unless they waive their rights to a certain issue.”

Mr. Beck stated, “I’ll be happy to do the leg work or whatever I need to do.”

The next item on the agenda was to discuss the Esther Fraser.

Charles VanVoorst explained, “I am here representing the town of Reynolds to propose NIPSCO to install a three inch natural gas line. It’s located on the northwest corner of the Co-Alliance property and it would be bored underneath the Esther Fraser ditch. I am here asking for permission to have NIPSCO bore a three inch steel line underneath Fraser ditch to give service to our new wastewater treatment plant for the town of Reynolds. I’ve given you a couple drawings of what Rick Forster came up with from NIPSCO…starting up in the northwest corner of Co-Alliance, goes across Shively’s property which would go underneath the Fraser ditch and then under our little ditch…it would be a continuous bore of about 650 feet. The only other option would be to go over top, but the soil…we’d have to have rock there which I don’t believe we will. We’d be bridging a line across the top which would be three inch line put inside of a larger line to protect it from vandalism.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So it would be in casing?”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “Yes, if we went over top.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “If it goes underneath it won’t be in casing.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “How deep will they go?”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “We’re planning to go six to ten feet under the ditch.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “How would that affect us if we cleaned that ditch?”

Board Member Heimlich replied, “It’s just been cleaned, it shouldn’t affect us.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Two feet is the most that probably came out of there, but ten feet would be better than six feet. It is steel, right?”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “Yes, we were going to go with plastic, but we were worried about the sand caving in when they put the bendonite or whatever they put in there to seal that, to drag the plastic pipe through they were afraid they would stretch that plastic so they decided to go with three inch steel and drag that through so they wouldn’t have to worry about it stretching or breaking. It’s a little more expensive, but do it once and be done.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “This is west of where your sewer crosses?”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “Yeah, it’s on southwest. It goes across the field first, straight north of town and then northwest. They are going to extend the line from Co-Alliance. The line will come from Co-Alliance, come up…we have to start out here 200 feet to bore it out to get it down deep enough to get it under and it’ll be hooked right in here.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Where is the private ditch that comes in?”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So this will be dug with an excavator?”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “It will be trenched in.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Trenched in and then it will be bored.”

Board Member Burton stated, “So, there really isn’t going to be anything crossing.”

Mr. VanVoorst replied, “The only way is if we had to go over and then it would be in a steel casing, but that’s not an option we would really like to do because of vandalism. It’s cheaper and easier, but…we really didn’t want to…”

Mr. Mellon stated, “Those fiber optics are ten feet underneath the ditch.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I know. We’d like for it to be ten feet if they possibly can.”

Board Member Burton made a motion to grant an easement on the Esther Fraser ditch for a gas line. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer explained, “You’ll have to get with the attorney, George (Loy), and bring the paperwork and drawing in so he can draw up the legal document.”

The next item to discuss was the John Unroe project in Wolcott.

Engineer Frauhiger explained, “I wrote ‘draft’ on the top of this agreement. We have been trying desperately to get a hold of George (Loy) to get it reviewed by legal. We have been unsuccessful to date. If he is due back tomorrow what we’ll try to do is have a meeting with him Thursday or Friday to get it approved through him. I think there are a couple of changes that Denny and I are going to recommend, but it’s not ready to be executed yet. We at least wanted to let you know that we got it from INDOT. The key portion is on page two, “Article 2 County Responsibilities” and it says that the county shall grant INDOT any county permits necessary for the construction of the Scott Street Storm Sewer. So, when we’re ready to approve this we’ll have to authorize them to work on the regulated drain. The second thing it says is that we shall grant the right-of-way or easement so we’ll also have to grant them permission to work on the regulated drain right-of-way. The way the payment is set up is in Article 3, Section 3.02. There is an estimated cost of the project, which we have done and it’s been turned in to INDOT. It is approximately $68,000.00. The way this agreement is currently written, after the project is bid INDOT will look at the actual bid quantities and the cost for each quantity and calculate exactly what the project will cost. At that point they will send the county an invoice and the county has 60 days to pay. Then during construction if the cost of the project turns in less than what the county paid, INDOT reimburses the county. Conversely, if something happens and it comes in more than the county paid, the county will have to reimburse INDOT. Both of those payments are supposed to be made within 60 days of notification from INDOT that the cost varied from what was actually paid by the county. What we are going to recommend to George (Loy) is that there is an overall protection of the project, but there’s not a county protection. If the bids come in 10 percent over INDOT’s overall estimate they will re-bid it, but we want to make sure there is protection put in for our project so the contractor doesn’t come back and suddenly charge $15,000 for a manhole or $125.00 a foot of pipe which would hurt our project. We want to have a way to be able to reject our portion of the project from the overall bid. The rest of it is where we really need George’s help in those general provisions. There is standard INDOT language about non-compete covenants, authorizations, ethics…it’s standard language we just need George to look over it to make sure there isn’t anything that needs to be changed from the county’s standpoint. They mentioned in the agreement that construction is scheduled to begin in March of next year and go through December of 2012. Backing up I’m pretty sure the bid date will be December of this year. They said their projects had to be to contracts by November so we’re probably looking at a December bid, January award, an invoice to the county sometime in late January, so payment to the state would be sometime late March of next year.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What are we going to do, call this Reconstruction?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “We discussed that at the Drainage Board meeting that we were going to try to make it a maintenance project.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “$67,000.00 is a lot of money to try and pull out of maintenance.”

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “We discussed that it would be two years…we agreed that two years would be…”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “That’s what we discussed, ok…”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “And we raised the assessments 25 percent.”

“Yes,” Board Member Heimlich stated.

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “The part that would bother me would be costs going over the estimate. We don’t really have any say so.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “We don’t really have any control.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “That is why we have to make sure that something is put in the agreement that gives us control so if it’s 10 percent over the estimate we can reject the bid and do something different.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “We can’t do anything with this today until we get it to George.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “No, I just wanted to make sure you knew that we had it. One other thing that is going on with this is that mid-September INDOT informed us that they wouldn’t allow us to put our project into their approved environmental impact statements. So, we are in the process, we sent early coordination letters to all the governmental entities last Thursday and we are

having to do our own environmental. It shouldn’t be a big deal. The letters…they have 30 days to respond and all we do is…we’re not expecting any impact or any negative comments from anyone and all we do is put a cover letter on it and submit it for an approved environmental. We have to have that done prior to November 4th, so we shouldn’t have a problem. There were no environmental impacts for the main project and we can’t see any for our portion on Scott Street either. Denny went out last week and took picture of all the structures along Scott Street within the project limits for the historical people to check for architectural conflicts or historic buildings. All of that has been submitted with our letters last week. We’re also trying to apply at the same time for a categorical exclusion which would make it so we don’t even have to put a cover letter on the information we get back. So, that is where we are. We’ll try to get a meeting with George Thursday or Friday and have this ready to go two weeks from now.”

The next item on the agenda is to discuss the C. Hook Drain.

Chairman Schmierer explained, “That is up there on Clyde Patty. We were up there last Thursday…a week ago last Thursday and where we cleaned the drain on Mrs. Hook…that’s not right, Reiff runs cattle in there.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Reiff owns it now.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Reiff runs cattle in there and we cleaned it out about five years ago and needless to say its sloughed back in. You can see where the cattle have sloughed it in. Although on the other side where Patty comes down to it, those banks are sloughed in quite a bit too and we cleaned that side. And that’s what he is asking for…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, Patty wants it cleaned and like Ron said we were out there and looked at it.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “But it’s because of Reiff’s cattle.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, part of it is Reiff’s cattle. Patty’s ground doesn’t have cattle on it, but it’s sloughed in too.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It slid in after those floods we had.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’m not sure we can get him any relief if we bring it down to the road to Reiff’s property where we cleaned it before. What’s your opinion? I don’t think we’re going to get any relief because it’s sloughed in too much down there.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “When we were out there, there wasn’t hardly any water in the ditch at all. He kept telling me there was 23 inches in the pipe underneath 400 and I only measured 3 inches when we were out there. There is $1,600 in the fund and it collects $713 a year or $1.50 an acre. There are 475 acres that drain into it. If we cleaned it all that would be about 8,900 feet from the Mertz Muck up to 500 North. From 500 North we’ve already had it cleaned…”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Up on Nacke. We cleaned that this spring.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “So, if you figure you can get it cleaned for $1.00 a foot that would be $8,900.00. Divide that by…if you want to do Reconstruction that would be $19.00 an acre.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, you only have $1,600 in the fund. You’re just about going to have to….

Board Member Heimlich stated, “A Maintenance Modification.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “You’d have to modify it quite a bit to get it up there.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Well, do like we’ve done on some others. Raise it for so many years to pay for it.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you want to have a landowners meeting before we do that?”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “How many landowners are involved?”

“Not that many. It was done in 1999 also; same place and we’ve done it again since I’ve been here. We had Reiff raise the cattle panel in 2004 so here it is every 5 years,” Surveyor Sterrett stated.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t care, however you want to handle it, but even if you raise it 25 percent it’s not enough money to do it and if you want to have a maintenance modification meeting…”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you want to have a maintenance modification hearing first?”

Board Member Burton stated, “If we send a notification of a Maintenance Modification they will be here.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “You about have to go to $5.00 or $6.00 an acre to do it. If you did $6.00 it would take 2 years to pay out practically, or more.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you want to set the rate today and get the letters out?”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “You probably want to raise it to $7-8 an acre for three years or something like that.”

Board Member Burton stated, “Where you’re showing a pattern of every five years…every five years it’s going to consume money, find an average and just leave it up there.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Don’t you want to start out higher and then drop it back to get it done and get it out. If you went to $8.00 for three years and then drop it back to $4.00…I think that would make the most sense. Send letters out on it and have a maintenance modification on it.”

The next item on the agenda is to discuss the J. T. Williams Drain.

Chairman Schmierer explained, “That is up on Wayne Hunt, Hall, and Bobby Wrede owns some and I don’t know who else. I said to have a landowner’s meeting rather than anything else because you’ve got environmentalists there that don’t want to take the brush off and farmers that need it for drainage. I said just have a landowner’s meeting at the next meeting.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There’s 1.04 miles up to East Shafer Drive.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “If you didn’t know there was a ditch there, you wouldn’t even know…you’d think it was a forest.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Now, it’s dry.”

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

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes. Even after we collect for 2009 it will still be in debt $700.00.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “So, that is what I’m saying, it’s going to have to be a Reconstruction and there again you’re going to have to raise the assessment to pay for it and then back it down, but you’re going to have to do one or the other.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Wayne Hunt actually has a petition filed, but he wants it done on maintenance.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Is it regulated all the way down to the river?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Its regulated 300-400 feet upstream, but it’s worse down there.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “That’s why I think we need to have a landowner’s meeting.”

The next item on the agenda is the J. M. Timmons Drain.

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Verne Wilson wants some brush taken off the J. M. Timmons west of State Road 39.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “It’s been cleaned east of State Road 39. They’ve cleaned one side of it.”

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “There is pretty bad brush through Hall, Carnahan…we never even went down there after we got to looking at Hall’s. On Verne Wilson, about 1,000 feet…I figured it would be about $6,000.00 to do from State Road 39 to 500.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “So you’re not going across Hall?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, if you went across Hall that would be $14,000 I figured for Hall. It is 2,400 feet across there. Verne Wilson’s wasn’t that bad…..there is some log jams in there.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What kind of money is in that fund?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$31,720.00. It’s on a variable rate and it collects $8,000 a year and the last time it was collected on was 2007.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What do you think it will cost to go through there?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “To get through Verne, just to clear it was $6,000.00.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “You don’t think it needs dipped?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What about Hall?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$14,000.00, so you’re talking $20,000.00.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What about Carnahan’s? Is his just as bad?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes. We didn’t get on it and it’s bad.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “How far is it across there?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I didn’t even measure that.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do we want to just do one guys and not the others?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I know what you’re saying…”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What is your guys’ opinion about it? You just about have to do it all.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “I think the same thing.”

Board Member Burton stated, “You are probably right, unless they…Hall and Carnahan, there is farmland to the north of theirs. You can see where it is either tile or water running to it.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “There is a high bank on that one side…on the north side. How do we want to go about it? We know Wilson wants it done, do we want to contact the other people?”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Maybe we better have a meeting with them.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “With Hall, Carnahan, and Wilson?”

Chairman Schmierer replied, “Yes, just send them a letter and put them on for the next meeting. I’d rather do that than second guess.”

Surveyor Sterrett wanted to discuss the spraying that Townsend completed this year.

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Last Friday I went out with Dan Alexander from Townsend on the spraying that they did for nothing. We went up to the Carmichael Ditch up by the landfill. There was a spot a mile long or so that I didn’t think he killed the brush when I looked at it earlier. It is dead now. I’d say he got 80 percent kill with that honeysuckle. He told me he’d come back and spray it again, but we looked at a couple other ditches that he had done and they were pretty much dead. I think what the deal was that they don’t use 2-4D in their mix and I think Shideler did. 2-4D kills it right away, but Garlon takes longer. So, he said Garlon will probably not kill the honeysuckle so he was going to use Rodeo when he comes back in a week or two.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported on the Emmett Rayman Ditch.

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “We submitted $200 last week to DNR, which I took out of the maintenance fund…this is for the Reconstruction. We heard back from them this morning that they got our letter requesting work in a floodway and we now have to send certified letters to all landowners within a quarter mile of the ditch. After we show certification to them that we did that they will apply for our permit with a 30-day notice letter. So, I’d say we’re within 30 days.”

Surveyor Sterrett reported that Kenny Altman had called him regarding the Oliver Bell Ditch. Surveyor Sterrett explained, “He farms John Hancock. The Bell Ditch runs through here and there is a mile of it on John Hancock, he farms on both sides of it. He’s got Randy DeVault out there working on a waterway that comes up through them and Overmeyer and there is about 50-60 big trees along the Bell Ditch and he wanted to know if we could take them off. We had that sprayed this year and it killed the small brush, but of course they can’t kill the big trees.”

Board Member Burton stated, “The problem is that the trees really aren’t impeding the waterway.”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Not really, there are some that have fallen in. So what do you think?”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “The trees are affecting his farming? I don’t see how they could be affecting his farming any…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “He said that they are. Anyway, I asked Randy what he would charge to take those 50-60 trees down and he said $2,500.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What do you have in the fund?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$11,000.00.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What will they do, bury them out there?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “He said the hardest part of it is gathering them up in one spot and burning them, burying them…it’s a mile through and they are scattered out.”

Board Member Burton asked, “How long is that ditch?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I don’t know, approximately 4.5 miles.”

Board Member Burton stated, “So, this would be 20 percent…”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Does everyone else have trees on theirs?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, I think to the west there might be some...I didn’t look at the whole ditch.”

Board Member Burton asked, “So it’s not bad everywhere?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No.”

Board Member Burton stated, “So, if we took these off it would be in line…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Cleaning up to what the rest of it looks like.”

Board Member Burton made a motion to take the trees one mile of the Oliver Bell Ditch. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

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