Get Adobe Flash player


January 4, 2010

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:40 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.

Also in attendance were Charlie Mellon, Sharon Watson with White County Soil and Water. Peter Park and Jeff Nemeth with Horizon Wind Energy were also in attendance.

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


The second item on the agenda was reorganization of the White County Drainage Board for 2010. Board Member Burton made a motion to keep the same officers from 2009. Officers are as follows:


Ronald Schmierer - President

Steve Burton – Vice President

Dennis Sterrett - Surveyor

George W. Loy – Board Attorney

Jamie Rozzi – Board Secretary


Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.


The next item on the agenda was Horizon Wind Energy and the Drainage Agreement for Phases Three, Four, and Five.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Jeff and Peter are here and we have discussed Phases Three, Four, and Five. They have provided me with drainage location maps as per the Road and Drainage agreement and Phase Three is 100 percent complete, Phase Four and Five are only 75 percent complete.”


Mr. Park stated, “So, we’ll at least have Phase Four 100 percent complete by mid-week and Denny pointed out a couple of questions and additional details he needs from us. We’ve noted those and I just wanted to put the roster out there for the group. Right now there are two access roads that would actually be permanent improvements crossing an open ditch and we need to get the pipe culvert sizes and the engineering calculations.”


Board Member Burton asked, “And that’s in Three?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “One’s in Three and I think one is in Four.”


Mr. Park stated, “It’s in Four.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “One is over by Ms. Cain’s house on the Roudebush and the other one, which Mr. Park didn’t think they were going to put in, is the Wallace Lateral…which is on Dorsey Management Trust on 600 West. There is a branch that drains into the Big Creek.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, actually we’re not going to approve any drainage agreement today until we get the rest of the stuff in to us, right?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Right.”


Mr. Park stated, “Right, I think this has been useful to inventory what all the qualifiers are and if we can get put on the agenda again for the 18th.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “That’s fine. That is when everything else is going to be up for adoption anyway.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you have any other questions for us?”


Mr. Park asked, “Well, one is regarding the road and drainage agreement themselves, in terms of Phase One and Two, I wasn’t very involved in those, I guess we’ll just have Allison Dawson, our attorney, contact George Loy directly and work that out?”


Chairman Schmierer replied, “That’s fine. I think they’ve been working on that anyway.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “Yes, we had a meeting before Christmas.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “So is it pretty much the same as Phase Two?”


Board Member Heimlich explained, “Well, there were some changes that had been discussed and I thought at that meeting….”


Board Member Burton stated, “You are talking about something different though…”


Mr. Park stated, “This is a different one…this is just in particular the drainage agreement.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Here is the Road and Drainage Agreement document.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I thought that was all in one.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “I guess I didn’t realize it was a separate…let me see that. I thought all of this was in the road agreement.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I think they have combined it into the other agreement.”


Board Member Burton stated “Evidently, legal didn’t realize that it was part of it because this stuff looks like…”


Chairman Schmierer stated “You can have your attorney check with George (Loy), but I’m pretty sure it’s all in one agreement now.”


Board Member Burton stated, “That is something that we need to work on….”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “A detail of the minimum distance they are going to be from the bank….and on the plans they have now its got details where they cross gas lines and other details. If they had one of them…”


Mr. Park asked, “We’ve made a note to make sure that we comply with what you want. When would you…if it’s a week prior to the 18th for your review? Is that ok?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, that’s fine.”


Mr. Park stated, “We’ll try to get it turned around as fast as possible. We’ve got all the engineers coming in on Wednesday…and you were talking about section corners?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, I’ll call Roger Fine and find out where he’s at on those and then I’ll know more about it myself.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Anything else for us, Peter?”


Mr. Park replied, “No, I don’t think so. I think we’ve got everything we need to follow up on. I would like to say…we will need formal board approval, right? And then there is also a one page letter that Allison wanted George to sign off on particularly talking about the encroachment…”


Board Member Burton stated, “I don’t think it’s a problem, just as long as someone is aware of what you’re doing before you do it.”


The next item on the agenda is to set rates on the Loretta Shepheard tile.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This is up by 400 North and 400 West….Byroad and Willow Tree Farms. There is a county tile that runs through there and runs into the Hoagland. Years ago they put this open ditch in here…it’s all silted in and the brush has grown up on it. The open ditch was supposed to drain into the tile and the tile is full of sand. That is where we spent a lot of money cleaning out the tile. So, now we are ready to go and replace 200 feet of the tile and clean the ditch out.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “So, the open ditch empties into the tile?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “How far does this tile run?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “We opened it up last July, but we got up to here…the tile must be tilted or something. Its ten foot deep…and we dig and the sand comes in…”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “But after the 200 feet it’s clear?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, we think.”


Board Member Burton asked, “Is the landowner going to be ok with opening up the ditch and leaving it open?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It’s already an open ditch here.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “You’re not leaving it open…you’re just replacing the tile, right? That’s what I was going to question….if it wasn’t very far maybe they should just open the whole thing up?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No…I don’t know what the answer is.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “How much would you have to open to get it? Two hundred feet?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Who farms it?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Ron Byroad, and he was real good to us. He let us knock beans down this summer and get in there and get it cleaned out. I was also planning on putting in a foot deep silt trap in there for a couple hundred feet. You’d just have to keep cleaning it out.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “What’s your estimated cost?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “24 inch pipe is now $18.75 a foot…so I figured installing it at the same price so it would be $37.50 per foot. So, 200 foot of that would be $3,750 plus $3,750 to install it and $3,008 to dredge the ditch and clean the brush. There’s some brush, but it’s not that bad. So $10,508.00.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “And how any acres?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “298 acres.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “How much is in the fund?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It’s in debt $4,828. That was my next question…how are we going to get it out of debt? It will collect $1,193 this year so it will only be in debt $3,634 after this year.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, we need to raise $15,435 basically over….how many acres did you say?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I got $14,143.00. 298 acres. If you did it on Reconstruction it would be $47.00 an acre.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “And they can pay that back how long?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “For five years.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “If you do it on maintenance…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “She has it figured here…if we did it at $10 an acre is would bring in $2,982 a year.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “You’d have to do that for five years.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Yeah, but that wouldn’t even pay it out in five years…at $10 an acre.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “It would come awfully close.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And then we’d need to go in there every two years and dip that silt trap out.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “So, I don’t think $10 an acre is going to be enough.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “Do you have an estimate on the silt trap cleaning?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, 200 feet….getting there and getting back will cost more than doing it. It would be under $1,000 I would think.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “And you estimate every two years?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It’s hard to estimate that, but I would say, yeah, every two years.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “What kind of rate is it now? Is it variable?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Its $4.00 an acre.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I think you’d have to go to $12.00 to $12.50 an acre, that’s just what I was sitting here thinking. If they want it done bad enough they won’t holler about it too much I don’t imagine.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Actually we had just about everyone in the watershed sign the petition to get something done.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Why don’t we put it at $12.50 an acre for four years to pay it off? What are your feelings about it?”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “What is it now?”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “$4.00 an acre.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “Well, if it stayed at $4.00 an acre that would cover the silt removal.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Yeah, but you’re going to have to get the silt removal done two times before...”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “I’m talking about after that…when it goes back to $4.00 an acre.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, because it’s bringing in $1,193.00 I believe. If we did it on Reconstruction, how do we pay back the maintenance fund if it’s in debt? Can you add that on to the Reconstruction, or can you do that?”


Chairman Schmierer replied, “I don’t think you can do that. I think you just have to keep collecting….”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “But if we raise the maintenance to $12.50 for four years then we can pay back that…”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Right…and that’s the best way to do that is to raise maintenance.”


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the rates on the Loretta Shepheard Maintenance Project at $12.50 an acre for five years and then it would revert back to $4.00 per acre. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “When we send out notification for a Maintenance Modification should we put ‘drop it back in five years’….I mean because we have to put an amount in there of what it’s going to cost them. So….”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t know that you need to notify them…just say that maintenance fees for the next five years will be such and such. And if it comes at the end of five years and we have to raise it from $4.00 to $6.00 or something we’ll have another modification if we need to.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It helps people know what they are getting into before they come to the meeting if you do that.”


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