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March 1, 2010

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 Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis Sterrett, Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett and Secretary Jamie Rozzi.

Also in attendance was Sharon Watson representing the White County Soil & Water District, Charlie Mellon, Allen Howe, Ron Byroad, and Edward Bruder.

The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the February 16th, 2010 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda was to report on the crossing plans from Meadow Lake Wind Farm.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Horizon had called and wanted to have another meeting on the approval because we approved the crossings on our open ditches, three of them, last meeting contingent upon them getting us a plan with five by ten concrete box instead of twin culverts…and we did get that plan. So, Horizon wanted us to go ahead and officially approve those crossings.”


Board Member Burton asked, “Are you ok…”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, I’m ok with the crossings now that we’ve got the plan for it…we’ve got three, five by ten boxes going in at three different drains, but there are several temporary crossings that weren’t reviewed by our engineer—they were sized by their engineer.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “To your satisfaction?”


Board Member Burton made a motion to approve the crossing plans for Meadow Lake Wind Farm. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda was to discuss where the Kleyla crosses underneath US 24.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “I’ve been to three meetings in Reynolds….it started in 2005. The Town of Reynolds got with GRW Engineering and came up with a master plan for their drainage along the highways. There’s water that stands on US 24 next to the tracks, so the state’s on it now and they have hired a contractor to do their engineering study and they were going to curb and gutter US 24 all the way from town boundary to town boundaries and they were going to curb and gutter ST RD 43 the same way, but they decided that was too much money, so they cut it back down to curb and gutter US 24 east of the railroad and 421 north of US 24. In that process….the crossing that crosses the Deiner Ditch is going to be replaced anyway pretty soon, but this is in the future. Their question to me was on the west side of 421 there is a crossing there of the Kleyla ditch and it’s a box culvert and it runs into what I think is a 42 inch steel pipe that is private that went through Wiese’s trailer park. So, I don’t believe that’s our crossing as far as I know. It’s not really a crossing…”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “The Kleyla regulated ends at US 24?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, but the pipe…”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “See, they got a culvert on US 24 and then Wiese put in a pipe to fill that in so they could drive over the top of it. Isn’t that what you’re talking about?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah. They were going to put another box culvert in and there was quite a bit of discussion about why don’t we put a 42 inch or bigger to match the pipe that is here.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “If I remember right that under the highway is a screwy deal…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “They haven’t had any surveyors out there yet and I told them that I thought there’s an old box culvert in there now and I believe there’s a pipe underneath of that. So, on the other side, the Wiese side, the north side I guess there is a quite a mess on how that is hooked up with that 42 inch. So, they wanted the Drainage Board’s opinion on whose steel pipe that is.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, if it’s on private property it’s not ours.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “Well, it’s still got to be regulated, its part of the regulated ditch…it’s just that Wiese’s put in the pipe so they could get the trailers across the ditch.”


Surveyor Sterrett read portions of the White County Drainage Board meeting minutes to the board. Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I looked that up, there wasn’t any mention of it in the printed minutes, there might have been in the recorded minutes. There wasn’t any mention of what went on.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So Ray Wiese put that in?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, and he wanted to put more in, evidently the board had no objection to putting more pipe in the ditch, but felt this would be at the expense of Ray Wiese.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “So, what is the state asking?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I guess they want to know if we were going to replace that steel pipe or not. They haven’t got into it yet, but I was just trying to get some information to email back to them and tell them that it’s a private structure or….They are going to put in a new structure in at US 24 there.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “Well, is the pipe bad?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “The structure is pretty bad. The steel pipe, I don’t think so. I haven’t gone out and looked at it yet.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Well, it’s a private crossing, but it’s within…part of our drain, so the statute applies in Subsection B ‘the estimate by the surveyor of the cost of replacement will be assessed against his land’ but there is a however, ‘when a private crossing has been lawfully established and maintained the board may assess any part of the cost of replacement against all the land’. So the starting point is…”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “But we’re not talking about replacing the tile.”


Attorney Loy asked, “What are you talking about?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated explained, “How are they are going to match up to it?”


Attorney Loy asked, “How who?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “How the state would be matching up to it because it is one continuous structure from the state highway pipe to Wiese’s pipe.”


Board Member Burton stated, “The state’s not going to replace what is currently there under the highway, so the state is asking for our input on matching it to the private crossing.”


Attorney Loy asked, “So this drain goes under the state highway?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”


Board Member Burton stated, “The state drain, but the private crossing is north.”


Attorney Loy stated, “So, they are just making preliminary inquires …”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “On whose responsibility it is for the steel pipe.”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “Now wait a minute, whose responsibility on the steel pipe?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “If it needs replaced at the connection…they got to match up to it somehow. I told them I thought it was a private crossing at the meeting. I mean, we’re three or four years down the road here.”


Attorney Loy stated, “But Section 71 of the Drainage Code addresses that situation…’When the board finds that in the construction, reconstruction, or maintenance of a regulated drain it is necessary to alter, enlarge, repair, replace a crossing or construct a new crossing the cost of the work shall be paid by the owner of the public highway.’ and we’re talking about the state…Section 71 addresses railroads and state highways.”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Which they are going to do, in their right-of-way.”


Attorney Loy asked, “No, this is necessitated by the work they are doing, right?”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Yeah, if something needs to be done to the pipe you mean…that’s not in their right-of-way?


Attorney Loy replied, “Yeah, but that’s…”


Board Member Heimlich asked, “But you’re just talking about the connection…”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “But what if it was bad when they got down there and got into it. They wouldn’t have anything to hook on to.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Well, I’ll give you this Section 71…I think it addresses the situation you are talking about.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “They don’t have any trailers over that anymore they might say if the pipe is bad to go ahead and put the ditch back in.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t know, there’ is a building awfully close to it.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I bet that one garage isn’t six feet off of it.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I’d say you’d still have to be something in there. I don’t think you’d get an open ditch in there.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, at the present time we’re not going to do anything with it anyway.”


The next item is to open maintenance quotes on the Loretta Shepeard drain. Attorney Loy stated that four quotes had been solicited and three were received, one from Howe Excavating and one from County Line Tiling/Excavating, and one from Ross Hardebeck.


Quotes were as follows:

Howe Excavating $ 9,464.00

County Line Tiling/Excavating $ 8,500.00

Ross Hardebeck $20,675.00


Attorney Loy asked, “What was your cost estimate?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$10,508.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Do you have any problems with the low bid?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No.”


Attorney Loy stated, “The bid of $8,500.00 says clearing brush, dredging ditch, and leveling spoil and replacing 200 feet of 24 inch tile.”


Mr. Byroad asked, “Are they going to put in culverts?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I hadn’t planned on any. I had planned on a silt trap on the lower end of it. There’s no grade there whatsoever…”


Mr. Byroad stated, “But there’s two or three tiles coming into that ditch…”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Ok, they’re probably buried, right?”


Mr. Byroad stated, “A good chance of it.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do you know where they are at?”


Mr. Byroad replied, “Oh, within 100 feet.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Is that your question, are we going to replace the end of them? We probably will, we can…that’s what we usually do.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “They’ll probably find them when they dig it out.”


Mr. Byroad asked, “Over there at the Hoagland where it dumps in…that culvert is rusted out. Is that the Hoagland?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, it’s a county tile. I would say it’s probably our responsibility.”


Mr. Byroad asked, “Would that save a lot of back pressure if we…”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It might, I really didn’t get over there and look at it. I can go look at it. We pretty much only have limited funds in there, but we will have some because the maintenance has been raised.”


Mr. Byroad stated, “I do know the Hoagland has been putting culverts on private tile.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I think they took three contractors and give them sections…Honey Creek did the same thing.”


Board Member Heimlich made a move to approve the quote in the amount of $8,500.00 from County Line Tiling/Excavating for the Loretta Shepeard Maintenance Project. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


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


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “At the last meeting we didn’t have a very good map so I made a fairly good map. Are we still on hold? We talked about waiting to find out if we were going to separate the tile or not.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t think we’ll separate the tile, I don’t even think that’s a smart move myself because the tile drains into it.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “That’s my opinion.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “They’re going to pay it one way or another.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “Well, you said it would have to be raised five times?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, well we need to get some money in the drain whether we do anything on it or not.”


Board Member Burton stated, “We need to change the rate even if we don’t…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I think so, maybe Allen (Howe) wants to say something before we decide anything.”


Mr. Howe stated, “Mr. Hunt has been in contact with me. We gave him a quote to go ahead and clean, I think what you discussed at the last meeting…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Which was 1,700 feet.”


Mr. Howe continued, “At so much per foot and he told us, more or less, to go ahead and do it and he was going to pay for it. Now, whether he’s going to try to collect off the other landowners and you as Drainage Board I can’t answer that. As long as I get my money…”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “If you contract with him, that’s your business. I don’t have a …”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t have a problem with it either. He was in and talked to me, Wayne was, and he did not mention that—that he wanted to get it cleaned out and he was going to pay for it, he didn’t mention that to me.”


Mr. Howe asked, “As a friendly clean out…are the other landowners involved, is it my responsibility to contact…”


Attorney Loy stated, “If you have permission from this guy to go ahead and do whatever….”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “And that is the only thing that Denny approved, or that is going to be done.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I drew up a plan, I think you looked at it and as far as contacting the landowners. I guess our office can do that, no?”


Attorney Loy stated, “Well, you can but there’s no need to…”


Mr. Howe stated, “So, I’d have a right-a-way to go ahead…”


Attorney Loy stated, “Well, that’s the thing, are you going on other people’s land?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes, Reynolds, Wrede, and Four Brothers…mostly on Reynolds.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Anytime the county does any work on a drain and going on someone’s property you are supposed to give them some type of advance notice. The same thing should apply here.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Denny could do that for him.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We can send a letter out, that’s what we usually do.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, if he wants to go ahead and pay for it himself it’s probably the cleanest way to do it because he’s the one that’s going to benefit from it. The biggest landowner, 472 acres practically, in the watershed and they are saying no they don’t want to spend the money so what are you going to do. There’s not much you can do about it, they can stop it if they want to.”


Attorney Loy stated, “Well, if you have permission from the county…do you anticipate some resistance?”


Mr. Howe replied, “No.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t think you’ll have any problems.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “But does us sending out the letters mean anything to the landowner that is paying for it?”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I would just state in the letter that a landowner has decided to pay for the cleanout…”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “But we don’t know that, other than…”


Attorney Loy stated, “We’re not contracting with them…”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “The landowner is contracting with Allen Howe.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “We know it because they have to get approval from you to do the friendly cleanout.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “But I think you want to put in there that the landowner has contacted Allen Howe so that if the landowner comes back with a bill it says that the landowner contracted with Allen Howe.”


Attorney Loy asked, “What is the approximately cost?”


Mr. Howe replied, “$2.50 a foot, or $4,500.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And my estimate was $5,500 I think, but I’m not doing that it’s just my estimate.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “That will work. Just make sure it says in the letter that the landowner is contracting it, that way he can’t come back with a bill for us.”


Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Do we want to set the rates on the J. T. Williams drain and get a Maintenance Modification going on it?”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “Just as well, if you double it you’re still not going to have anything.”


Surveyor Sterrett explained, “If we take four times the rate it would bring in $6,787.00.”


Board Member Burton asked, “How much is it in debt?”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “After we collect for ’09 it will be in debt $727.00.”


Board Member Burton asked, “And what does it bring in a year?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “$1,697.00…so if we didn’t do anything, in 2011 it would be out of debt.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “The problem is you’re going to do something, you’re going to have tiles break or something else. What if we just doubled the rate?”


Surveyor Sterrett replied, “So it would bring in $3,400 a year? That would probably be easier on people. That would mean some people would pay $6.”


Board Member Heimlich stated, “That’s pretty high…that would definitely be higher than…”


Attorney Loy asked, “We’re going to wait for him to do his work, right?”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “We’ll wait until he gets his job done and then we’ll have the hearing on the maintenance.”


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