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April 5, 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 Engineer Todd Frauhiger, Alvin Cargill with Horizon Wind Energy, Sharon Watson, David Kent, and Charlie Mellon.

 

The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the March 15th, 2010 meeting. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was a drainage review for Meadow Lake Wind Farm Sub Station IV.

 

Board Member Burton asked, "Four? We’re missing one there, aren’t we?"

 

Mr. Cargill replied, "No, three ties into two and four and five will be…"

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, "It’s at 700 West and 325 South."

 

Chairman Schmierer asked, "Have you reviewed it, Todd?"

 

Engineer Frauhiger replied, "Yes, I have reviewed it. There is a proposed detention pond at the north end of the property. The only question that I had is…this is an eight inch tile that is going to be perforated tile embedded in a trench of gravel with filter fabric surrounding the gravel to keep the pipe from clogging—but then I’m pretty sure that this ties into an eight inch private drain before it gets to the county drain, correct?"

 

Mr. Cargill replied, "I was under the impression we were going to take that all the way to…I’ll talk to Tony, but we found….there are two options we’ve got. There is one is at 1,500 feet which Tony felt would be the best. It keeps it in the same drain, which is a county tile, and then there’s another one that takes it out of this drainage basin into another one that is 2,500 feet away."

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "If you’re going to keep it in the same basin…"

 

Mr. Cargill replied, "That’s what we’d like to do."

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "The way this is written…you’re going to tie into an existing private cement eight inch….but you’re thinking you’re going to run your own eight inch?"

 

Mr. Cargill replied, "Yes."

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "Ok, that clears up on the only concern I had because they’re actually detaining more water than they need to, but because of the size of tile we’re putting in trying to get over to the drainage tile I think the discharges are 1.2 and 1.3 cfs and they’re allowed to discharge 29 and 40 cfs. So, you’re going to be holding back the water, but the concern was if it was a private tile it was going to use all the capacity of the private tile and there wouldn’t be anything for what was going into it now."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "We’re laying our own tile all the way to that…"

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "If that’s the case, I would definitely recommend approval at this point."

 

Board Member Burton asked, "What is the size of the county tile?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, "I’m not sure over there."

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "One place had 15 inches if I remember correctly."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "I thought they were 12 and 15."

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Our tile maps don’t really say. Tony Cain dug it up somewhere. I think he found one over here and he didn’t think it was big enough or was working right…then he found one that goes into Honey Creek."

 

Board Member Burton asked, "Whose property is it that you would be going across?"

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "We’ve got the names. They are both participating landowners in Phase Five. In our agreement we are setting up they are going to have the right to tie into that eight inch tile…Clauss and Charlie Bossung."

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "There is an emergency spillway which would go over land if it was ever active. In a 100 year storm, there shouldn’t be water going over the spillway, the tile should take it. If you get up above a 100 year storm you could conceivably have water going over the spillway, over land, working its way over to the tile but everything up to a 100 year storm would be contained underground."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Does the board think they need a separate easement other than the agreement they have?"

 

Chairman Schmierer replied, "I don’t see why it would affect us…if they’ve got the easement with the landowner we don’t need an easement."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "That is their responsibility."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "We will get an easement. We’re working with Tony for the layout for both landowners to utilize the tile so…"

 

Engineer Frauhiger asked, "I assume downstream that since you’re going to run new tile you’re going to have solid tile and not have perforated going downstream?"

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "We talked about perforated…"

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated "The only problem is if you go perforated you’ll have to sock and embed it in gravel down through there. You’ll still have to embed it if it’s solid, but you won’t have to sock it."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "If sock it is what we have to do, then that’s what we’ll have to do. Right now we’re looking at perforated."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "That would mean a lot to the landowner you are working with. If it was my ground, I might want it drained."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "Well, that was the purpose of why we were talking about perforated. If we have to run the sock we will."

 

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Meadow Lake Wind Farm Sub Station IV. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was Meadow Lake Wind Farm’s proposal to change a portion of the electrical cable route near the Big Pine through Jon Thompson.

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I’ve yet to get a map...."

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "We dropped the ball on that and what I’d like to do is go out with the landowner today and verify that we have enough distance between his last tile and the ditch bank to make sure we have enough distance in between there and the easement to put it, so…we don’t have everything we need…"

 

Board Member Burton asked, "But worst case scenario, what you’re asking is that you may want to encroach on our easement on the ditch? But this is all going to be buried cable?"

 

Mr. Cargill replied, "Yes."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "So if we were doing any excavating…"

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "It wouldn’t affect it…"

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "How far does the board think that we need to be away from the bank?"

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "I suppose you should be 25 to 30 feet at least."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "Which they would never get up there…"

 

Mr. Cargill stated, "No, and that’s what I told him. We want to protect our facilities just as well as you all do. That’s what I told Denny, if it’s 35…if his last tile is closer than 35 feet to the top of the bank we’re not going to do it for the simple fact if you go in and excavate the ditch…I want to be far enough off the ditch bank that we’re protected in facilities as well. That’s why I want to go out with the landowner today and visit with this."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "Well, we don’t have to worry about that today."

 

The next item on the agenda is to discuss FEMA payments.

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, "We’ve been talking back and forth. We have all of our projects done now."

 

Chairman Schmierer asked, "Have you got any money from them at all?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yes, out of $105,971.00 we got $67,052.00 and we took $55,314.00 and applied it to projects that we had done. The rest of the payment was for projects that weren’t complete yet, but they paid us 50 percent of the 75 percent that was estimated. So, we stuck that $11,638.89 into a separate fund. The $55,000.00 we dispersed to our maintenance fund. So, now all of the projects are complete and we’ve over run the estimate by $9,997.51. She said that we could apply for it and she says we have a strong case, but she cannot guarantee any promises from FEMA. I must warn you that sometimes FEMA sees this as improvements and will de-oblige the whole PW which could be not just the projects that are over run, but also the other projects that are hooked to that work order. So, it could be…"

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "It sounds to me like we better leave well enough alone…"

 

Board Member Heimlich asked, "You mean they’d ask for the money back that they paid us?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "The way I read it she says that we could lose all of them because the ones that over run were on different PW’s."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "So, she’s actually telling you to leave well enough alone. I believe I would agree with her if that’s what the case is."

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Well, I wanted to bring it to the board. FEMA is the one that estimated the projects and I wrote her back a letter and explained to her why the projects over run. It was just that you go look at a hole and say it’s going to cost this much to fix and then after you dig a hole up and you’ve got 40 feet of tile to replace and then you’ve got time with excavating…so I was under the opinion that we should just accept the estimate and distribute the funds accordingly."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "I think you’re on the right track."

 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, "County Ling Tiling/Excavating was supposed to provide a bond for the Rayman Project. This was the letter their bank gave us. It’s not really what I thought it should be."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "That is not a letter of credit."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "So, do I have an example of a letter of credit? Evidently…"

 

Attorney Loy asked, "The bank knows how to give a letter of credit. How much is the project?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, "$60,000."

 

Attorney Loy asked, "Your bid estimate must have been in excess of $75,000? Did you solicit quotes? How many others quoted?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, "None."

 

Attorney Loy asked, "Did you require a performance bond?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "We had that on there…if it’s over $10,000.00."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "If it’s under $75,000.00 you may waive the requirement of a performance bond or modify…I’d prefer that there be something posted, maybe not sixty, but…"

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Everyone must be having trouble getting performance bonds."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "Yes, they are expensive. If it was in the quote requirement I would hold them to it, or re-quote it and waive it, reduce it, or…that’s your alternative, but that is not a letter of credit."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Did you want to bring up Furrer?" (BioTown Ag Inc.)

 

Board Member Heimlich, "Yeah, I think he came in and talked to you after the last meeting and then he talked to me about…changing the size of pipes around driveways within the property. I talked to Denny and I didn’t think that affects our drainage plan because the major issue we would have would be the final pipe exiting on the ditch. It just means the water isn’t going to get to that point as fast. He said he talked to his engineer again and his thinks his engineer understands better. What was he talking…eight or twelve… "

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Twelve."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "So it’s going to hold the water back on him longer?"

 

Board Member Heimlich stated, "To me, as far as the drainage plan, it’s actually better because it’s holding water back from that point longer. Still, it’s that tile under the road that’s going to determine how fast the water is going to be released off of his property and that doesn’t change."

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I don’t know if the digester is raised up or….the digester is higher than the channel."

 

Board Member Heimlich stated, "I said I would bring it up and he said if he needs a drainage plan resubmitted for review he can do that, but for the purposes of our drainage plan I don’t really see where it changes anything because the water is still going to be released at the same rate it was before."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Would it jeopardize the site any?"

 

Board Member Heimlich replied, "I wouldn’t think so, I mean he’s got…"

 

Engineer Frauhiger stated, "I assume the driveway would be low enough that it would over top the driveway before it affected the rest of the site."

 

Board Member Heimlich stated, "I think the concern he had was that we granted the exemption as long as there were no changes…"

 

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to allow BioTown Ag Inc. to change the two 24 inch pipes under his driveways to 12 inch pipes. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Landowner David Kent was in attendance to discuss some concerns.

 

Mr. Kent explained, "I have two areas of concern down there next to me. I talked to Mr. Burton about Greg Jacobs’ property. The lay of the land is not back to what it was before the contour and that doesn’t bother me, my concern is when that fills up with water with the mounds of dirt that are here and there that’s going to displace more water over on the farm ground that I have. I don’t know…is that dirt from out of the bottom of the tile that they just didn’t put back or is that dirt that was brought in and just left there?"

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "I don’t know. I’ve been back there and seen the dirt, but I don’t know what it is."

 

Attorney Loy asked, "Does he still own it? I don’t think he does."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "I don’t know that he still owns it. I think it is in bankruptcy proceedings."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Has it pushed water over on you?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "I’ve been watching it. Historically, it seems that the last trailer has always had trouble, before they disturbed the ground. Sometimes when that filled up with water they’d have to park up the street. I thought once since I’ve been watching that the second trailer...they’ve been having to park elsewhere. I don’t know if it is a problem, they might have taken dirt from that low ground and left it."

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "He hauled dirt down in there. It’s hard to tell what…"

 

Mr. Kent stated, "If you go back there and look you can see what I’m talking about. If anyone would like to go with me I’d be glad to show you."

 

Board Member Burton asked, "The question is, though, is when that happened with that second trailer do you think you had more in the field?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "Well, since all that’s happened we probably haven’t had the rains to show. I know in 2009 we had some winter fill-ups in there, but that’s not a concern. I think we had one in May or June…we had a four, four and half inch rain. We haven’t had anything this winter, at least down in the Brookston area, to fill the pond up."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "Coincidentally, I ran into Mick last week and I asked him if he’d rather fill that back in or leave it and he said, ‘well, I think it’s helping me’, but that’s just Mick’s input."

 

Mr. Kent stated, "Well, that’s my concern, other than that it’s not a problem."

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Did he bank the dirt up on your property line?"

 

Mr. Kent stated, "At the property line they left the waterway through there, but when that ground fills up…the dirt is there and it wasn’t before, it’s going to push water…"

 

Surveyor Sterrett asked, "You’re saying that the dirt is taking up volume of where the water was?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "Yes, maybe…If anyone wants to go back there I can show you my concerns."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "Our reach is the 75 feet easement over the tile and the dirt at the rear of the property…even though it might be a lot lower, the dirt is outside our…am I interpreting that right?"

 

Attorney Loy stated, "Yeah, but what did Jacobs do?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, "To start out he ran trucks over our tile and he replaced the tile and from what I saw he did it right."

Attorney Loy stated, "But the dirt used in the excavation wasn’t…"

 

Surveyor Sterrett continued, "Well, he hauled dirt in from the service station and hauled it out."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "Not all of it."

 

Attorney Loy asked, "So, it’s the ‘not all of it’ that is the problem?"

 

Mr. Kent stated, "Well, that is my concern. Over time I’ll have to see if it is a problem. Before all of this happened I didn’t know where all the water laid. I kind of knew on us, but it’s just a concern."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "Probably the most confusing thing is when he replaced tile, he actually laid an indentation area or a detention area and the tile is open now versus it used to all be underground…there’s a short period there where water goes over surface into the air well."

 

Attorney Loy asked, "There’s an exposed tile?"

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "No, I don’t think it’s exposed."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "I thought that’s the way it was left, over land…no, we made him fix that."

 

Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Yeah, he fixed the tile and covered it up and put another tile in where that came from the northwest; put an air well in there and ran it south to the air well that was by the trees."

 

Mr. Kent stated, "It’s the (H. L) Victor drain. So, that is the concern. I think we talked about it Steve, about going back and looking at it sometime."

 

Board Member Burton stated, "That would be the best thing, plus the ownership of the ground..."

 

Mr. Kent stated, "There is something else. I have 160 acres to the west of me that in the fall of 2008 somebody came in and power panned in transit. I didn’t see it, but my son did. I saw the tractor the next day when the excavating was done. They went around to existing ponds, the low areas that fill in when we get big downpours of rain that finally drains off…they went in there and cut on the southwest corner of the their property. They cut from the three ponds there and just kind of stair stepped the water towards me and 75 East. They altered the natural ponding that has been there since the American Indians were probably on the ground. Then they came in and starting farming it, decided they needed to tile it like we’ve all done, but they’ve come in they’re accelerating their surface water on these big events off the ground and the low spots that normally stay there until the tile caught up. They altered the lay of the land with a channel and that’s on the southwest side of their property, which I farm down by 75 East and on the northeast side of their 160 acres it comes over on myself and the neighbor there. I don’t know if the neighbor minds, but they cut it that way too and they’re running their surface water on me."

 

Chairman Schmierer asked, "Is that Juanita’s (Waugh) ground?"

 

Mr. Kent stated, "It does affect Juanita’s ground."

 

Chairman Schmierer asked, "No, did they cut it out of Juanita’s? Whose ground did they do it on?"

 

Mr. Kent asked, "It’s called the Crawford ground. Karen and Don Crawford. It’s right across where Dave used to live and they went in there…can they do that?"

 

Attorney Loy asked, "Have you talked to these people?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "No, I’ve just avoided it. I thought I’d find out if they could do that or not."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "If a regulated drain is not in play here then this board doesn’t have jurisdiction over it at the moment. You can contact a private attorney to try and resolve it between landowners. There is a means by which it ultimately can come back to this board, but you have to initiate it."

 

Board Member Heimlich asked, "Where does the water end up?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "The water on the southwest side probably goes to the Victor drain on that property there on 75 East. And the one on the northeast corner where it comes in, our northwest corner, goes into the (A.) drain, and the Brackney is just right there. The Victor drain is not close to the southwest corner, but it eventually gets there." Brackney

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "We’ve had that happen before."

 

Mr. Kent stated, "I’ve heard of it, but now it’s happened to me and it’s got my attention."

 

Chairman Schmierer stated, "It happened to John (Heimlich) and I during our first year as Commissioners."

 

Attorney Loy stated, "Do contact a private attorney."

 

Board Member Heimlich stated, "Back to what he’s saying, if it goes into a regulated drain…that’s what he’s saying, this water would end up…"

 

Charlie Mellon stated, "If it gets off that guy and stays on yours longer, that’s no good."

 

Board Member Heimlich asked, "Would that ground be in the watershed of those others…are they assessed on them?"

 

Mr. Kent replied, "I don’t know, but I would assume…if the water goes that way then the water goes that way. But, they are altering the lay of the land to get it off quicker. Do you just talk to a general practice lawyer or do you have to go to a drainage type lawyer?"

 

Attorney Loy stated, "It’s your call, but whoever you talk to, he or she should say that they are familiar with what you’re talking about and there are attorneys here in town."

 

Mr. Kent stated, "I’ve just been taking a wait and see look at this drainage. In 2009, I did follow it. I went out in the big rain events in the winter and the one we had in the spring and it is coming toward us. There is no doubt about it."

 

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