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April 19, 2010


The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:45 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, Alvin Cargill representing Horizon Wind Energy, landowner Bill Warren, Charlie Mellon, and Edward Bruder.


The first item on the agenda was to approve the minutes from the April 5th, 2010 meeting. Board Member Burton so moved. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda was to present the petition for the Erroll Westfall Drain. Surveyor Sterrett explained, "Its north on 300 East, it empties into the same ditch the Sills dumps into."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Is that on Rice?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yes, Rice is the one that carried the petition. We have quite a few signatures."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Haven’t we worked on that before?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "I don’t know."


Board Member Heimlich stated, "I was thinking that we did something to it several years ago. I don’t remember exactly what it is."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "We just fixed an outlet pipe on it…a surface drain. There must not be enough money in the fund, so…"


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the petition on the Errol Westfall Drain. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Does it need reconstructed or what?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "It just needs cleaned out. We might be able to do it…"


Board Member Heimlich stated, "We might be able to do it under maintenance…"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "As soon as I get to it and get an estimate."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "I think we did quite a bit of work on that seven or eight years ago."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Not since I’ve been here."


Board Member Heimlich stated, "It’s been several years ago. I don’t remember what we did."


The next item on the agenda is a request for an exemption from the White County Drainage Ordinance.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, "Jon (Thompson) is going to build a big tool shed right off of State Road 18 and it will be over 10,000 square feet. It is 90 by 160 so 14,000 square feet."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "He said that the water isn’t going to affect anyone but him. The water would have to go across State Road 18 to affect anyone…"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "He told me he was going to shed it toward the back of the property and into a tile that runs into the Big Pine."


Board Heimlich asked, "Where is the nearest neighboring ground?"


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Across the highway…200 feet across the highway."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "And you say the water is going to flow north?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "West."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "And that’s all his ground to the Big Pine?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yes."


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant an exemption from the White County Drainage Ordinance. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda was Meadow Lake Wind Farm. They are proposing a route change for electrical cables going through Jon Thompson on the Big Pine.


Mr. Cargill explained, "There is a change here. Actually, it was coming straight south and coming to this and down to the Big Pine."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "These lines here are all laterals. The line was coming down through here to service these towers."


Mr. Cargill stated, "There is 35 foot of grass between the top of bank and the cultivation and we’ll stay just at the edge…just inside the grass and maintain 30 feet distance between the ditch and the…"


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Are you going to be able to stay out of his laterals?"


Mr. Cargill replied, "That is why we are doing it."


Board Member Burton asked, "If we clean that you don’t have a problem with us putting the spoil on top?"


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Its deep enough it won’t affect you."


Mr. Cargill replied, "Right…and we’ll be at least four feet of cover on collection lines. If it’s deeper it’s fine if you clean that ditch."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "George (Loy) will have to prepare an encroachment."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I guess we’ve done others without that document, the ones that ran along Big Creek I think. If we need one, we need one."


Mr. Cargill stated, "We will have to have, and we’ll prepare the document, and then we can mark up the map on the as-built. Anywhere we’re within the easement we’ll have to have a document. We’ll present that to you all for your approval and signature and we’ll provide exhibits."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "We haven’t got those for the other phases yet."


Mr. Cargill stated, "I thought they gave you Phase One."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I don’t think we got the documents showing…"


Mr. Cargill stated, "The exhibits? Let me follow up on that…it’s an encroachment agreement."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "We got some, but they were too small of scale and you couldn’t tell where things were at."


Mr. Cargill asked, "What size? If we gave you a…electronic like this would this suffice what you need?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "We really need a dimension from the top of the bank to the cable, shown on the plat."


Mr. Cargill asked, "If we give you GPS coordinates….every foot of that cable is GPS’d."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Our right-of-way is measured from the top of the bank, so if we had a dimension from the cable or whatever, from the top of the bank….when George writes his consent to encroach he could say ‘see exhibit’."


Mr. Cargill asked, "So what they sent you were 8.5 by 11?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yeah, they weren’t big enough."


Mr. Cargill stated, "I’ll get to work on that.


Board Member Burton made a motion to allow Meadow Lake Wind Farm to change the route of electrical cables going through Jon Thompson on Big Pine ditch. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


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


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Actually, there are some tile about halfway through Patty that are under water right now. He’s got several crossings that he’s got for an irrigator and in order to get those tiles to drain properly we need to lower those crossings about a foot. They are five foot steel pipes, about twenty feet long."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "How long have they been in there?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "I don’t’ know how long they’ve been in there."


Chairman Schmierer replied, "I didn’t know they were in there. I have never seen them in there. They must have put those in there in the last few years."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Well, he’s had that irrigator in there since I’ve been here."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "We just cleaned it, didn’t we?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "We cleaned it in 2004. You can see, it’s right off the road and you can see the bank sloughed in. His irrigator is back behind the woods. So, I called a contractor and thought an extra $500 on each crossing."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "How many crossings are there?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Two that are causing problems. The rest are concrete slabs that span the banks…they aren’t down in the ditch. They aren’t a problem."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "It’s not going to do any good to clean the ditch if we don’t fix them."


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Well, it’s not going to do anything for his tile. He’s got big tiles, 15 or 18 inch tiles and they are right at the north end of those tank cars or steel tanks. So, I think if you didn’t lower them…maybe you’d get half the water out. The water is over the tile now; we couldn’t even find the one of them.


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Well, if you get half the water out you’re still going to have tile underwater. I don’t know about the rest of the board, but it’s not going to do any good if we don’t clean it right."


Board Member Burton asked, "The additional cost is just to pop the culvert out?"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Yeah and put back. One of them is just for the irrigator so it doesn’t have hardly any cover on it at all. The other one we drove across because it had cover on it."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "What was the estimated cost on that?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "I was just trying to make a decision on whether..."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Private crossings….when we go to do it we generally repair the private crossings…put it back."


Attorney Loy explained, "You can go either way. You can charge the landowner that is serviced by the crossing, the statute does permit you to. And the alternative, you can place that cost on the whole watershed."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I had an estimate of $8,400 to clean the ditch."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "What were we doing, raising the rates?"


Drainage Assistant Sterrett stated, "Yeah, we raised the rates which would bring in $3,752 a year."


Board Member Burton asked, "What’s there now?"


Drainage Assistant Sterrett stated, "$1,662.56, but we collected in 2009."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "So, we’re about four years away."


Board Member Burton asked, "So, what Denny is asking is to include…"


Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Do we want to include this in the cost of cleaning the ditch?"


Attorney Loy asked, "Or charge the landowner?"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I pretty much got the grade on the ditch from what it was the last time they cleaned it."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "So these culverts had to be put in since the last time we cleaned it?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "They weren’t shown on the plans, let me put it that way. The culverts are so close to the tile outlets that are under water that they either put the tank cars in and then the tile or vice versa. I don’t know what they did first. Sometimes, I’ve noticed in the minutes that we’ve included it in the project and sometimes we…"


Chairman Schmierer asked, "We’ve done both. What’s the favor of the board?"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I don’t have any record of the surveyor said to put it at a certain grade or anything."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "We don’t have any records on it. It was probably put in without any records."


Attorney Loy asked, "What did you say the cost of that culvert would be?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "$500.00 to pull it out and put it back in for two of them. $1,000 for both of them."


Attorney Loy asked, "So you’re not replacing your just taking out…"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "We didn’t lower the ditch from the last reconstruction.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to include the two crossings in the project. Board Member Burton seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The next item on the agenda was Stone Hollow 2 Subdivision. Landowner Bill Warren was in attendance to discuss the detention pond.


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Where is this subdivision?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "North of Hicks’ Corner."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Right along Airport Road."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Bill owns Lot 15."


Mr. Warren explained, "Basically what it is, the north half of our property is a detention pond and we just discovered recently that we own that whole area. We assumed the developer had ownership of the detention pond. He comes in about once or twice a year and mows all that down. The only issue we have is that we kind of like the looks…there are cattails growing in there and there are several species of birds that live in there. I called Mr. Harner to ask why they mowed it and he basically said they are concerned with debris, dying foliage that gets in the tile and clogs it and small trees. I guess the only issue we have is that we would rather he didn’t, but I just want to seek your expertise on this or your opinion on whether or not is necessary to mow it for drainage purposes. Will it create a problem if it is left to grow natural? I know it’s not a county issue, it’s privately owned subdivision, but I didn’t know if in your experience if you’ve had issues like this. Denny said you keep your ditches mowed and if there are cattails growing up in there it does create drainage problems, but…"


Chairman Schmierer stated, "We don’t really have any control over that."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "This is a detention pond? How deep is it?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "I was out there several years ago…is there an outlet there on you?


Mr. Warren stated, "There are actually two outlets that come from the subdivision. The entire subdivision drains into the detention pond. Both of them are on our property."


Surveyor Sterrett asked, "Where does it come out?"


Mr. Warren replied, "On the very north side of our property. I know it’s not a county issue. I just mainly am seeking your opinion, I didn’t know what…"


Chairman Schmierer stated, "I don’t think we can voice an opinion on it, sir, because we don’t own the property, or have anything to do with the subdivision as long as it’s maintained. If you are getting flooded I guess we would have to address it. Otherwise, I don’t think we have a right to tell them they can or can’t mow it."


Attorney Loy stated, "It looks like it’s a 1999 plat, so this isn’t a detention pond that was pursuant to a drainage plan was it? That we approved?"


Chairman Schmierer stated, "1998 or 1999. I’m not sure, did we have the drainage ordinance then?"


Board Member Heimlich stated, "I think we did."


Board Member Burton asked, ‘This is a dry detention right? Are they mowing the whole thing? So, it’s normally dry?"


Mr. Warren stated, "Its typically dry...he can’t mow easily until late summer because it’s pretty wet most of the time. I know it’s a minor issue and I hate to even bother with it, but I thought since it might be a drainage issue you might have some experience in this."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "There are houses on…"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "His house is sitting on the building area. He owns the lot."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "Are these others just empty lots?"


Mr. Warren replied, "No, there are houses all around us. It’s all pretty much developed all around there."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Which lot is it, 15?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "He owns it and it’s also the detention pond and it says ‘and easement’ on the plat."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Were you able to build on that lot?"


Mr. Warren replied, "Yes, where the dotted line is. We just came into the situation where we actually own part of the detention pond and I would have assumed when they subdivided it they would have left that as a dedicated area for drainage, but…"


Board Member Heimlich asked, "So Dick Harner owns the rest of the detention pond and any empty lots?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "He doesn’t own the detention pond."


Attorney Loy asked, "So, was there a drainage plan approved for this subdivision?"


Board Member Heimlich stated, "If he doesn’t own anything anymore, why would he be mowing it?"


Mr. Warren stated, "He just comes on the property, he doesn’t even ask us…"


Attorney Loy stated, "When it says ‘easement’, easement in favor of whom? But, if it’s strictly a mowing issue…"


Board Member Heimlich asked, "I guess I don’t understand why he would be mowing it."


Attorney Loy stated, "If he’s got an easement over it, if he’s the one that has the easement."


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "He’s still has a vacant lot, that would mean he would maintain the pond I would think."


Attorney Loy asked, "So there may have been a drainage plan for this?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "There might have been. I can go down and check."


Attorney Loy stated, "But your question is strictly mowing…you’re not wanting to change the characteristics of the land at all."


Mr. Warren stated, "If he is concerned with debris clogging up the drain, it seems to me that if he mows it would create more debris than if he left it natural. It’s usually at the end of the season and he mows all the cattails and high grass and it just lays there. I know it’s a minor issue, but it’s something that we preferred not to have mowed."


Attorney Loy stated, "When it comes to your question about mowing, this board cannot tell him or you what to do."


Mr. Warren stated, "Its private property and I probably would have to address that with an attorney. I guess my only concern is if it would cause a drainage issue and that is why I brought it to you guys for an opinion."


Board Member Heimlich stated, "I wouldn’t think it would in a detention pond."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "If it’s got trees growing up in it you might have…"


Mr. Warren stated, "I basically told Mr. Harner that I would police that and if I saw saplings I’d cut them down. I didn’t have enough expertise in drainage to know if that is going to create a problem for the subdivision or not, that is why I brought it to your attention. So I guess if it’s a mowing issue then it’s something I need to address just between the two of us."


Attorney Loy stated, "In my opinion, yeah."


Mr. Warren replied, "Thank you for your time."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Sorry we couldn’t help you."


The next item is to discuss INDOT and the Wolcott Unroe Project.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, "Our engineer’s estimate to do our project was $71,709.00. They sent us a bill for $17,493.50 and they broke it out. I got a hold of Dan Corbin who did our agreement with the state and he was looking at he bid items and he looked at his estimate of quantities on the 24 inch pipe, he said we got this much 24 inch pipe and then we (White County) had 417 feet of 24 inch pipe and if you add what he had and what we got it adds up to what they bid. So, they bid 901 linear feet, but when the feds went to bill us they did away with those items. We had five items and they only billed us for two of those items, but the contractor actually bid the quantity, so they are still working on it."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "So, did they say not to pay that until we got a statement?"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I don’t think I would because it will just muck up the works if it’s wrong. Our estimate was $71,709.00, so if you add up what they bid per item their bid would come up to $57,983.32 which is about $14,000 less than we estimated. They didn’t really have the hot mix asphalt…we kind of averaged that. Our estimate was $102/ton and they had three different kinds of asphalt and if you add those up and divide by three you come up with $97.00. So, we’re not sure with that…their highest asphalt was $112/ton so we might be over on that. It might be over what we estimated. The federal guy that I talked to was Justin Sargent and he’s looking into it, he said they deleted three of the items, which are the pipe and the manhole and backfill. However, the contractor actually bid those items. So the way it looks the state is going to be paying for the pipe, manhole, and backfill and we’re going to be paying for structure, backfill type two, and inspection of the pipe. I think they got it messed up."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Well, we’ll leave that until they get it worked out."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "They actually got the backfill correct, they got the right amount. The video was $750 more than we had estimated. So those are the only two items they billed us for. They should have been charging us for 417 feet of 24 inch pipe, two manholes, and asphalt. They didn’t charge us for any of that. So, we got two guys working on it."


The next item to discuss is a tile issue at I-65 south of Wayfara on the Oliver Bell tile.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, "One-third of it away from the right-of-way and two-thirds of it is in the right-of-way. This tile runs at a real sharp angle. I called the Fowler sub-district and they won’t touch it. In fact, they told me I needed permits to get out there and work on it."


Attorney Loy asked, "It’s a sink hole because it is broken?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Well, we don’t know. You can’t see down in there, the hole doesn’t go clear down to the tile. I think the hole has been there for a while because it looks like it’s healed up. I looked at the plans and there is a 15 inch tile there and they were supposed to replace it with 24 inch concrete tile, for 400 and some feet, because it runs at a sharp angle across the interstate. I imagine that is where it hooks on to the county tile. It’s probably collapsed. I think all you have to do it cut the fence, dig it up and see what’s wrong, but I have to get permits. I’ve already got them filled out. It’s still carrying…it’s got the water off the farm, it’s just wet."


Chairman Schmierer asked, "Was it wet?"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I drove out there…it was dry. So, should I go ahead and sign my life away on these permits and get it fixed?"


Attorney Loy asked, "What drain is this?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "The Bell tile."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "That drains a lot of ground out through there."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Right after we left there and got back to the office Kenny Altman had called and he had a hole on the other side of the interstate on the same tile. So, maybe that’s causing our problem over here."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "Well, just have counsel look over your contracts before you sign them."


The next item to discuss is FEMA.


Surveyor Sterrett explained, "On Wednesday, April 7th, I sent the P4 to Homeland Security, Susan Scherer for our FEMA projects. She said it would probably take a little over a month to get the final payment."


The last item to discuss was Northgate Aggregates.


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I was at the Area Plan meeting Monday night and it appears that the stone quarry has started construction east of Monon, north of State Road 16. I think Area Plan sent them a letter saying that they weren’t zoned right and they haven’t submitted a drainage plan for that yet."


Board Member Heimlich asked, "We’re going to address that. When they came before was anything said about the drainage?"


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yeah, I think they were going to come up with a plan, if I remember at the meeting. Of course, right now they don’t need an outlet they are at least a ½ mile from the ditch and one of the ditches is the Little Monon. I don’t think that’s regulated, not by our office anyway.


Board Member Heimlich stated, "I don’t think it is."


Chairman Schmierer stated, "It’s a creek, really…"


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Thayer owns across Lowe’s Road to the Little Monon."


Board Member Heimlich stated, "So he owns everything in between there and the Little Monon."


Surveyor Sterrett replied, "Yeah. He owns clear to the Hill-Brown ditch, which is to the north. So, they have an option of either going to the Hill-Brown or the Little Monon. So, if they go to the Monon with an outlet, we wouldn’t even regulate that, would we? Or should we?"


Board Member Heimlich stated, "There would have to be a plan. What did we do with Hansen? They came through us with that ditch that they pump into."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "Yeah, that’s the Milton Martin and that flows into the McKillip."


Board Member Heimlich stated, "Why don’t you look it up and see what we did for Hansen. I know they came before us for pumping water into that other ditch."


Surveyor Sterrett stated, "I know on that one that was going to do the lime, they were supposed to submit present us with a plan too, because it went to the Sills. Actually, where this 100 acres is located is not being assessed to a ditch. So, I’m assuming it goes to the Big Monon Creek, because north of there it goes to the Hill-Brown. Do you want me to just wait until you have the discussion?"


Board Member Heimlich stated, "I’m sure that will be part of the discussion. See if you can find anything on Hansen."


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