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May 21, 2001 Tape #010

The White County Drainage Board convened at 11:15 A.M. in the Commissioner’s Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members Ronald A. Schmierer, O. D. Ferguson and John Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Rick Raderstorf and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Engineer Todd Frauhiger of Samuel L. Moore & Associates and Contractor-Developer Bob Wrede of Wrede & Sons.

Engineer Frauhiger presented drainage plans for Ten High Acres Part II for approval. Engineer Frauhiger stated that Jim Milligan did a fabulous job on this drainage design, including the certificate of sufficiency. Ten High Acres Part II is located just off of County Road 300 E on the north side of County Road 250 N across the road from Ten High Acres Part I.

Engineer Frauhiger stated they are proposing a swale along the north side of the property through the detention pond. The detention pond will outlet into the fairly large regulated ditch, the Joseph Kellenburger Drain, that goes down to Honey Creek.

Engineer Frauhiger recommended approval of the drainage plans. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the drainage plans for Ten High Acres Part II. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger stated that the drainage plans for Prairie Seeds was not ready for approval. He stated that Prairie Seeds wants to build north of Wolcott and they do not want to put in a detention pond. He explained that they are saying if they put in 20,000 square feet of impervious area and then seed the rest of the three acres, that just by the basis of seeding it, it will hold the water on the property and not let it go. The main outlet from the property is an existing six inch field tile and they want to put a six inch tile through their grassed area with beehives in it and drain it into that six inch tile. Engineer Frauhiger stated that their drainage plan has a lot of problems at this point and he is not close to approving that one.

Contractor-Developer Bob Wrede questioned the fee increase for reviewing drainage plans. He stated that he is getting concerned about development costs since this is all passed on to the person having the home built. He suggested that there are plans for different sized subdivisions and he asked if there isn’t a better way to come up with how much money has to be submitted for the review of these plans. He asked Engineer Frauhiger if he had any experience with other counties having a standard pro-rated sheet on that.

Engineer Frauhiger explained that the review fee didn’t increase, the additional $1,000.00 is for a number of field inspections during construction, two or three site visits, one at the end of construction and then a letter like a certificate of completion would be issued. That way we can be sure they are actually building what has been approved by going out and inspecting the construction of the drainage.

Engineer Frauhiger stated that we have some developers that after they get their approval, they don’t finish what they are supposed to do and have to be forced to do it as submitted and as approved. That’s what the additional $1,000.00 is for.

Chairman Schmierer agreed that expenses are getting bigger and bigger. He stated we are not trying to penalize anybody, just trying to prevent some of these things (violations of the approved drainage plan) for the future.

Bob Wrede asked if the entire drainage is to be built before you are allowed to start building the structures? Does the drainage plan have to be completely built, inspected and a certificate of completion issued prior to selling any lots now?

Engineer Frauhiger said a good example in his opinion is Ten High Acres Part II; you don’t want to see houses being built out there, and then see the swale across the northern part going into a detention pond being built.

Chairman Schmierer stated that having the County Building Inspector now will help, because if the drainage isn’t done, there won’t be any occupancy permit issued. Board Member Heimlich stated that before we were issuing an occupancy permit that if we didn’t make sure that the drainage went in first, then we lost our leverage.

Bob Wrede said, “So what you are saying is before the homeowner can move into the house, even though he started the house, he doesn’t get to move into the house because you won’t issue the occupancy permit because the drainage plan isn’t done.” Chairman Schmierer answered, “Right, so he can do both at the same time for all we care.” Board Member Heimlich stated, “Then we’ve got some leverage.” Bob Wrede said, “Then the Drainage Board would have to communicate with Area Plan and say don’t issue that because they’re not done (with the drainage).” Chairman Schmierer answered, “Right.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “Remember, with the Drainage Ordinance, the Drainage Board has the power to stop work during construction. If something is going on, we can issue a letter giving them fourteen days to respond. This $1,000.00 gives us a chance to implement going out there during construction. If we’re not getting any cooperation getting it fixed, this gives us a lot easier way to implement that. This is going to give us a lot better way to get out there during construction and eliminate these problems.”

Bob Wrede asked if he is correct, that “We could sell a lot and we can build a home on Ten High Acres now with what we have today, but that person cannot move in to that home, or a certificate of occupancy is not going to be given to that homeowner until the drainage plan is one hundred percent in compliance before the first person occupies the first residence on the first lot sold.” Chairman Schmierer answered, “That’s the way it stands right now.” Bob Wrede said, “That’s a good place to be. I think that’s a fair way to do it.” Surveyor Raderstorf stated, “If it was a bigger subdivision, we could approve that in phases, right?” Engineer Frauhiger answered, “Correct.”

Chairman Schmierer stated that he talked to Chris from the Jasper County Surveyor’s office and found out that they only got two spray bids back this year out of all of them they applied to. She said it is hard to get bids at all anymore because they have to have certified people on the spray rigs and they can’t get enough help. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that we called Anderson’s Tree Service and asked for a letter stating that they were not bidding on the spraying and their reasons for not bidding, but we have not received the letter. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that his office talked with State Board of Accounts and were advised that the only bid received, from Dalton’s Inc., can be accepted as long as we have proof that we asked for bids from two companies.

Board Member Heimlich asked if his bid was more expensive than before. Surveyor Raderstorf said he bids it per section and it looked to be about the same. He stated that what he personally likes about Lex’s bid is that he goes out and looks at the ditches and gives us a report on what needs done this year, in a year, or in two or three years.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept Dalton’s spray bid. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that he has two options set up to get bids on for the J. P. Carr Drain in Prairie Township maintenance project. One option is for cleaning from the Highway 43 to the end of the ditch and the second option is for cleaning from Evans Road to the end of the ditch.

Surveyor Raderstorf stated that the maintenance fund takes in $3,452.00 a year and now has $8,500.00 in it, not counting the Spring tax draw. It is on a variable rate and in checking he found that the Roman Catholic Diocese has three parcels in that area that are assessed at fifty cents an acre, a lot of it seems to be fifty cents an acre. One of the parcels that Bol owns drops down to thirty-five cents and one to twenty cents an acre. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that on Juanita Waugh’s ground, the ones we checked, we have several at twenty-five cents an acre, fifty cents, sixteen cents an acre, ten cents an acre and one at only eight cents an acre. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that a lot of Juanita Waugh’s ground used to be pasture and in the past they were not charged as much, but she farms some of that now. Board Member Heimlich said she still has a lot of pasture along there. Surveyor Raderstorf said for the work we are going to do, we will use all of the available $8,500.00, plus.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’m not too sure we don’t need to have a hearing on it and raise the maintenance rate and at least get it up to a dollar an acre.” Surveyor Raderstorf stated, “We can raise it a percentage without a hearing, is that correct?” Attorney Loy answered, “Yes, once.” Board Member Heimlich said, “The problem I see that you get in to where we’re doing a reconstruction basically like this, using maintenance, but we’re only doing a really small section of it, in this case what are all those people downstream from that, I mean they’re not getting anything out of it. Obviously the landowners involved here are paying maintenance, but how do you decide what’s equitable? The ones where we’re doing the whole ditch, that’s different, but I’m not sure on this one.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Surveyor Raderstorf and I talked the other day about going reconstruction, we can’t gain anything, we can’t get it any lower, we can’t do anything with it, you (Engineer Frauhiger) have already looked at it. There’s nothing we can do with it other than bring it back to original levels. As long as you’re bringing it back to original levels, you can do it under maintenance; you don’t have to do it under reconstruction.”

Surveyor Raderstorf stated, “If you leave the rate variable, you would have to figure each assessment and then you could only take twenty-five percent of each variable rate.” Surveyor Raderstorf said that one assessment of Juanita Waugh’s is 106 acres benefited out of 169 acre tract is $12.99. Board Member Heimlich said that is probably pasture land. Surveyor Raderstorf said, “But we had that come up at a meeting, I don’t remember what property it was on, but we discussed that and it’s like, I remember we were talking about pasture being different.” Board Member Heimlich said it was on this ditch and it was discussed that pasture shouldn’t be assessed the same as crop land. Attorney Loy stated that you take the character of the land into consideration.

Chairman Schmierer said we don’t have a lot of drains on variable rate. Surveyor Raderstorf said the ones we’ve done since he’s been surveyor have been set on flat rates. He said, “It’s like, we furnish you the ability to drain that and if you chose not to farm it….” Board Member Heimlich said, “Part of it is how much water you’re releasing to the system, too. If you have pasture or woods, there’s not the runoff factor as if you have crop land.” Surveyor Raderstorf said it depends on how it’s sloped, if you have a flat grassy area it’s going to be slow, but if it’s sloped it’s not going to be slow. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that they (Juanita Waugh) are farming some now that used to be pasture. Chairman Schmierer stated that they can’t farm a lot of it. Attorney Loy said more and more counties are assessing on land use, it should be assessed as, is it tillable? Nothing was decided on raising maintenance rates on the J. P. Carr Drain.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’d say go ahead and see if you can get any quotes on it (for the maintenance cleaning project) and see what it’s going to cost to do it, if we do one end of it this year and two years from now we have to do the other end of it. If it’s bringing $3,400.00 a year in and we don’t spend over $10,000.00 or $11,000.00 it’s not going to take it too long it’s going to be right back up in a couple of years and have $7,000.00 or $8,000.00 and we’ll go down and do the farming end down on the other end. There’s nothing needs done outside of down by County Road 300 East and that’s just a short ways back. Down there where Erickson farms there’s 30 or 40 acres that needs straightened out and that’s about it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “There’s washed out spaces down there but I’m not sure what you do with them.” Surveyor Raderstorf said there’s a really bad washout where the road (Evans Rd.) makes a ninety degree curve, where there’s a tube in there. Chairman Schmierer said he talked to John Brettnacher who farms it for Waugh and they don’t seem to care.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that he has asked Allen Howe to look at the problem with him at Coble’s where three county tile come in at the Crowell-Wells Drain and they’re washed out. (See tape)

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that John Brettnacher wants to put two farm crossings on the Myer Ditch on Juanita Waugh’s ground and wants to know about getting them sized and what to put in there. He is wanting to have a couple of small ones that will take the normal flow and have it all rip rapped so that when we get a big rain it will actually flood over his crossing. Engineer Frauhiger said, “We gotta do that, if they don’t what they do is they back water up upstream. I’ve seen farm crossings before where someone will go out and toss a couple of pipes in and then fill with rip rap right up to the top of the ditch, then you get a storm that comes in that’s not quite enough to go over top of the crossing they put in, but it will back two feet of water up upstream. People upstream will have problems they never saw before.”

Surveyor Raderstorf said John Brettnacher wants to know if he can do it this way or if he has to get a huge one put in there, because both upstream and downstream of these are stowaway bridges, so he needs to put a bridge in there too? Engineer Frauhiger said, “No, he should size smaller pipes in the crossing that goes down in the stream and back up on both sides, he might have to cut the banks up a little bit but that’s fine.”

Chairman Schmierer said shouldn’t Brettnacher be responsible to hire Todd or somebody to engineer it? Attorney Loy said he really should. Surveyor Raderstorf said, “I was thinking about tell him, you figure out what you want to do, get a contractor and submit a plan and then we would have to approve whatever it is, but tell him that this (Brettnacher’s proposal) is something that’s a very good option though.”

Engineer Frauhiger said, “The problem is he’s going to have a contractor come in with a plan that shows (for instance) two twenty-four inch pipes with no calculations and someone is going to have to do calculations to see if pipe sizes are right. He should be responsible for that cost. (Attorney Loy said “All of it.”) I’m not quite sure how to handle that, because he’ll just show up with the drawing and we’ll say how’d you get the size? And he’ll say I don’t know, we just thought they’d work.”

Chairman Schmierer said he thinks we should contact John Brettnacher and tell him he needs to have it engineered so we know it takes care of it; it has to be engineered to specifications.

Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 7, 2001 meeting. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Engineer Frauhiger reported that he and Surveyor Raderstorf met last Monday on the John Unroe Tile Drain project in Wolcott. He said there is between 160 and 180 feet of 24 inch clay tile to be replaced, in addition to 30 feet under US Highway 24 right-of-way that the State is going to take care of.

Engineer Frauhiger said, “We got the bid tabulations from the original bids that were turned in on the John Unroe Drain reconstruction project from Dirtworks and Dwenger and I can’t remember who the other one was, but we basically averaged what they used for granular fill and we’re roughly at eighty dollars per foot. So we are looking at a price of $10,000.00 to $12,000.00 to replace the pipe that would be the County’s expense, beyond what we are going to have the State do. That is still going by the assumption that the Wolcott will repair the roads, because the thing goes underneath the road so we’re going to tear the road and probably take half the road out. So Wolcott’s going to have to put half the road back in.”

Surveyor Raderstorf said Allen Howe looked at the project and suggested that the utilities should be located before bids are taken. Allen said that makes a big difference on the bids if they have to worry about working two feet from utilities.

Engineer Frauhiger said we’re going to have to have some sort of exhibit to go with the specs saying here’s where the town’s utilities are probably also including telephone because there is some underground telephone cable also.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.