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June 4, 2001 Tape #011

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:30 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building with Board Members Ronald Schmierer, O. D. Ferguson and John Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Rick Raderstorf and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also in attendance was Engineer Todd Frauhiger of Samuel L. Moore and Associates, Charles Mellon, Monty Moss, Ryan Blackman, Richard Ploss, Mark Bonnell, Dave Charles, Ronald Roth Sr., Nona L. Malchow Orr, and contractor Allen Howe.

Chairman Schmierer asked for sealed quotes on the J. P. Carr Drain Maintenance Project in Prairie Township, White County, Indiana. Surveyor Raderstorf reported that one bid was received. Attorney Loy opened the sealed bid from Howe Excavating. The quote on Option 2 to clear trees and brush on both sides of the ditch and dredge to the original flow line for approximately 6,350 lineal feet was $9,400.00. The bid on Option 1 to clear trees and brush on both sides of the ditch and dredge to the original flow line for approximately 7,950 lineal feet was for $13,000.00. Option 1 was taking the project to the highway.

Surveyor Raderstorf stated there is approximately $8,500.00 in the maintenance fund, not including the Spring tax draw and it takes in approximately $3,400.00 a year.

Attorney Loy asked if the quotes were within Surveyor Raderstorf’s estimate. Surveyor Raderstorf answered yes they are.

Chairman Schmierer stated the Board should take the bids under advisement at this time and he would talk to a couple of landowners to see if we can get in there and get it done.

Chairman Schmierer opened the Landowners meeting on the J. L. Ackerman Branch 6 and Branch 3 of Branch 6 Drain, in Cass and Liberty Townships, White County, Indiana. Surveyor Raderstorf and Engineer Frauhiger displayed a map on the wall showing the area to be reconstructed and discussed with landowners what had been petitioned and what work has been proposed.

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “What we were originally charged to do was at Branch 3, lower it 2 feet.” He said the problem is the existing flow line of the ditch is a lot steeper at the top half of the ditch than it is at the bottom half of the ditch and the surveyors noticed there is a lot of siltation where the slope flattens out in between. Engineer Frauhiger explained how they proposed to correct that. (See tape)

Ron Roth Sr. asked if they would lower the crossing at SR 119. Engineer Frauhiger answered yes, they would get the State to lower that crossing, and also the crossing at the County Road has to be lowered.

Engineer Frauhiger pointed out on the map how much the ditch would be lowered. He stated it would be lower than the original ditch bottom is now. He also stated that we need to talk about whether we will need to lower the branches coming into the main and if we start lowering the branches, the project gets bigger. Engineer Frauhiger stated that they are going to get good relief through Branch 6, which is the main.

Chairman Schmierer asked if they had worked up any figures on the project. Engineer Frauhiger answered that we have to figure how many branches we need to do and how far up the branches we want to go. Much discussion of the condition of the branches followed. (See Tape) Monty Moss said Branch 4 is pretty clean, no brush and Branch 5 looks shallow, has some brush, and needs done. Ron Roth Sr. stated it needs dipped out but pretty soon you’ll be doing the whole ditch.

Chairman Schmierer asked if there is a lot of brush on the main, Branch 6. Surveyor Raderstorf said there’s not a lot, some of the worst is toward the end, it is relatively clean. Discussion inaudible. (See Tape) Chairman Schmierer stated “We’re here today to get your ok to start getting the engineering done, to start spending money on it.”

Chairman Schmierer asked Engineer Frauhiger or Surveyor Raderstorf if they had any guess at all on what the project could cost. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that doing Branch 3 would add another mile. Chairman Schmierer said we are up to approximately 3 ¼ miles. Surveyor Raderstorf stated just dredging and leveling might cost $1.00 a foot, but if we get into new soil it could be more than that, if we’re digging deeper. Chairman Schmierer stated there would be approximately twenty percent added on for engineering and surveying fees. He stated that we are probably talking $35,000.00 to $38,000.00. He asked how many acres are in that watershed. Surveyor Raderstorf answered there are 1280 benefited acres and 49 lots. Board Member Heimlich said that would figure approximately $32.00 an acre.

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Are we willing for them to go ahead and get the figures around and get the thing down to where we can get it put in? Is that something we feel we can live with? $30, $32, and $35 an acre I’m going to say at the top end? Is that something the landowners feel like they can live with? That can be paid back over five years and there is 10 percent interest on it.”

One landowner speaking for another landowner said he was pretty sure they would want to see the first Branch east of CR1200E (Branch 4) dredged up to the first 60 rods. The same landowner said regarding the land he has on it the answer is yes, and for the ones he represents, they won’t have a problem with it as long as they are going to get 60 rods of Branch 4 done.

Richard Ploss stated that there is only 20 yards more on Branch 4 so they might as well do all of Branch 4. Surveyor Raderstorf questioned if we can do the Branches that aren’t on the petition. Attorney Loy stated that you can do more under reconstruction than what is petitioned, you’re not confined just to what someone petitioned. Surveyor Raderstorf stated that the 1280 benefited acres mentioned at a previous meeting is from SR 114 back.

Monty Moss stated that we need to look at cleaning all of the drain if everyone in the watershed is paying, he said he would want it all cleaned. He stated that Branch 5 is the bad one, Branch 4 won’t cost much to do and there is some brush on Branch 2 but it is small stuff. One landowner asked if the $35,000.00 figure mentioned was just for the main ditch. Chairman Schmierer answered it was for the main and Branch 3. Chairman Schmierer said you could double that figure if you put all of that (branches) on. Surveyor Raderstorf said that one gentleman suggested we could go in and do some of it under maintenance. Ron Roth Sr. said it should all be done now.

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “What we are going to have to do, if we’re going to do everything we’re going to need more survey. We didn’t know how far to go.” Chairman Schmierer stated, “Let’s get the surveying around so we can have a hearing on it, get it laid out so they know what they’re going to pay.” Engineer Frauhiger stated, “As soon as we get the branches surveyed we’ll know cost estimates.” Board Member Heimlich stated he thinks we have to do the branches under reconstruction. Chairman Schmierer said if we weren’t changing the grade we could do it under maintenance.

Chairman Schmierer asked Engineer Frauhiger how soon he could get it figured so we can get it to bid. Engineer Frauhiger stated he would see how soon he could get Surveyor Raderstorf and Samuel L. Moore’s surveyor together and get the rest of the surveying done and he would have the time frame for the Board in two weeks, at the next Drainage Board meeting.

Surveyor Raderstorf pointed out the route of the Carter-Hines Drain on a map, showing where the petition on it starts at County Road 600 North and goes to the upper end. He stated that some of the areas have been done south of that. Chairman Schmierer stated that it looks bad below CR600N also. Surveyor Raderstorf agreed that it looks just as bad on down from CR600N. Monty Moss said, “We’re the last, clear up there at the top (of the Carter-Hines Ditch). The biggest part is that the trees are huge.” Chairman Schmierer said there are cottonwoods growing right down the middle of it.

Engineer Frauhiger explained that as long as we stay below ten miles of blue line on the quad map on a project we don’t have to deal with DNR. He said that DNR said a project can even be divided up into phases if you have more than ten miles, break it up so you are just under ten miles. He said that came from the head of Fish and Wildlife himself.

Surveyor Raderstorf said, “I imagine they (landowners) would like to see it cleared, but we don’t want to clear it and run into what we did up here (on the McKillip Ditch at the south end of Monon) and have to turn around and have somebody replant trees.” Chairman Schmierer said that on the Carter-Hines Ditch we will probably have to clean one side only and leave one side for habitat.

Engineer Frauhiger said probably what we are going to have to do is contact them first and tell them in advance the project is coming and they’ll send their committee out and then send a recommendation of what they found in their field check, what they would recommend that we do and whether or not they have jurisdiction.

Monty Moss asked if it is a possibility that we might get something done on the Carter-Hines Drain this winter. Chairman Schmierer stated that when we get some figures on the project we will have a landowners meeting before we take it to a hearing.

Contractor Allen Howe stated that three different contractors have worked on the ditch below CR600N. He said the first three miles up to CR900N has been debrushed and there is not much sediment in that. He asked if anyone has ever shot grade on it. Chairman Schmierer didn’t think anyone has.

Chairman Schmierer said that some work has been done down at the Roth Farm about five years ago, cleared one side of that ditch and took anything off that was going to fall into the ditch on the other side. Allen Howe said Segal’s did that. Surveyor Raderstorf said it is brushy at CR600N but it seemed to be flowing good there. He said he thinks if we start our project at CR600N and go north our flow would increase. Allen Howe stated that most of the sediment is north of CR600N and most of the branches need addressed.

Chairman Schmierer directed Surveyor Raderstorf to get started on this and get the Carter-Hines Ditch watershed landowners into a meeting.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that landowner Richard Schroeder has a private ditch that he just had cleaned and wants to turn it over to the County to regulate. Surveyor Raderstorf said, “Basically it goes through all his property. I went out and looked at it and I have some concerns, but I really think that you need to probably go out and look at it before we decide.” Chairman Schmierer asked where the ditch is located. Surveyor Raderstorf showed the Board the location of the ditch on a map.

Chairman Schmierer asked, “If we take over a ditch can we put it on maintenance immediately?” Surveyor Raderstorf said, “He’s already paying maintenance through the Jacob Dieter. The best thing to do would be just to add it to that watershed.” Attorney Loy said, “Yes, you’d be adding it.”

Board Member Heimlich asked if there is anybody else involved. Surveyor Raderstorf explained that Jerry Altman has a few acres that are tiled into it. Attorney Loy asked if it (Dieter Drain) is a regulated drain. Surveyor Raderstorf answered yes.

Surveyor Raderstorf said, “They have cleared it, there’s a little bit of brush. Before we take over, I would like to see them spray it themselves. Some of the banks are really steep.” Surveyor Raderstorf stated he would like for the Board to go out and look at it before recommending that we take it over. Attorney Loy said, “So, it is located on Altman’s property and the other one’s.” Surveyor Raderstorf said, “I don’t think it is located on any of Altman’s property, I think he just said that Altman’s got some tile in to it. The water is already going to the Jacob Dieter. This would probably just be added to the Jacob Dieter Drain. It would be a branch of the Jacob Dieter.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Don’t you have to have a hearing with all the people on the Dieter?” Attorney Loy answered yes.

Chairman Schmierer reported that he and Surveyor Raderstorf met with DNR on the Fern McKillip Ditch on the south end of Monon on Friday. The DNR representative and Surveyor Raderstorf walked the ditch and she was going to recommend that we spot plant some eighteen to twenty four inch trees because there is already a bunch of growth back. Chairman Schmierer said that landowners John Blount and his wife came out while they were there and indicated they did not really want it bothered anymore.

Engineer Frauhiger stated that landowner Richard Ploss would like to know who is responsible for moving or replacing farm crossings during reconstruction. He has one that will need lowered because of reconstruction of the Ackerman Ditch. Chairman Schmierer stated we don’t usually furnish farm crossings. He asked how many there would be. Mr. Ploss thought possibly three. Attorney Loy stated that it can go either way during reconstruction; it can be made part of the project. Mr. Ploss stated that at least one of the crossings cannot be eliminated.

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Raderstorf asked where the Board stands on taking over the private ditch that Richard Schroeder wants to turn over to the County. Attorney Loy said to schedule a hearing notifying everybody on the Jacob Dieter Ditch. Surveyor Raderstorf said that they just dredged and cleared it this year and there are also places where the sides are starting to cave in. The Board agreed to go and look at it before the decision is made.

Chairman Schmierer stated that he would have an answer from J. P. Carr Drain landowners on whether we could start the project this time of year. Howe Excavating’s bid was taken under advisement until Chairman Schmierer has an answer in a week or so.

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.