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 September 7, 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 were Sharon Watson with White County Soil & Water and Charlie Mellon.

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

The next item on the agenda was Meadow Lake Wind Farm Substation I - Revision Drainage Review. 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Todd (Frauhiger) has reviewed it…looked at it and we requested a review fee, but we haven’t gotten that yet.  So, do you want to go ahead and continue with the review?  They requested an invoice and we sent them an invoice.  We haven’t had any trouble with them before.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “I don’t think we’ll have any trouble with them.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I don’t think so either.  Do you have it ready to go?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah.   Do you want to go ahead with it?”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Yes, let’s get it done.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Rule on it and then just hold it until?”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Just rule on it and hold on to it until you get the check.”

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This was the first part they took off of Halstead, 26.4 acres and they built their substation, put the transformer pads and transformers in and now they’re out of room and they wanted to add some more.  So, they purchased 3.43 more acres, which I think is 110 feet off the north end of the 26 acre tract and are

going to fill in their detention pond.  The part they are filling in is what they purchased to add to the detention pond to make it bigger—or, the same size.  Todd (Frauhiger) had looked at the calculations and said it is alright.  I don’t have a problem with what they want to do there.”

Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the plans, per Engineer Frauhiger’s recommendation, for Meadow Lake Wind Farm Substation I - Revision.  Board Member Burton seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda is to discuss J. M. Timmons Branch #1 of Branch #4. 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “If you remember, a couple months ago Mr. Ploss came in and wanted Branch 1 of Branch 4 cleaned.  From our records, we have a green bar print out of all of our drains and all their laterals and that was the only thing I looked at, at that time, and it said Branch 1 of Branch 4 was paid for by Branch 4…which

is on maintenance by itself.  After looking at the Surveyor’s Report when they put it on maintenance, they did a Reconstruction back in 1979 and the only legal in that Reconstruction/Maintenance was the legal for Branch 4, but when you look at the plans the plans had Branch 1 included as part of the project…but evidently before they got

done with Branch 1…on the plans it says that the south branch was cleaned mutually in 1978.  So, I don’t know what went on.  They must have taken it off Branch 4 and didn’t include it in the legal description.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, where is it paying into, then?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “They are all paying on Branch 4, but the people that are on Branch 1 of Branch 4 are all paying assessment on Branch 4. So, I don’t know what we should do there.  We haven’t done anything on Branch 1, because it was cleaned mutually in 1978, and it doesn’t appear it was put on maintenance.  The legal

description did not include Branch 1 in the Surveyor’s Report.”

Chairman Schmierer commented, “So they aren’t paying maintenance on it?  But they are paying maintenance on Branch 4, so they’re paying maintenance on it.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “They are paying maintenance on Branch 4, yes.”

Attorney Loy stated, “But not on Branch 1.”

Board Member Burton stated, “But as far as we’re concerned we don’t recognize Branch 1.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “For some reason it was on a green bar print out that we inherited when we got here…as being on the maintenance program.  The Surveyor’s Report didn’t include Branch 1 or Branch 2—which we’ll talk about later.”

Attorney Loy stated, “Well, you want to get it on maintenance, right?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, I would think so.  Would you need a petition?”

Attorney Loy stated, “Not necessarily, the board can initiate a maintenance proceeding.  Is that where you want to head?”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “And then we’d have a hearing?”

Attorney Loy replied, “Yes.”

 Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And all the people on Branch 4 would be…”

Attorney Loy stated, “Be assessed too…”

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Well, I don’t think the assessments are going to change because they are already being assessed on Branch 4.  It’s whether or not we want to add Branch 1 to Branch 4.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, it would just be a paper thing if you do, because they are already paying you said.” 

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yes.”

Board Member Burton stated, “It’s already in the watershed.”

Attorney Loy stated, “So, both branches are in the watershed.  About how many landowners…probably quite a few…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t know.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What’s the rate on that?  Is it variable?”

Attorney Loy asked, “Are you owing anything back to the General Drain Improvement Fund?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “No, not on this one.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, what is your question about the cleanout that he wants to do?”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Well, do we need to have a hearing and add it to Branch 4?”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “If they are already paying into it, why would you need a hearing?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Because it’s not in the Surveyor’s Report.”

Attorney Loy stated, “It shows up on the map, but not on your report.  It was never formally made a portion of the maintenance proceedings and to clean things up it should be.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “In the reconstruction part of Branch 4…it was included in it until somebody cleaned it mutually before they got Branch 4 done in 1978.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is there a lot of brush on that?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There’s some up in here.  I haven’t really had a chance to look at it yet.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Who all does that affect that you are going to clean?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Smolek, Ploss, Dandino…that is who owns the property that the ditch is on.  McDonald, Penn, and Miller will probably be involved in the watershed.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is that Miller’s Tree Farm?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, I believe that it is.  I know we haven’t done anything on it since I’ve been here.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “We’ve worked on the main branch since we’ve been here.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “This Branch 4 is not in the best shape, so we’ll probably hear about that.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Ok, so set up a hearing for it I suppose, that’s all you can do.”

Attorney Loy stated, “People are going to wonder what is going on here, I suppose.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Ok, so we’ll notify all of the landowners in the Branch 4 watershed that we are doing a feasibility of adding Branch 1 of Branch 4 to the drain.”

The next item was to discuss J. M. Timmons Branch 2 of Branch 4. 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Branch 2 is the same way.  It is a tile that enters Branch 4.  This spring there was water standing on this 25 acres and part of Cartmell’s 55 acres here.  So, we went out and did some work on the tile, because we thought it was on maintenance, and it’s not included in the legal description for Branch 4 either. 

They replaced 120 feet of tile because there were 14 holes on it.  We mistakenly took the money out of the Branch 4 fund and have since repaid it from GDI-General Drain Improvement.  The work that we’ve done…it appears that this tile isn’t any good at all.  We did get the water drained off the 40 acres and Cartmell has since dug a ditch

that runs through here and into the Cartmell.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “They put a ditch in?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, that was back in 1980.  Gerald (Cartmell) came in and told me’s a private ditch.  It runs into the Carnahan.  It’s about a mile of ditch that they put in.  They removed Cartmell from Branch 4…they removed their assessment.  He’s not getting assessed, but he called me up and said that the drain’s not

working and so did Stallard.  Water has been standing on Lord too.  So, last year we replaced 120 feet of tile and this year we found a tile hole and fixed it and I’m not sure…Gerald was going to check with the Miller farm, they have an open ditch that runs which may have cut the tile off.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, no body is paying assessment on the tile now?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Cartmell is not, the rest of them are.  They are paying on Branch 4.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Why is he, not?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Because they dug an open ditch to the Carnahan so he’s paying on the Carnahan, but the tile looks like it still goes through his farm.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “That’s why I wondered why he would complain that the tile wasn’t working if it wasn’t doing them any good.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “He thought he was and after he came back from vacation last week I told him that he was not paying on it.  He said we’ll just forget it then.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “What are you going to do about the other people on the tile?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah, I don’t know…the Miller’s may have cut it off and drained it into Branch 4 with an open ditch.  I can’t really get out there and investigate it right now, but this fall we can.  We put a new outlet in when Ezra cleaned Branch 4.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “I’m sure there are enough people on it that they won’t want to do away with it.”

Board Member Burton stated, “Until they figure out what it’s going to cost to repair it.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It’s probably in such bad shape that maintenance isn’t going to take care of it…it will probably be Reconstruction.  I don’t know if we want to add that to Branch 4 also, or…”

Attorney Loy asked, “What do you want to do?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Well, we could put it on maintenance with it…”

Attorney Loy asked, “As a part of that?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Yeah.”

Attorney Loy asked, “Wouldn’t that make more sense?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “But you’re going to have to start charging them, because nobody is paying on it now.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “No, they’re paying on it.  Just Cartmell isn’t.  Ok, so just include it in the feasibility study to add it to Branch 4.”

The next item on the agenda is the Amelia Suits drain.

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We’ve had a report that there is another tile hole out there and a beaver dam in the open part of the ditch.  The fund collects $3,753.85 and we haven’t collected for 2009 or 2010 yet.  It is in debt $4,300 and it’s been in debt since I’ve been here.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “And what are they wanting done?”

Surveyor Sterrett repeated, “There is a beaver dam in the open ditch and another tile hole.  It’s on the old tile, I think.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “We haven’t got our settlements?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “It is a variable ditch, they just went out.  We raised it 25 percent back in October of 2003.”

Board Member Burton asked, “What’s your recommendation?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “Well, we can’t seem to get it out of debt, but as soon as we collect for 2009 it will only be $600 in debt.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “You said it’s a variable rate.  From what to what?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I don’t know.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, you know it will have to be worked on continuously, that’s what it seems like…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t think we did last year.  So I guess by the end of this year it will be out of debt.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “How much work has to be done to it?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Altogether about $900.  So, I was just trying to decide whether to work on it or not and get it fixed.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, I don’t think you have a choice, we about have to work on it.  I don’t know if you think we need to have a hearing to raise the rates on it or not…if we’re going to continue to be in debt with it.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Well, like I said….when 2009 and 2010 is collected it will be $3,200 out of debt.”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “Well, just go ahead and we’ll just have to keep track of it.”

The next item on the agenda is to discuss a letter received from a landowner regarding the Earl Diener and James Carter drains.

Chairman Schmierer stated, “728 North - 300 East”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Its north of Hanenkratt.  This is where Charlie Geier lives.  This is the open ditch which is the James Carter.  There is a tile coming out of that runs over to there.  There is a catch basin west of 300 East.  His complaint is that it doesn’t drain here.  It looks like a lot of water comes down in here and pockets down

here on his ground.  I’ve tried to call him back.  I’ve left messages, but he doesn’t return my calls.  There is a hole…the county tile ends here.”

Attorney Loy stated, “It would be his job to get there.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yes.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is the sinkhole on our tile?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Is that what he’s talking about a drain tile dangerous to children and animals?  Is he talking about the hole or something else?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I assume he’s talking about the hole.”

Attorney Loy stated, “The sink hole on his own property, on his own private tile.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yes.  This is also on his property, where Steve is standing.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is there a drain there?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There is an air well there that is open.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “I mean, it’s not protected, someone could fall in it?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Somebody probably could fall in it.”

Attorney Loy asked, “Do you have a picture of that?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “I don’t think I do.”

Board Member Burton asked, “What is it?  A six inch?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “It looked like a 10 or 12 going underneath the road…it was about half full of water…at the air well.”

Attorney Loy stated, “Did he send something that had the sink hole marked?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yes, but its marked wrong.  He marked the Diener ditch.  This is his yellow mark.  I penciled in his lot.”

Attorney Loy asked, “So he’s mistaken?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “His mistaken on where he marked it.”

Attorney Loy asked, “Do you think he’s referring to his hole or the air well”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I think his hole because he had that piece of pipe stuck in it, but…how do you know?  I wouldn’t think any children would be playing that close to the road.  It’s only about 10 feet off the edge of the road.”

Attorney Loy asked, “He only has six acres?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “We have 1.6 going to the James Carter and the rest going to the Diener ditch.”

Attorney Loy stated, “He’s definitely in that watershed and his water drains that way.  He does have access to that line that he can connect to, right?”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Have you talked to him?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “No, I called back…and I did when we did the Diener back in February.  I tried to call him back then and left a message and he never…”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Is that your spade there?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, we thought there was an air well there because that pipe was stuck in that hole...but when we got up there, there wasn’t an air well there.”

Attorney Loy stated, “Just write them back a brief note.”

Surveyor Sterrett asked, “Write them a note explaining…”

Board Member Heimlich stated, “That it’s a private tile.”

The next item was to discuss the Matilda Stilwell tile. 

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “This tile is on Morgan’s, west of Brookston on State Road 18.  Randy DeVault came out and dug it up on the north side of ST RD 18 and had a repair.   We didn’t want to dig on the south side because of the fiber optic line, but we went ahead and found it over there, checked the grade.  The tile is full of water,

it’s a ten inch.  On the south side it was full of water and on the north side of the road, which is the way it flows, it was about half full of water.  So, I got the level out and checked the grade on it and it was about 4 inches lower on the south side so that is why it was full there.  We dug about right at the edge of pavement on the south side,

right behind the surface drain there.  We dug out in the field on the south side and we found the tile coming into it, which may have been county tile, but it was a different size.  It appears, from what Morgan said, that the ponding water they have to the south….there is a four inch running from there into the catch basin that the highway’s

got…and the reason there is water in the catch basin all the time is because it is about six feet deep and the water….it piles up.  The outlet is up in the catch basin so there’s going to be water in it all the time.  There is a four inch, evidently, running from that catch basin over to the county tile.  The fiber optic was marked and they could

have cut that four inch.”

Board Member Heimlich asked, “Four inch is private tile, right?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Right, and that’s what we told them and that’s what Randy told them, from the catch basin to the county tile is theirs.  I called the state…”

Board Member Burton asked, “So what is your synopsis of this situation?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Seeing as there is only going to be $1,600 in the fund at any one time because that is all we can collect, four times the amount it brings in per year, I would say Reconstruction…under the highway.”

Board Member Burton stated, “This will be a good test, because there is a college in charge of Waugh…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And they’ve got ponding water on theirs…but that’s been like that for fifty years.”

Board Member Burton stated, “It will be a good test to see how they are going to react to this.  That is a short ditch and there really aren’t many landowners.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And there aren’t many acres.”

Board Member Burton stated, “And it could really add up quick.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Does Morgan own that ground?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “On the south side, yes.”

Board Member Burton stated, “On the back side of the property the watershed goes south.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yeah, to the Chilton.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, why don’t you go to work and petition for Reconstruction.  That’s all you can do.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t really think we can do anything with the highway there because it’s off grade and it’s probably why it’s been that way forever.”

Board Member Burton stated, “It’s funny because this spring he planted that and everything was fine.  We even got some rains and got the water off.  Then we got that six inches….”

Surveyor Sterrett stated “It filled up…that collects a lot of water back there.  I don’t think a four inch tile is going to drain it, especially when it’s not getting to the county tile.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Well, why don’t you go ahead and tell him to get a petition to reconstruct it. When he figures out they’re going to have to pay reconstruction he might not want to do it.”

Board Member Burton stated, “Well, there’s also Thomas up there by the old Kiger place and the other one is south of that.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “And Waugh’s got some…a couple spots.  It quits down there by that house on the south side of the road…the Waugh place.”

The next item to discuss was the W. A. Pitts tile.

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Here are some pictures I took in April of the Pitts tile rock chute.  It has now been repaired.  It was broke down on the slopes.  This was taken the first of September, this is south of that rock chute.  We found a beaver dam in the Holladay ditch, which is where the Pitts drains into and there was another wash

out there.  While Randy was there I had him remove the beaver dam.  He had enough grout and rip-rap left over from the first that he went ahead and grouted it (the second wash).”

Surveyor Sterrett received a call from Hunter Nutrition in Brookston.

Surveyor Sterrett explained, “Hunter Nutrition called me and they drain into the Victor tile, that pond spot where Jacobs’ owns.  Evidently they drain across there with a private tile and they were wanting to increase the size of that private tile.  I didn’t think that was a very good idea.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “The Victor isn’t going to take much more down through there with all the work we’ve done on it.  You get south of town there where the Victor goes through town, we’ve worked on it down the woods someplace.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “In back of Lehe’s house is where it outlets.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “And we’ve worked on it down in there before.”

Board Member Burton stated, “This would be a situation where they could increase the tile, but they still outlet any more than what…”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Their outlet is right on Jacobs’ pond.  I explained that I would come out there and look at it with him and show him what was going on because Jacobs put a catch basin where those two tiles come together.  I think their place drains with an eight inch.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “Does Jacobs still own that ground back there?”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t know whether his dad does…I think he does.”

Boar d Member Burton asked, “So, that would cut across the grass to get to Jacobs or does it stay out in the field and then come down?”
Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I don’t know exactly where it does go…”

Board Member Burton stated, “So what they are asking is to go from their property through that…so they’d actually be going through two other people’s property.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I would think so, two or three...”

Board Member Burton stated, “Well, given that history I don’t know how you could say it would be appropriate to increase that without…”

Board Member Burton asked, “Are they wanting to build or just?”

Surveyor Sterrett replied, “No, they want to improve their drainage.  I’ll just wait until he calls me so I can go down there and explain it.  I mean he can go down there and look at it and see that it’s not going to work.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “Yeah, he ought to be able to see that himself.”

Surveyor Sterrett stated, “I told him he probably needs to get together and petition for a new Victor tile…get together with the rest of the landowners.”

Chairman Schmierer stated, “That might not be that hard to do with all the trouble that we’ve had.”

Chairman Schmierer asked if there was anything further for the drainage board.  Chairman Schmierer then adjourned the meeting.