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June 18, 2001 Tape #012

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

Others attending were John James, Allen Cotner, Kevin Cotner, Jack Pherson, Trent Pherson, Jim Milligan and Charlie Mellon.

Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting, asking if all were in agreement to accept Howe Excavating’s quote on the J. P. Carr Drain maintenance project, which was taken under advisement at the last Drainage Board meeting. (Option #1 for $13,000.00 and Option #2 for $9,400.00).

Board Member Heimlich moved that the Board accept the quote from Howe Excavating for the J. P. Carr Drain maintenance project. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Schmierer stated he talked to landowner Bob Stevenson and Bob is supposed to get with landowner Bol and they are going to try to catch contractor Allen Howe and see if they can get it taken care of. He said that Bob Stevenson said he would pay for the crops if the other guy wouldn’t.

Surveyor Raderstorf opened discussion on the Christian Brechbiel Drain tile problems. He stated, “What we basically found on that was an area that wasn’t laid to grade. There was 400 or 500 feet of it that we checked was basically flat and should have been laid at .16 grade.”

Chairman Schmierer asked, “And we haven’t notified Ezra (County Line Tiling) on this yet?” Surveyor Raderstorf answered, “No”. Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy, “Counsel, what is your suggestion on how to handle this?”

Attorney Loy answered, “First thing, Mr. Ezra needs to be contacted and be given a chance to correct the defect at his cost and so forth. We do need to ascertain, I guess, the grade of the rest of the drain if that matters and I assume it does.” Surveyor Raderstorf said, “That’s what we have discussed, you know if that (part of the drain) is wrong, is it all wrong?” Board Member Ferguson said, “The whole thing might have been put in wrong.” Surveyor Raderstorf said, “Well, we don’t know that.”

Chairman Schmierer asked how would we check it. Engineer Frauhiger stated there are places we can get into the tile to take a shot on the grade. Surveyor Raderstorf said, “We are hoping it is between here and the first structure.” Attorney Loy asked how long of a stretch of tile that is. Trent Pherson said fifteen hundred feet. Surveyor Raderstorf agreed. He said, “We checked 550 feet or so, so we haven’t checked all the way.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Well, we need to check it all the way don’t we?” Trent Pherson said the whole system needs to be checked. Chairman Schmierer said, “I would say if a third of it is bad, why wouldn’t you check it all.”

Attorney Loy said, “Then my suggestion is, if Rick would get a hold of Mr. Ezra and arrange for a meeting between Rick, Todd, myself and maybe one Commissioner.”

Chairman Schmierer said, “Ok, then let’s get it done.”

Trent Pherson asked, “What were you saying, that Ezra would need to be allowed, given the opportunity to fix it himself?” Attorney Loy answered, “Absolutely.”

Trent Pherson said, “Ok, what reassurance do we have, he screwed it up the first time, what reassurance do we have that he won’t screw it up again?” Attorney Loy stated, “I’m not the engineer but he got the contract, if there’s a defect in his installation, he’s going to have to be given the opportunity to repair it, make it right.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated, “As I told everyone when they were out there last Thursday, we didn't have construction observation on this. Had someone from Samuel L. Moore and Associates been on the site, they would’ve been checking grade all the way through the project. Even if we had periodic observation on this, every time we had an inspector on site we would have been checking grades to make sure he was on grade.” Chairman Schmierer said he didn’t believe we had ever had an inspector on any job in the County. Engineer Frauhiger said, “In this particular case, the only way you can say it is going to be on grade the second time, without anyone out there checking it, is just to say it is on grade.”

Trent Pherson asked, “Can Ezra be forced to pay someone to check the grade behind him?” Chairman Schmierer said, “I wouldn’t know why he couldn’t, can he be?” Attorney Loy said, “That’s one of the things we will talk about when we get together, but at the outset, had inspection been made a part of the contract, obviously that would have increased the cost, which this Board will need to consider some other time. What would inspection cost have been on that?” Engineer Frauhiger thought this job could have had a periodic inspector on site once or twice a week for five weeks for $1,000.00 to $1,500.00.

Jack Pherson quoted minutes from the January 17, 2000 Drainage Board meeting, “Charles Leaman asked a question…Is it possible to get off grade and not run the right direction? Then he doesn’t want to spend a dime on it. And Attorney Loy answered, obviously they’re obligated to do it according to our specifications and our surveyor and engineer provide inspection service to make sure they’re not trying to run it uphill.” Jack Pherson said, “I understand he probably has the right to come in there and attempt to repair it, but some of the people that have invested in this would rather see somebody else more qualified come back in and repair it at Ezra’s expense, because they’re not feeling comfortable with his work.”

Board Member Heimlich said he didn’t think you could legally have someone else repair it and then charge him. Attorney Loy said, “Only if the Board wants that, only if it is agreeable with Mr. Ezra. He has to be given the opportunity to correct the defect. It shouldn’t be that difficult. You tell me what’s required and what he’s going to have to do.”

Engineer Frauhiger said, “He’s going to have to put another tile in beside it. He will just have to lay one to grade right beside the existing tile, so actually what the watershed is going to get is two tiles. Even though one is laid flat, it is still draining water. They’ll get the benefit of two tiles. That’s the only thing he can do.”

Board Member Ferguson stated, “It shouldn’t cost any more.” Chairman Schmierer said, “We’re not going to pay for it. He is going to put it in at his expense; he’s the one that made the mistake.” Board Member Ferguson stated, “He furnishes the tile and everything then.” Chairman Schmierer said, “I think we need to get him in here. If it is only going to cost $1,000 I think we should go ahead and hire Todd to go out there and make sure it is laid right to start with. What do you think guys? I think we need to get it laid right and get it done right.” Board Member Ferguson said, “We can’t do it until the crops are out now can we or not?” Jack Pherson said, “There’s going to be a lot of dirt that will be moved in that first fifteen hundred feet but I am willing to sacrifice whatever crop I have to, to get information that we need so when Fall comes we can get it in there.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated he thought that Samuel L. Moore and Associates should send their surveyor, Ron Nolan, out with Rick and they should take shots every place that’s open so we can see if it is flat or laid to grade and what all needs to be changed.”

Trent Pherson asked, “Who is going to notify the other landowners?” Board Member Heimlich stated, “Before we notify anybody we need to find out exactly what we’ve got.” Chairman Schmierer directed Surveyor Raderstorf to get a registered letter out to Ezra yet this week to notify him of the problems. Attorney Loy agreed. Chairman Schmierer said also to get the surveyor up here to check the rest of it. Chairman Schmierer said that we should try to get Ezra to pay for the inspections. Attorney Loy said we will make every effort. Jack Pherson said, “If he didn’t pay for the inspections it would be added to the maintenance costs wouldn’t it?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “Right.”

Chairman Schmierer directed Surveyor Raderstorf to notify Ezra and set up a meeting with him. Attorney Loy said to call Ezra the same day you send the letter.

Surveyor Raderstorf called Allen Cotner who approached the Board with a proposal to close a branch ditch to square up a field belonging to his son Kevin Cotner. He said they plan to clean the Sipple Branch and close the Burget Branch 1 of 2. He said the branches are so close they overdrain.

Allen Cotner presented a labeled map showing the proposal and explained the map to the Board. See tape. It involves the Sipple Branch and the Burget Branch 1 of 2 of the Carter Hines Drainage System. Mr. Cotner said the work would be done at their expense and they wouldn’t do it until after harvest. Chairman Schmierer asked if the change would affect anybody else. Surveyor Raderstorf said it could. Mr. Cotner said there are no tiles going into the ditch they want to close. Attorney Loy stated that it would be a Reconstruction project. Chairman Schmierer said it would have to be advertised to all landowners and that Mr. Cotner would have to petition for a reconstruction. Board Member Heimlich said it is a County ditch and there would still have to be a hearing even though Cotner's plan to pay for the project.

Attorney Loy said Mr. Cotner should bring a preliminary engineering plan and the petition in at the same time. Mr. Cotner asked how many signatures do you have to have on a petition. Board Member Heimlich said, “You could be the only one.” Attorney Loy said, “For your own benefit you should contact as many of the other landowners as possible and tell them what you plan to do.”

Engineer Frauhiger stated that if Cotner’s are paying for the project, in this case the engineering would not be paid for by the watershed. Board Member Ferguson said, “He is taking the drain off of the Carter Hines and taking it over to the Sipple. Board Member Heimlich said since they would be diverting water into the Sipple Branch, those landowners would also have to be notified.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported receiving a letter from Williams Communications requesting release of their bond. Chairman Schmierer stated the bond was for five years and they have work they need to come back and fix anyway. Attorney Loy will check their contract and bond.

Surveyor Raderstorf stated that Landowner John Nichols was present to request permission to build in the Deer Run Subdivision before the drainage is completed. Surveyor Jim Milligan and John Nichols, owner of Deer Run Subdivision also proposed a change in the drainage plans as designed by Paul Couts and approved by the Drainage Board. Jim Milligan stated, “We think it is over-designed.” He explained there is only a three foot outlet at County Road 300 E.

Engineer Frauhiger stated that they are Paul Couts’ calculations that were stamped by him and approved by the Drainage Board, and if there are any questions or changes they have to be made by Paul Couts. He said Paul Couts would have to contact Engineer Frauhiger or the Drainage Board with any changes with Paul Couts’ stamp on it. Engineer Frauhiger said he can’t change the drainage plans, Paul Couts’ stamp is registered.

Surveyor Milligan said that they had another concern. He said, “This is a big pond with an open ditch, basically going through it. How do you get in there for any maintenance work on that ditch?” Engineer Frauhiger said, “The reason that open ditch was important is because the subsurface drain comes up and ties into that ditch.”

Engineer Frauhiger explained that this was the subdivision that was done and completed prior to any drainage being submitted on it. He said, “There is stuff already in the ground, there’s subsurface drainage that has already been put in, there’s ditches that have already been constructed. They came back after the fact, C & S Engineering was hired, the plans were submitted and by Paul Couts’ own words to me, to try to make what was already constructed and what he felt needed to be done; mesh together as well as he could do it. So that’s where he is, but, the reason that ditch is going through there is just subsurface drain.”

John Nichols stated he has talked to Paul Couts about his concerns of having 20,000 yards of dirt to move with this drainage design and it economically won’t work, plus not wanting mounds of dirt along the edges of the subdivision. John Nichols stated he is also losing four lots due to the size of the detention ponds. He is willing to spend money but he feels it is over designed for what they have.

Chairman Schmierer stated that Engineer Frauhiger should sit down with Landowner John Nichols and Engineer Paul Couts and see if there is any other way it can be done. He said Jim Milligan should be in on the meeting, too. Jim Milligan stated that he would like to.

John James stated that he thought they could put houses in when the drainage was approved. Surveyor Raderstorf explained that there would be no occupancy permit issued until the drainage is put in. Chairman Schmierer explained that we are trying to make sure the drainage is properly put in.

Engineer Frauhiger stated that they might possibly enlarge the restrictor pipe and make the detention pond smaller. Surveyor Milligan said that in a way you want this one undersized to hold the water back.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that the Sewer District needs a variance to build a facility on our right-of-way of the Snow Ditch in Union Township, White County, Indiana. Attorney Loy stated he would need a copy of their deed and a survey of where the building is going to go, a drawing of the proposed project. Surveyor Raderstorf stated he believes they need a variance of 30 feet. Surveyor Raderstorf will report what is needed to Art Anderson of the Sewer District Board.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that he has received a letter from DNR concerning an outline of spot planting fifty trees of designated variety in areas where nothing is growing back on the McKillip Ditch in Monon Township at the south end of Monon. Surveyor Raderstorf will follow up on the order from DNR.

Surveyor Raderstorf reported that he has been in contact with Lex Dalton of Dalton’s Inc., the spraying company contracted to spray ditches, since Mark and Cathy Kelly reported the death of a seventeen year old pony after the spray crew went down the Snow Ditch. Lex Dalton reported to Surveyor Raderstorf that the Poison Control he contacted stated that even if the pony put his head in a bucket and drank the chemical they used, it shouldn’t have killed it.

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

Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.