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January 21, 2002 Tape #002

The White County Drainage Board convened at 10:45 A. M. in the Commissioners’ Room of the White County Building, Monticello, Indiana with Board Members O. D. “Bud” Ferguson and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer Todd Frauhiger, and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.


Others attending were David Downey, Robert Thomas, Chad Reynolds, Kevin Emond, Jack Pherson, Trent Pherson and Charles Mellon.


Chairman Schmierer recognized Dave Downey who was present to discuss maintenance on the Opal Carmichael Drain is Cass and Liberty Townships. Chairman Schmierer explained that when a Hearing was held and the proposed maintenance project discussed, Dave Downey was the only landowner present that was for it and previously they had been for it. He asked Dave Downey what he proposed to do, did he want to repetition it. Dave Downey said that previously they had indicated they could take ditch maintenance money and dig out the ditch up through his property. He said that would please him. Chairman Schmierer stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett would come out to the location and look the situation over. Chairman Schmierer asked for Dave Downey’s location and phone #278-7745.


Dave Downey stated that the Opal Carmichael Drain is the only ditch the landfill drains into. He stated that he feels they should pay more maintenance than anyone else. Chairman Schmierer asked if they were damaging the ditch. Dave Downey answered no. Chairman Schmierer said they are probably doing a favor by keeping water flowing through it. Dave Downey stated that they are at the end of the ditch.


Chairman Schmierer stated that they would go take a look at the ditch and then see how much is in maintenance and decide what they can do with it. He said, “If I understand it just needs through an area of muck.” Dave Downey said there are areas where the ditch isn’t even three foot deep.


Chad Reynolds, representing the Town of Wolcott, introduced contractor Kevin Emond who addressed the Board concerning a blockage in the Pugh Drain on the north side of Wolcott at the Dwyer Instrument property. He stated that over on the Dwyer property there is a blockage and it is standing clear full right now. He said in front of Dwyer’s it is going down the road ditch at the corner of County Roads 900 West and 100 North. Kevin Emond said that by the looks of things, there’s a nice big willow tree on Dwyer’s property that may be right on top of the tile. He said there is no suck hole but something has it plugged tight.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that there was a Consent to Encroach on the County Drain right-of-way granted for the Dwyer property in 1986. Board Member Heimlich said that is when Dwyer built. Chairman Schmierer said he is sure they are not built over the drain. Kevin Emond said their parking lot is and they planted a willow tree there. Attorney Loy asked to see the Consent to Encroach document. Kevin Emond said there is a catch basin at the highway. Water is boiling out there and then runs along the road ditch and then gets back in the tile somewhere.


Chairman Schmierer stated they will look into it to see what the problem is. He said we may have to contact TC’s, the company with the machine that can cut roots out. Kevin Emond stated that the tile was 14” to 15” clay tile.


Engineer Frauhiger presented a rough draft drawing of the plans for the chaser tile to be installed to correct the drainage problem created by an area of tile being laid flat on the Christian Brechbiel Tile Drain reconstruction project done by Mike Ezra/County Line Tiling. He said he has not gone over it with contractor Ezra yet.


Engineer Frauhiger stated they have calculated slopes up to the structure. He showed where the structure is to be put in where the two twelve inch tiles come in to the new 15” tile. He stated that they know from the bend on to the creek that at least a 200 foot section of the 15” tile is flat. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “What we have done now, we came back to that bend and we slope calculated at .14 all the way up. We know it gets flat some place in this area (shown on map) and we know it is flat around 200 feet so we made sure we got around the flat area. We are proposing to put a structure in about 368 feet from the outlet to the creek, we’ll run a 10” tile along the existing 15” tile that was put in and ran it at .4 percent all the way to the outlet. What’s going to happen since we are running it at the steeper slope, it will be coming in to the structure that we are going to put in at about .42 feet higher than the existing 15” tile is, so roughly 5 or 6 inches. So the first 5 or 6 inches of water in the system is going to continue to utilize the existing 15” tile, and as soon as the water gets deeper than 5 of 6 inches it will also start using the 10” chaser tile. The reason we did that is we want to keep as much water as we could in the 15” tile and keep it scoured as much, as clean as we could.” Jack Pherson indicated agreement.


Trent Pherson stated he was counting 450 feet of tile laid flat and Engineer Frauhiger was only showing 368 feet. Engineer Frauhiger explained the difference was where the tile was planned to go in and where it actually went in, but he stated he would make sure they are along the end of the flat area before they give the plan to Mike Ezra. Trent Pherson indicated he understood. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “That’s the concept. We will come in higher than the 15” tile with the 10” chaser tile and make sure we are past the last flat field shot and we’ll chase it with a 10” tile. Once we confirm the 368 feet I will get with Mike Ezra and tell him this is what we’re looking at.”


Jack Pherson said, “Ok, and there will be supervision when he is doing this, right?”


Engineer Frauhiger answered, “I assume, yes, someone will be out taking shots.” Trent Pherson asked, “Somebody will actually take shots of the tile every x amount of feet prior to him covering it up.” Engineer Frauhiger said, “Well, I know what we can do for sure. We can easily take a shot here (shown on map) and easily take a shot here (point shown on map).” Trent Pherson answered, “Right, but I’m concerned about the stuff in the middle.” Chairman Schmierer asked how hard it would be to take a shot while he is trenching it in. Engineer Frauhiger said if he stopped the trencher they could probably get down and get a shot. Chairman Schmierer said to have him stop the trencher and get a shot. Surveyor Sterrett agreed to go out and get a shot or two during the trenching.


Chairman Schmierer reported that he and Surveyor Sterrett inspected the project that I underway with Soil and Water Conservationist Tom Wagner at the joining of the Plummer, Margaret Price and Margaret Price Br #1 tiles into Wolf/Honey Creek Ditch. He stated he since then has talked to Dave Hall one of the Board Member on the Wolf/Honey Creek Ditch Board. He said 24 inch tiles going into the headwall are broke and going to have to be replaced and waterways re-established. Through discussion and research during the meeting it was determine that the N. A. Plummer, the Margaret Price and the Margaret Price Br #1 tile drains that are involved in the project are all in West Point Township, are all under White County jurisdiction and are all on maintenance at a rate of only 35 cents an acre. Surveyor Sterrett stated the Plummer tile has $894.00 in the maintenance fund, the Margaret Price tile has $3,434.00 and the Margaret Price Br #1tile has $635.00 in maintenance. Attorney Loy recommended doing a Maintenance Modification on the tiles and find out from Soil and Water Conservation how much money they have available. Chairman Schmierer said it is his understanding that the money is available. Engineer Frauhiger said that most of those projects are 90% to 10%. Chairman Schmierer said that Soil and Water Conservation is going to come up with the plans and engineer it.


Chairman Schmierer further explained that the money for the project is coming through Tom Wagner and Soil and Water Conservation and the project involves fixing the tile and moving the waterways to get them off of over top of the tiles. The waterways are over the top of the tiles and they have all washed down. The surface water has washed down and exposed the tile and someone drove a combine or tractor across it last year and broke two or three tiles.


Chairman Schmierer reported that on the Parks-May Drain waterway (may be the Truman Fields and W. O. Moore drains); the Helen Higgins farm has water standing. He said, “The waterway is controlled and Soil and Water Conservation is willing to do some work on it, he has the money available to do some work on it. It has to go down on the English farm to get the levels to be able to drain it. Does someone have to petition it before we can do anything with it or not?” Attorney Loy stated it doesn’t have to be petitioned, the Drainage Board can initiate it, reconstruction or maintenance. Chairman Schmierer said the waterway is going to have to be reshaped some because it has been farmed so much. He said he hasn’t talked to Don English, but he went out there with Don Federer who farms the Higgins farm. Attorney Loy stated that he represents the Higgins Farm and if they need to get on it there should not be any trouble.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that John D. Coble called in again and says water is still standing on the project site where Howe Excavating put in a headwall, fixed the tile and hauled dirt in to cover it. Chairman Schmierer said 5 tiles come in there and it is washed out, all the dirt was down across the road. No Coble has ponds. Chairman Schmierer and Surveyor Raderstorf suggested Mr. Coble put a tile in to go to it. It was decided that they would go out and look at it again although the exposed tile has been covered and the work is done.


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Jack Steele, Benton County Surveyor called, and evidently we have cleaned the Mason-Eastburn Drain east of the Interstate and he wants to clean it west of the Interstate in White County on his project. The Board instructed Surveyor Sterrett to ask Surveyor Sterrett to set up a Joint Board on it.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Kenny Altman had a big problem with beaver dams on the Dorsey Drain in West Point Township. They had seven beaver dams removed and the ditch needs dipped out in that area. Surveyor Sterrett is going out to look at the situation. Chairman Schmierer said to bring information back to the next Board meeting.


Surveyor Sterrett stated he received a call from Tillett Engineering concerning them wanting to change the route of the Hendress Tile Lateral, taking it around their buildings. The E. H. Johnson Drain pays maintenance on the Hendress Lateral. Surveyor Sterrett will go to the site and meet with someone from Tillett Engineering. The Board said to have them draw a map and have someone from Tillett get on the agenda and come to a Board meeting.


Attorney Loy stated the on the Pugh Drain, Dwyer’s Consent to Encroach is real specific. They are responsible for costs if they have put something on there; they are responsible for the costs we incur, for reconstructing it or cleaning it. He said we should keep track of our costs and we should send them a letter up front telling them there is a potential problem and remind them of their financial responsibility. Chairman Schmierer instructed Secretary Kiser to send Dwyer a letter immediately. Surveyor Sterrett and a Drainage Board member are going to go look at the site.


Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2002 meeting. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Charles Mellon asked when the rule got changed on the landowners down on the outlet not being assessed as much as the ones on the upper end of the ditch. Chairman Schmierer answered that assessments have been flat rated since he has been on the Drainage Board. Board Member Heimlich said it was not an official change because every project you set an assessment for. He said you can make it a flat rate or you can make it adjustable. Attorney Loy stated that this Board in recent years has pretty much determined from project to project that everyone gets roughly an equal benefit.


Board Member Heimlich reported that Roger Wiese wants to replace a private farm crossing. He stated that Mr. Wiese understands that it is at his expense for the new bridge, which is probably going to be one or two culverts, and must be approved by the White County Surveyor’s Office. Chairman Schmierer stated that Engineer Don Ward went and sized the ones down on State Road 18 on Ray Brummett’s place and the owner, Gorski Farms paid all the engineering fees. Board Member Heimlich asked about taking out the old bridge. It was agreed that the landowner is responsible for that also.


After discussion of a previous crossing situation it was decided that an engineer should be contacted to size the pipe. Engineer Frauhiger stated that the Ordinance says it has to be sized and reviewed. Board Member Heimlich said he will talk to Roger Wiese and explain what has to be done. Attorney Loy stated that whatever he does has to be approved by the Drainage Board.


Board Member Heimlich reported that he and Surveyor Sterrett went and looked at the Kelyla Branch of the Esther Fraser Drain in Reynolds and south of Highway 24 past Country Crossroads around to Highway 43 and on the east side of Highway 43 through Excel Co-op, at the request of a landowner (Arnie Dahlenburg). He stated that one of the landowners (Isom) has talked about cleaning it out himself and getting others to kick in on it, but he thinks when Isom finds out that half of the Town of Reynolds is in that watershed he will change his mind. Board Member Heimlich said, “There’s a couple of items here, one is that Co-op (Excel), if you remember, we had been down there a year or so ago, was talking about filling in the open ditch on their property with a tile. They are still interested in that, I talked to them the other day as to whether it should be done as a part of a bigger project or not, actually I think it just needs to be separate. The question I had is what do they need to do? It is going to have to be petitioned.” Attorney Loy said, “To convert from an open drain to a tile drain.” Board Member Heimlich asked who do they have to petition? Attorney Loy answered, “Us. They have to ask permission to do it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Alright, then who gets notified on that? It actually doesn’t affect anybody downstream. The people that would be affected would be the people that drain in to it there or upstream east. I assume those are the people they would have to get the approval from.” Attorney Loy answered, “At least, I think technically the Statute…I’ll have to review it.” Board Member Heimlich said, “They understand that the cost would be theirs because they’re the only people benefiting from it. They want to be able to drive over it; they have land on the north side of it that is basically useless.” Attorney Loy asked how many more landowners are downstream from them. Board Member Heimlich said there is basically one; there might be a second one that drains maybe five acres.


Engineer Frauhiger remembered that the reason Excel Co-op backed off doing the project previously was, at the downstream end there were several tiles that came in to the Kelyla Drain right before it leaves their property. If they closed it they would have to come up with some sort of large structure to connect all those tiles into.


Attorney Loy stated, “Technically you are supposed to at least notify al the people in the watershed, give them notice of the Hearing.”


Board Member Heimlich said, “Well, that is probably going to be coming (to the Board) and then the other thing, when Denny (Surveyor Sterrett) and I went and looked at the Kelyla Ditch, we didn’t know what we going on there where it crosses the Highway 24. There’s a concrete box culvert underneath it that you could see from the south side but you can’t see daylight, it doesn’t go clear through. There’s water on the north side, if you remember, part of that has been filled in at one time through Wiese’s Trailer Court. At one time it was an open ditch and now there is tile or culverts or something under there. On the north end of that you can see water coming out, but on the south end there’s nothing showing. Whether it is filled in the whole width of the culvert, I don’t know.”


Surveyor Sterrett stated, “There may be tiles coming in to some kind of a culvert on the north side that’s buried.” Board Member Heimlich said that Bill Jesse, employee of Town of Reynolds, told him that if you crawl in that box culvert, he says when you get on the other side of the highway there is a big cellar and there is some tile coming in to that and he has always thought it is dangerous having that open the way it is. Engineer Frauhiger asked if that is in the Highway 24 right-of-way. Board Member Heimlich said, “That is why I brought it up, we are going to have to do some more looking into it, there is a sink hole right on the State right-of-way on the north side of Highway 24 right now, and whether it is connected to all of this, I don’t know. Bill Jesse said that there is a metal pipe below that concrete culvert and it could be that is rusted out. It could be a pretty good project right there at Highway 24.” Engineer Frauhiger stated, “As part of a reconstruction, which I think we will get in to with filling that ditch in, the State would be responsible.” Board Member Heimlich stated that if that ditch is filled in so much that the culvert is buried, it needs dipped out there. He said we will have to look at it more, but there are probably going to be some petitions coming on that.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.