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March 4, 2002 Tape #005

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 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 Charles Mellon, Mike Ezra, Dave Jordan, Richard Welker, Kevin J. Ruemler, David Downey, Mr. Bissonnette, Mr. Bahler and Elmer Bahler.


Chairman Schmierer opened the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the N. A. Plummer Tile Drain in West Point Township, White County, Indiana.


Chairman Schmierer explained that the current maintenance assessment on the N. A. Plummer Tile Drain is thirty-five cents an acre, there are ten landowners, 18 parcels and 647 benefited acres. We are proposing to raise the maintenance rate to $3.00 an acre. Chairman Schmierer explained the reason for raising the maintenance rate is that approximately two hundred foot of tile and two pipes through the headwall that we are going to have to replace. He said that Soil and Water Conservation is footing the bill for 90 percent of the a thirty thousand dollar project to redo the waterways that are washed out on top of the tiles and the County agreed to pick up the ten percent and that will include replacing the tile. Chairman Schmierer said he thinks that replacing the tile along will be close to the County’s match.


Mr. Bahler asked if he understood right that this might not be a continuous assessment. Chairman Schmierer answered, “No, what happens is, any maintenance we draw off of a drain, and this one is going to draw in about $1,900.00 a year, when that maintenance money exceed four times what we spend a year on it, then we don’t draw on it. In fact one of the Margaret Price drains hasn’t been drawn on for quite some time. This one here, after we repair it and everything, after we get it paid back, I would say that will be two and a half or three years at the most, then you won’t be paying on it.”


Landowner Leon Waibel asked if the waterways would be grassed down. Chairman Schmierer answered yes. He explained that the one that is torn up has been farmed over down to the tile and the tile won’t hold the machinery. He said that Conservationist Tom Wagner plans to move the waterway to the right of the tile if possible to get it off of the top of the tile. It will be seeded and grassed and they will be in a program where they get paid for those acres that are grassed in.


Chairman Schmierer stated that it has to be repaired, it is worse now than it was a year ago. He stated that Tom Wagner with Soil and Water Conservation is the engineer heading up the project. He explained to Elmer Bahler that there is a Federal Grant for thirty thousand dollars to do this job and the County’s share is to match ten percent of fit. The County doesn’t have money; it all comes from landowners’ maintenance money for the drain. So the landowners will pay ten percent of the thirty thousand dollars. The cost of the project will be divided by the three drains, N. A. Plummer, Margaret Price and Margaret Price #1 Drains that come in there at Honey Creek.


Leon Waibel asked if they would be replacing the headwall. Chairman Schmierer said he hoped not. The cost of doing what could be an extra thirty thousand dollars. He said that one contractor thought they might be able to put a steel plate over a creek in it. The crack is not in a vital place.


White County Drainage Board having heard and considered all the evidence and objections submitted in these proceedings, the Chairman would now consider a motion finding that the current estimate of maintaining the N. A. Plummer Drain is insufficient and therefore the annual assessment for periodic maintenance of said drain should be increased to $3.00 an acre as proposed in these proceedings. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. By a vote of 3 to 0 the White County Drainage Board hereby adopts the schedule of modified assessments originally filed, raising the maintenance rate of the N. A. Plummer Tile Drain to $3.00 an acre. The White County Drainage Board issues written findings and orders declaring the proposed maintenance modification schedule in these proceedings established, a copy of which was mailed to all owners affected.


Mike Lehe or Dave Hall, Honey Creek Board Members, did not appear for briefing on the Plummer Tile Drain, Margaret Price, Margaret Price #1 and Honey Creek Drains project. A meeting was held earlier in the week discussing the project.


Landowner Richard Welker was recognized and asked what the finds were after Chairman Schmierer and Surveyor Sterrett went out to the Opal Carmichael Drain site. Mr. Welker and Dave Downey were present to make their wishes known on maintenance needed through their properties on the drain.


Chairman Schmierer told Richard Welker he did not disagree with what he thinks needs done there, but a hearing was held and the project got tabled because there were several landowners present and the only one in favor of the project was Dave Downey. Chairman Schmierer stated, “Denny and I were out there two weeks ago and it needs work down there and if we did some work through Downey I don’t see how that will be enough.” He asked Attorney Loy is that hearing that was tabled can be reopened. Attorney Loy answered, “Sure, anything you want to do.”


Chairman Schmierer said that Welker and Downey have problems with Boyd Evernham said it wasn’t going to help him, but when you go down through there it’s a mess. Attorney Loy said he didn’t know if Engineer Frauhiger thought the plan should be revised, upsized or downsized. Chairman Schmierer stated that it was a maintenance project plan; we weren’t going to reconstruct it. He said that we were going to raise the maintenance rates on it to do the project that is why we had landowners in here on it.


Chairman Schmierer said, “We will reschedule the Hearing and bring everybody back together again. We will reschedule and send you a letter when we reschedule it. I will get with Denny and seen when we can get it back on the agenda.” Dave Downey said, “That suits me.”


Attorney Loy asked if they were talking about a landowners meeting or actually rescheduling the Hearing. Chairman Schmierer answered, “Rescheduling the Hearing.” Attorney Loy answered, “Ok, under the existing plan.” Chairman Schmierer said, Right.” Surveyor Sterrett asked, “What was the plan?” Chairman Schmierer answered, “To clean it out, to go from Welker’s and down through Downey’s and clear on down to SR 16.” Mike Ezra stated that he doesn’t know why Boyd Evernham says he doesn’t need the work done because Boyd Evernham’s tile is underwater. He said he is the one that put it in. Charlie Mellon he (Evernahm) has a lot of brush in that ditch, too. Chairman Schmierer agreed that it is full of brush.


Chairman Schmierer said we will try to set the Hearing for the second meeting in April. The estimate for the project that was tabled was around $45,000.00 and we were going to raise the maintenance on it because it is only on $1.00 an acre and there is only approximately $600.00 in the maintenance fund currently. Mike Ezra felt that was a high estimate. He felt that was a reason the landowners didn’t want to do the project. Chairman Schmierer said that was just a guesstimate. Secretary Kiser stated that it was a Maintenance Modification Hearing that was tabled.


Surveyor Sterrett asked the Board to set a completion date for the Reconstruction of the J. L. Ackerman Drain project. The Board discussed a stipulation that no crops be disturbed. Mike Ezra asked about the County right-of-way. Chairman Schmierer stated that the County has 75 feet from the top of each bank. The Board was in agreement to give the contractor a year from the date of the bid letting to complete the project. Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The Farmers Elevator requested a variance to construct a bin inside the 75 foot right-of-way of the John Unroe Drain on Scott Street in Wolcott, Indiana. He explained that they want to construct a bin in line with the other bins that are in place. We have all the area we need on the south side for maintenance on the drain. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to grant a variance of (down to) thirty-five feet on the John Unroe Drain. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that his office has mailed a petition and a list of landowners to Milt Cole who wants the Renwick Drain cleaned.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Ned Fulkerson called with concerns on the Lewis and Thrasher Tile north of Seafield. Chairman Schmierer stated that it is plugged and it goes through woods and you are probably going to have to go over there and look at it. Secretary Kiser stated the former Surveyor Raderstorf said he did not get DeVault back out there to do more digging to try to locate the problem. Chairman Schmierer stated we will get together and try to get something done about it. He recalled that landowner Jackson wants them to go around the woods. Charlie Mellon reported that it is a great big tile and that Ned Fulkerson has farmed through a waterway on the west side that should be grassed. He said that the County put a nice new catch basin in there and took out the old cement one when the fiber optic cable went through there. He said that the dirt from that field has filled that tile up and Ned Fulkerson farms that farm. Charlie Mellon stated that Hendress has fifteen to twenty acres back there that is flooded on account of that.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Dave Scott, employee of the Town of Monon, informed him the Town of Monon is having problems with water standing near the new Water Plant they built. Surveyor Sterrett stated the J. Brown Tile that goes south from there is not on maintenance but is a regulated drain. He said he found in some minutes that it was evidently broke down when they built the school and supposedly they built a drain around the school. This information was passed on to Dave Scott and he is going to check into it more. Board Member Heimlich asked if he meant the new school. Surveyor Sterrett answered yes. Board Member Heimlich stated the whole things got rerouted; the old Brown tile went right under the school by the gymnasium. Surveyor Sterrett said this is a branch of it. He said this is a problem north of the new school.


Chairman Schmierer asked for a motion stating that the County commits to paying ten percent of the Soil and Water Conservation thirty thousand dollar project on the N. A. Plummer, Margaret Price, and Margaret Price #1 Tiles at the head of Honey Creek.


Dave Jordan approached the Board asking for direction on what the Board would like them to do on Sixth Street where they are subdividing the fifty-five acres south of the Brandywine complex and selling parcels off. He stated, “The problem is, we come in with a subdivision drainage plan and we don’t know how this is going to develop. If we get something that wants to come to town and move in there and they want to get moving, I see a problem of it taking a hundred and twenty days to do a subdivision of one acres or two acres, holding that up. As it develops, I see it being a little different because we don’t know what is going to go on for sure. Right now I have one acre that could happen, I have two one acres that could happen, I have one two acres and I have one seven acres. To me, we could do like the master plan and say here’s the fifty five acre subdivision, and we get that through the first thirty or sixty days, and at this point we come in and we start finalizing segments of Phase One, Phase Two, Phase Three to get this to go. I understand that you like to have a complete plan on how the drainage is all going to work, and with selling it they have to do their own retention and whatever they’re doing to do, this is done in parking lots, underneath parking lots, but the big thing that I see we need to do is to provide some kind of an outlet for them so we don’t get where there is problems with doing this. The way it is right now, before I get a subdivision we have to have an approved drainage plan and since we’re not going to take all of this at once, we’re going to have fifty subdivision plans, we’re going to take each one and go through this every time and I just think it’s a tremendous waste of time. If we try to encompass something at one time and say ok let’s see drainage provided for the twenty-five acres and say where’s the outlet going to be? How are people going to into this as they develop?...and this is very easily done.” (Conversation about streets and roads that doesn’t apply to Drainage Board…see tape.) I guess what I am looking for is some direction on…do we need variance on the way we do this, because that’s probably what it would be…a variance from normal procedure. People that would buy certainly would understand that they cannot build until they get through a drainage program for the parcel that they bought. I don’t think this is a problem but how do I do something for somebody that I don’t even know what they are going to build or what they’re going to buy yet? This is the dilemma and if you go through it and you say well, let’s get some smaller lots here and some bigger lots there then somebody comes along and says well we don’t want this, we want to be up here, we want a bigger lot up there. You go back to it, you’re re-doing it, and that’s the problem.”


Engineer Frauhiger explained, “You’re exactly right, with fifty-five acres you don’t know how it is going to develop. They way it is normally done is a master drainage plan is produced, but the point of that master drainage plan is not to say we’re going to build a detention pond here and there is going to be X number of acres. You can make the determination now as to whether you are going to sell it as commercial or industrial. More than likely it will be both. You can make assumptions right now, let’s say you are going to sell it at fifty percent of the land is going to be commercial and fifty percent is going to end up industrial. You can do the calculations and come up with the amount of storage that is required to meet the Ordinance for the entire fifty-five acres and then you divide that amount of storage down per acre. So, you tell a buyer that comes in if he buys two acres, he’s going to be responsible for on his two acre site to meet this much detention storage requirement, whether he does it in his parking lot, under his parking lot, however he does it on his site. He knows coming in, when he gets ready to buy the property, how much he is going to be responsible for. Calculations are done once then, they are approved, and there is basically per acre drainage requirement that the purchaser has to meet. Their drainage submittal is basically going to say here’s what we have to meet, here’s how we’re going to do it, here’s what your control structure is going to look like to make sure that we meet that detention storage. That’s how it is normally done. It is impossible for Dave right now to say here’s fifty-five acres and I am going to put a detention pond back here in the corner, not knowing how it is going to develop and who is going to buy what. It is possible to calculate how much storage would be needed and divide that out by the total number of acres in the property and tell each person as they buy it here’s what you’re responsible for.” Attorney Loy stated that is not a very long process. Engineer Frauhiger agreed.


Dave Jordan said the real key issue is not to land lock somebody, they have to have a tile they can get to and that is what he thinks they should have. He said they are fortunate that the Buss Drain is right there beside them. Engineer Frauhiger said they will have to figure out their master plan, like you said, once central tile calculated for the ten year pre-developed flow for that fifty-five acres and everybody has an outlet to get into to get to the Buss Ditch. You don’t’ want one property owner to have to get easements from five other property owners to get to the ditch. Dave Jordan asked if he would get with Engineer Paul Couts and tell him what they need to present. Engineer Frauhiger agreed to do that. Dave Jordan said that way they won’t be running up every couple of weeks or every month to get another subdivision going.


Chairman Schmierer explained to latecomer Alfred Bissonnette that the maintenance rates on the N. A. Plummer Drain were raised to $3.00 an acre so that the County can contribute to the tile repair to be done and the waterway constructed at Honey Creek on the Soil and Water Conservation’s waterway project. Mr. Bissonnette asked if they were sure of the tile size. Chairman Schmierer said that Tom Wagner measured it as a twenty-four inch tile. He explained that our part of the project should be approximately $3,000.00.


Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 19, 2002 minutes. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.