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March 18, 2002 Tape #006

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.


Also attending were Kevin Cox, Steve Rosentreter, Trent Pherson, Mike Melton of Material Services, Jack Pherson, Darrel Erb, Mike Ezra, Diane Blackwell, Money Moss, Paul Buschman. (Also see attached list for unidentifiable signatures)


Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting with the opening of sealed bids for the reconstruction of the J. K. Ackerman Drain Branch 6, Branch 2 of 6, Branch 3 of 6, Branch 4 of 6, Branch 5 of 6, Branch 2 of 5 of 6, Branch 1 of 5 of 6 in Cass Township, White County, Indiana. Attorney Loy opened seven sealed bids as follows: Segal’s Delta Trucking $35,503.00, Gutwein Bulldozing & Excavating (Jerry Gutwein) #36,590.00, County Line Tiling and Excavating (Mike Ezra) $24,500.00, Howe Excavating (Allen Howe) $40,000.00, Blackman Excavation $61,800.00, Samson Excavating $27,000.00 and Rinehart Excavating $51,740.00. Chairman Schmierer stated the Board would take the bids under advisement while Attorney Loy checks them. Attorney Loy stated that Surveyor Sterrett and Engineer Frauhiger will go over them also.


Steve Rosentreter addressed the Board with issues concerning getting areas on the F. G. Church and the C. M. Mertz and Muck Drains cleaned. Chairman Schmierer stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett have been to the sites and looked at part of the drains, said it looked like part of the F. G. Church Drain has been cleaned in recent years. Steve Rosentreter said that there is an area of muck back in there and they have tried to pull that out several different times. He said back in 1987 they were going to have someone look at it and he hasn’t heard any progress since that time. Chairman Schmierer said there’s a lot of trees and brush down in the water in one area they looked at.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that Herb Whiteman filed a petition for reconstruction in 1999. Chairman Schmierer asked how much money is in the maintenance fund. Surveyor Sterrett reported there is $10,400.00 in the fund. The petition was for four miles of the ditch to be cleaned. Chairman Schmierer stated that not that much of the ditch could be done for the $10,000 maintenance money. Steve Rosentreter said he thought if they went back in and re-inspected the short area between County Roads 800 East and 900 East and could get it to work properly he thinks the rest would work a lot better.


Chairman asked if the C. M. Mertz Drain had been petitioned for reconstruction. It has not. He asked how much maintenance money was in the fund. Surveyor Sterrett answered there is $47,000.00 in it. Chairman Schmierer stated there would be enough money in that fund to do what we needed to do. Chairman Schmierer asked counsel if Surveyor Sterrett could request quotes for the work that needs done as long as it is done on maintenance. Attorney Loy stated yes, that Surveyor Sterrett should get at least three quotes on the projects. Chairman Schmierer asked Steve Rosentreter how big of an area there was on the C. M. Mertz Drain that needed work. Steve Rosentreter responded that it was not as severe as the F. G. Church Drain but longer, maybe a quarter of a mile. Surveyor Sterrett said that was where they had stopped at the bridge and there was brush towards CR 1200 East. Chairman Schmierer said he and Surveyor Sterrett should go back up and look at the sites again and measure what he wants to get quotes on. He said we have some money to work with on both drains so let’s see what we can get done and we will still honor the petition to go clear through, but if we can get part of it done, it will be just that much cheaper to do the reconstruction. Steve Rosentreter indicated agreement.


Monty Moss addressed the Board explaining that in Section 15 in Cass Township Branch #9 of Branch #1 of the J. L. Ackerman Drain runs through his property and goes back on one neighbor, George Malchow’s property.

Monty Moss explained, “We have a center pivot that crosses the ditch and we use that center pivot to pump manure out of two separate lagoons (showed drawing to Board, where center pivot starts about a quarter mile from the road, where sets of buildings are, etc). Because we pump manure through that center pivot, IDEM did give us a permit ten years ago to do that, but what we basically have to do, we have to watch it and when it gets up to the ditch we have to make sure we shut it off and then we pump fresh water through it. The last two inspections we had from IDEM they always bring it up that they’re concerned that we don’t get it shut off in time. We are looking at losing it (open ditch) a quarter mile from the road where the pivot is to…(inaudible)…I talked with Jim Milligan and he doesn’t like running open ditch into a closed ditch because of trash and stuff, but he suggests that we could put in a concrete inlet with a grate on it. Jim looked at it and thought a twenty-four inch smooth wall tile would take care of it. I guess I’m just asking if this is possible.”


Chairman Schmierer asked if there has to be a Hearing with the other landowners. Attorney Loy answered that he would have to have a petition for a Hearing (for reconstruction) and landowners would have to be notified that are in the watershed. Monty Moss said as far as he knows there is just one other landowner. Monty Moss understood that the cost would all be his and he should have it engineered before the Hearing.


Darrell Erb addressed the Board with concerns about maintenance needed on the Milton Martin Ditch in Monon Township. The ditch is not set up on maintenance. He stated that he has encountered problems since the upper part of the ditch was cleaned by Material Services. He said that they are losing the ditch banks, silt is moving in, the flow of water is coming faster. He said it needs to be put on maintenance because it needs reconstruction.


Chairman Schmierer told him he needs to get a petition from the Surveyor’s office for reconstruction signed by himself and other landowners that want it done.


Board Member Heimlich said he and Surveyor Sterrett walked the ditch from County Road 100 East to the railroad tracks. He said the silt was worse by the crossing between the road and the railroad and that only so much water can go through a gate there. Where it goes under the railroad it is down between 1/3 and ½ of the way down on the pipe so it is going to back up. Darrell Erb said they dipped that out when they put the crossing in there. Board Member Heimlich said it looks like from the railroad to the East that it is a natural creek. Darrell Erb said he thinks it needs something done because it is eating the banks out, maybe dip the bottom of it. Board Member Heimlich stated that there is a lot of fall to the McKillip Ditch, if it was straightened out it wouldn’t eat the sides away. Darrell Erb stated that the sewer farm crossing has been in there two years.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that he has not found a watershed for the Martin Drain. He said it was petitioned and made a court drain in 1884 and there are no records found that it was ever set up on maintenance. The whole ditch is approximately a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half long. From Highway 43 to the railroad has already been cleaned.


Chairman Schmierer told Mr. Erb he would have to petition to get the drain cleaned and put on maintenance. He said the Surveyor will establish a watershed for it. Surveyor Sterrett stated that there is a legal description for it.


Darrell Erb reported another water problem. He said the runoff from the new crusher (Material Services) is causing an abundance of water in some areas that they can’t seem to regulate. He said it not only stands along the road but also pockets in low areas back on that farm along the tracks. He said that Material Services built embankments along the road, piled rocks along the railroad and have tapered everything to where it runs off. He said he can see where they piled dirt and runoff from that is creating another area along the tracks with water standing.


Board Member Heimlich stated that for the Board to get involved it would have to be a County tile. Darrell Erb said it is a private tile that runs south and to the Martin Ditch. Chairman Schmierer advised Mr. Erb that he would have to work with Material Services to come to an agreement on solving the problem. Board Member Heimlich said they would have to proceed privately. Mike Melton of Material Services stated that he has been talking to Soil and Water Conservationist Tom Wagner. Chairman Schmierer said that they have changed the contour of the ground and you’re not allowed to do that. He said if they went to court they would probably lose. Mike Melton agreed. Board Member John Heimlich stated that since no County Tile is involved they would have to hire a private attorney if they wanted to come back through the Board. Chairman Schmierer said in going by the site he can see that it is a lot wetter now than it ever used to be. He asked how the water is getting across the railroad. Darrell Erb said in his opinion it was just mainly through seepage.


Surveyor Sterrett asked the Board to set the rate for maintenance to be raised for 3 years on the Opal Carmichael Drain in Cass and Liberty Townships, White County, Indiana so a maintenance project can be done. Chairman Schmierer stated he felt the cost estimate could be quite a bit lower than what they first thought and proposed setting the rate at $7.50 an acre for three years instead of $10.00 as first proposed.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to set the maintenance rate on the Opal Carmichael Drain at $7.50 an acre for three years. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Jack Pherson addressed the Board concerning drainage problems on the A. P. Gladden #1 Drain just off of State Road 39 at Quail Run Road, just north of Highway 24. He explained that the tile has been flushed out twice, but it will work for one or two rains and then it is right back plugged again. He said at Quail Run Road there is a catch basin and after the last big rain it was standing clear full. Jack Pherson explained he went down to the outlet which is back there by Snow’s and the water was just lazily falling out for some reason. He said they usually find the blockage between Quail Run Road and Hickory Ridge Road.


Board Member Ferguson asked if there was still an airwell in the wet corner by Paul Buschman’s. Jack answered that it is still there. Surveyor Sterrett asked how long it took for the water to go down. Jack said it took right at four days for the water to go out this time.


Chairman Schmierer asked how far in debt the tile is. Surveyor Sterrett answered $2,637.00 and the assessment is $4.00 an acre, there are 18 landowners and 202 acres. Chairman Schmierer asked how long the tile is. Jack Pherson said it crosses the road into Jim Paschen’s and up to Mike Kilmer’s property. Chairman Schmierer said, “The dilemma we are in is, it is already in debt, it brings in $800.00 a year and it is already over three years in debt, so we have to raise the rates on it or do something so we can fix it.”


Paul Buschman said there is a tree over there by the houses causing the problem. Trent Pherson asked, “If there is an actual County right-of-way through there why can’t we get the tree removed? Any of the trees through there that are in the County right-of-way, get rid of them.” Jack Pherson said there’s a big tree on Bob Phelp’s property between the west end of his house and the east end of his garage. Chairman Schmierer said, “And the tile goes through there.” Jack Pherson said, “Right, and the other day when we were there, I don’t see how those landowners can stand to live in that situation, it was just solid water back in there.”


Chairman Schmierer said he thought the only way to get it fixed is to dig a hole and run a camera down through it and fix it. We still have the dilemma that it is so far in debt. Engineer Frauhiger said he would think a reconstruction petition should be filed, especially if it goes under someone’s house and the tree is close to that house. Trent Pherson thought the tile was probably six feet deep where they had it exposed at the edge of Hickory Ridge Road.


Chairman Schmierer asked, “What do you think about petitioning to reconstruct it? It is going to be expensive.” He asked Paul Buschman how much land he has in the watershed. Paul answered, “I don’t have that much land basically.” Trent Pherson said the two biggest landowners would be Buschman and Paschen, also Kilmer and Delzell.


Board Member Heimlich asked what the maintenance rate is now. It is $4.00 an acre and the lots are a $5.00 minimum. Chairman Schmierer said the lots need to be $25.00 to $50.00. Board Member Heimlich said we will about have to do a maintenance modification. Chairman Schmierer agreed.


Jack Pherson said he thinks that we really need to find what the true problem is. Chairman Schmierer said he thinks we need to camera it. Jack Pherson stated that the quality of the tile is good enough, we need to find where the blockage is and eliminate whatever it is that is causing the problem.


Trent Pherson stated that it is an eight inch tile and then somewhere where it gets close to Hickory Ridge Road it switches to a ten inch tile. Chairman Schmierer questioned if you can get a camera down an eight inch tile. Engineer Frauhiger thought they could.


Chairman Schmierer stated, “I think we need to set a Hearing up on it, what do you want to set the rates up at, ten dollars an acre and fifty dollars a lot? You’re going to have it set it high enough to get some money in it.” Board Member Heimlich answered, “Yes.” Chairman Schmierer said it is bringing in $800.00 a year now and you need to double it. He stated we need to raise the lots up to compensate for the $10.00 an acre to be fair about it.


Board Member Heimlich made the motion to have a Maintenance Modification Hearing on the A. P. Gladden #1 Drain to raise the maintenance rates to $10.00 an acre and $50.00 a lot. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Schmierer suggested setting the hearing for the first meeting in May.


Board Member Heimlich made the motion to approve the minutes of the March 4, 2002 meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


It was agreed to inspect all bids submitted on the J. L. Ackerman Drain reconstruction and aware the bid at the next Board meeting. Attorney Loy said it had to be done at a meeting.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.