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May 6, 2002 Tape #009

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, and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.

Also attending were Engineer Frauhiger of Samuel L. Moore & Associates, White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke, Art Dragoo owner of Dye Lumber, Landowners James Paschen, John Demerly, Wayne Schroeder, Dan Haan, John Warner, Francis Demerly, Leroy Widmer, Paul Widmer and Charlie Mellon.


Chairman Ronald Schmierer opened the Maintenance Modification Hearing on the A. P. Gladden #1 Drain in Union Township, White County, Indiana. He explained that there are only 206 (205.942) acres benefited and eighteen lots or small tracts. He said, “If raised to the proposed rate ($10.00 an acre and $50.00 a lot and $50.00 minimum) the drain maintenance fund would bring in $2,734.58 a year. It is already in having this hearing to raise the assessment on the drain. On top of raising the assessment on this drain, there has been a continuous problem that needs addressed at this time. By law we aren’t allowed to spend any more money on it until we address this problem with it being in the red. At this time if there is anybody with any questions on it, would welcome the questions and see if we can get them answered for you.”


Landowner Jim Paschen asked, “So you think down the road then it’s a reconstruction?” Chairman Schmierer said, “I think it will be reconstructed if somebody carries a petition on it, I don’t see any other way. It’s going to be an expensive reconstruction for everybody there because it is not much of a watershed. You own the corner there don’t you? And if you subdivide it, the water has to go someplace and it is a major problem for that area right there.”


Board Member Ferguson asked if the low place down on Buschman’s is on the same thing. Chairman Schmierer answered yes. Landowner Paschen said it is actually two ditches but you’ve combined them. He said there is no open ditch now, it is all tile. It runs into a ravine and on to the river. Surveyor Sterrett asked about where it comes out of the pond (Howard’s). Jim Paschen said it goes into that same ravine; they both end up in the river. Board Member Ferguson said the tile stops at the road then. Mr. Paschen said yes, Gladden Drain #1 and then the Lesley ditch coming in there dumps into a different ravine but they end up in the same ravine.


Jim Paschen said, “It is backed up into the tile right now. It doesn’t back up there unless you get a heavy rain, in other words the tile shooting into the pond is underwater.” Surveyor Sterrett stated that the drain is regulated where it runs from Woodhaven down to where the Lesley Henry dumps in.


Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy, “If he’s (Les Howard) got a pond in there holding up the water and the tile is under water…we’ve had that problem before and we’ve addressed it with him before.” Attorney Loy said then it is the same inflex as before. Chairman Schmierer asked, “Take it out? Or…he made the outlet bigger the last time.” Jim Paschen said, “What happened is, he dug the pond out and they put the outlet coming…after it comes across the road they put an extension on it. That extension went in the pond, now it’s underneath the water. It (tile) was cut off at the road about six feet from the road, but then he’s added an extension to it because he put a big rim around that pond. I don’t know if they got it too deep or it was pretty wet when they were putting it in and they mashed it down deeper, anyway you don’t see the top of the tile out of the pond at all.”


Chairman Schmierer said, “When we get a change we’ll go out and look at it and address it again. It has to be addressed.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “The White County Drainage Board having heard and considered all the evidence and any objections submitted in these proceedings will now consider a motion to find that the current estimate of maintaining the A. P. Gladden # 1 Drain is insufficient and therefore the annual assessment of periodic maintenance of said drain should be as proposed in these proceedings. ($10.00 an acre, $50.00 a lot and small tracts, $50.00 minimum).” Board Member Heimlich so moved. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor. By a vote of 3 to 0 the White County Drainage Board hereby adopts the schedule of modified assessments originally filed herein. The White County Drainage Board issues its written Findings and Order declaring the proposed Maintenance Modification schedule in these proceedings established. A copy of which will be sent to all owners affected. End of Hearing.


Chairman Schmierer addressed the problem of expenses incurred at the Dwyer Instruments, Inc site on the Pugh Tile Drain, a branch of the C. Stoller Drain. He said, “We have spent a lot of money and our main problem over there is a tree that they have planted in their landscape which happens to be a willow tree and it is growing well.” Surveyor Sterrett presented two bills, one for the contractor and one for the jet that was used. Chairman Schmierer said, “The way the Encroachment Right-Of-Way Easement read they would pay for anything on their property, repair their own blacktop and everything else, and they are going to have to repair some. (Attorney Loy said that is correct.) The tree is on theirs. We have about $3,400.00 worth of bills from working on it. Do we present these to them?”


Attorney Loy said, “I think we ought to get them in and talk to them about it. Send them an advance letter that that is what we want them to do. We sent them one letter already saying that we were looking into it.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Ok let’s do that for the next meeting. Denny, send them a copy of both bills and ask them to come to the next Drainage Board meeting, put them on the agenda to discuss it with us.”


Charles and Linda Lucy were on the agenda but did not attend the meeting. They are assessed on the Timmons and McWilliams tiles. Chairman Schmierer said he thinks the Timmons tile is the one that is broken down on the east end of Idaville and we can’t do anything with it until Idaville gets their sewage fixed. The Board discussed the information that the landowners claim the Idaville Fire Department has built up their property where they hold the tractor pull and their surface water is draining over onto Lucy’s property and two of their neighbors. It was determined that the houses are on a hill and it must be the back yards that are flooding. Contractor Mike Ezra did state that he hauled fill in there at the Fire Department’s request. The Board and Attorney Loy advise that it is not the Board’s jurisdiction, it is a civil matter. The Surveyor’s office will send Charles and Linda Lucy a letter of explanation that we have no drainage jurisdiction over that, we have no tiles there.


Landowner Don Haan addressed the Board about replacing the Stockton Tile Branch of the Emmet Rayman Ditch in Round Grove Township. One landowner explained that a previous surveyor had Jerry Cook survey it before and was talking reconstruction and there was two places where the tile was high enough it was only half full of water, eighteen to twenty inch tile. John Warner stated that at CR 1200 it fills the road up. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he did not find any information on what they had talked about before with the previous County Surveyor. Chairman Schmierer stated we would start over with the surveying and directed the landowners to get a petition for reconstruction from the County Surveyor’s office. Chairman Schmierer asked John Warner how long the tile is. Mr. Warner stated that it is approximately 1,000 feet. Don Haan added that they were talking about cleaning the Rayman Ditch where the tile dumps into it. He also said that the fields will have soybeans in them and as far as he is concerned they can go ahead and work there whether crops are in or not.


Wayne Schroeder, tenant on the Ray Bixler farm, was inquiring about when the tile hole on the Ray Bixler farm, just north of Willie Mote’s fence would get repaired. Mr. Schroeder exposed the tile and couldn’t do the repair so he turned the work order back to the Surveyor’s office. How Exacavating was sent out to investigate and it was determined that Willie Mote’s fence and parking lot are on the regulated C. D. Ireland Tile Branch of the Amelia Suits Drain. Willie Mote contacted the Surveyor and does not want to have to remove his fence and have his stone lot dug up, but he is on the County’s 75 foot right-of-way to the C. D. Ireland Drain. He suggested moving the tile around his property line. Mr. Schroeder stated that Willie Mote wants Ray Bixler to share the expense of rerouting the tile. Mr. Schroeder stated that he does not think Mr. Bixler should have to help pay if they have to put in 500 feet of tile just because Willie Mote doesn’t wan us on the junk yard. Attorney Loy stated that he will contact Willie Mote. He was advised that Willie Mote does not have a variance on the right-of-way and he did not get a permit to put the fence up.


Mr. Schroeder stated that there is four feet of water out there and Howe can’t get to it. He suggested getting someone else. Mr. Schroeder was told that due to the weather and his workload, Allen Howe has not been able to start work at that site, but all the contractors are in the same position at this time.


Al Schroeder stated that 500 feet of new tile there would bypass Willie Mote’s property. Chairman Schmierer asked Mike Ezra what they would cost. Mike Ezra stated that twelve inch tile would be $4.50 a foot plus four or five hundred dollars for the excavator. Chairman Schmierer said you’re roughly talking $2,500.00 for 500 feet. Wayne Schroeder stated that 40 feet of tile should fix the problem unless there is something over on Mote’s on the County Tile that is worse but if you fix the hole that is there now you’re talking 40 feet of tile. He said that they have just used semi trailers for fence so he didn’t see what the big squabble is for moving them.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Landowner Dean Allen has tile under water on the J. L. Ackerman Drain and Mike Ezra gave us a quote to dip out two branches. Chairman Schmierer asked for the quote and explained, “When Rick (Surveyor Raderstorf) had this project surveyed we went out and looked at it and there was hardly any brush on it outside of along the edge of the woods. Rick decided at that time that he saw no reason to clean that area. But, there is tile under the water, you can see them bubbling up when Denny and I were up there. And the culvert under County Road 1300 is probably going to have to be cleaned out; I don’t think it needs cleaned out to get it out of the water. We asked Mike Ezra to go ahead and get us a quote to clean those two. Mr. Allen is on that ditch and pays into this reconstruction. The extra cost is $1,840.00. We were well enough under the estimate on that so we can pay that and still be under the estimate. The estimate was $63,000.00 and we’re at $24,500.00 plus the engineering. So we’re well under, have plenty of money to work with. I wanted to see what the Board’s position is. I think we would be foolish no to go ahead and do it while we are there, get it done and have it done. What branch is that? Are they branches or not? Surveyor Sterrett stated, “Yes, Branch 2 of 5 of 6.”


Dean Allen asked that another branch be dipped. He said he doesn’t have any tile under water but the last time they dug too deep it caved in so it needs cleaned up. He said there’s no brush on it either; the bottom just needs mopped up. Dean Allen said there’s a third branch that stops at CR 1300. (that would be the east end of Branch 5 of 6 and finish out the end of Br. 1 of 5 of 6). The motion includes these branches.


Dean Allen said that the banks aren’t going to hold because they’re too steep and you can’t have vertical sides with sandy slopes. Mike Ezra said it shouldn’t have been lowered. Chairman Schmierer said at every meeting we had people who wanted it lowered. Mike Ezra stated that they didn’t mean lowered they used the wrong word, they meant cleaned. Engineer Frauhiger stated that throughout this project people thought it needed lowered 1 ½ to 2 feet and someone said if we are lowering the main branch, let’s lower all the branches. He said we have actually readjusted some of the slopes since the project started. Mike Ezra thinks in a year it will have to be touched up, not reconstructed but touched up, not reconstructed but touched up. He said if the banks can hold long enough to get more sod to grow back on them, then there won’t be that much of a problem.


Engineer Frauhiger stated that the decision was made to not lay open the banks. If you lay the banks open you make the drainage easement wider. Dean Allen said in the future there needs to be something in the plans about the minimum side slope; it will vary by soil type. Chairman Schmierer said, “You have to remember that no everyone is willing to let us slope the bank back into their property and lose more farm ground. If you look at some of these ditches, the farmers farm right up to the top edge of the bank even though they’re not supposed to. Some of the, if they disc any further they would disc the ditch shut, they’re right up on top of the bank.”


Mike Ezra stated that there are places where he has seen that they’ve laid the banks back and couldn’t get gross to grow so they’ve done more damage than they would if they just come back and touch it up some.


Board Member Ferguson made a motion to have Mike Ezra go ahead and clean the other three branches of the J. L. Ackerman Drain at this time. Including Branches 2 of 5 of 6, the remainder of 5 of 6 and the remainder of 1 of 5 of 6. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Cass County has sent a letter waiving their rights on the reconstruction of the Carter-Hines Ditch. Also, Cass County has sent a letter of advance notification of placing Indian Creek on maintenance. They ask Surveyor Sterrett to establish a watershed in White County on Indian Creek. A joint board will be organized at a later time.


Engineer Frauhiger stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett met with the owner of Dye Lumber of Friday (at the former Kenney Implement). He reported that Dye Lumber Company is planning to put an open sided lean-to behind the existing building to store lumber in. They are going to build a teepee type building in the middle of the existing gravel parking lot where they will have drive-thru lumber services. All the additional roof area that they are putting on is over compacted gravel, which has about the same runoff coefficient. It all goes back into a private drain, which eventually drains into the Buss Drain. Engineer Frauhiger stated that he and Surveyor Sterrett concur that they should be granted an exemption on this project and not have to meet the Drainage Ordinance or put in a detention pond.


Board Member Ferguson made a motion to grant Dye Lumber of Monticello an exemption from the White County Drainage Ordinance for the additions they are building at that site. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Engineer Frauhiger stated that next year Dye Lumber Company is looking at paving the front parking lot at which time they will be working with the Ford Dealer next door and will have to come up with a drainage plan and meet the Drainage Ordinance on that project.


Chairman Schmierer announced that the White County Highway Department is purchasing a Hydro-Vac. He said we rent one from time to time to clean tile. He asked Attorney Loy how the Drainage Board can go about renting the one from the County Highway Department at a lesser rate. Attorney Loy stated that he would work with the White County Attorney to draw up an agreement. White County Superintendent Steve Brooke stated that whatever amount the Commissioners would set for it would be alright.


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


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.