Get Adobe Flash player


Mary 20, 2002 Tape #010



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.


Others attending were Engineer Todd Frauhiger of Samuel L. Moore & Associates, Jeff Nelson and Bill Schnick of Dwyer Instruments, Denny Coffin, Joe Roach of SFLECC, Ronald Simons for Willy Mote, Charles R. Mellon and Thomas Pillote.


Chairman Schmierer opened the meeting and recognized Bill Schnick, representing Dwyer Instruments. Chairman Schmierer asked Mr. Schnick if he was aware of what had been done to open the Pugh Drain up at that location (north of Wolcott) and what they finally found. Mr. Schnick stated, “They found a spot next to the tree I planted years ago. (Chairman Schmierer said it was a willow tree.) They also should have found some dirt coming out of that drain collection point right along that abandoned road there. It has been filling in for a long time.” Chairman Schmierer asked if they found any dirt there. Surveyor Sterrett stated that there is a catch basin right there and it is alright.


Mr. Schnick asked if they ran into any dirt before they ran into his tree roots. He saw a pile of dirt in that area. Surveyor Sterrett said, “No, that is where we started our jet, right at the catch basin. Of course it was under water at the time. It went up to the tree where the roots were. The first time we got through it with the jet. We tried it again and couldn’t get through it. Then we went around and came back the other way and stopped right in the same spot. That’s where we started digging up the tile.” Bill Schnick asked, “The tile was cracked when you dug it up?” Surveyor Sterrett answered, “Not that I know if, it was full of roots.” Mr. Schnick said, “Some of our people were saying that the tile was cracked and probably that might have let more roots in.” Surveyor Sterrett explained that tile has joints in it. Chairman Schmierer stated that foots are going to go through a clay tile. He said solid plastic tile will keep roots out more than any other kind of tile. Surveyor Sterrett said that is what they ended up putting in there.


Surveyor Sterrett explained that there are two bills on the project, one from T C’s Inc. for the jet. Bill Schnick said he has about $700.00 in other costs on it, too, for fixing the driveway and landscaping. He said, “We are going to cut that tree out of there, that will be another cost.” Chairman Schmierer explained that the reason we asked them to come to the meeting is that when they built the property there was a variance that they are responsible for repair. Mr. Schnick said he agreed with that. He said he is not contesting the amount; he is trying to negotiate a partial joint payment with the Drainage Board. He stated that when they built there they had to clean out ditch out because it was full of dirt and wasn’t doing much better than it was with their roots in it. Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy if we can negotiate this.


Attorney Loy stated, “The law is simply if the obstruction is caused by the owner, the owner is responsible for the entire cost. That is the law anyway, in addition to the agreement that was entered into. Any costs that the County would be paying can’t be done to do anyone a favor. It has to be for a valid reason and not being a portion of what the landowner should be paying. It can be added to the tax assessment for the property.” Board Member Heimlich said, “Just so we understand, it wouldn’t be the County that would be paying anyway. It would be the rest of the landowners. We don’t have any money to pay for that repair, other than the assessments to the other landowners on the Pugh Drain.”


Kurt Pratt was next on the agenda and was not present. Mr. Pratt has reported drainage problems at Arrowhead Campgrounds to the Surveyor’s Office. Surveyor Sterrett said that the County Highway Department was out there working (a private tile in the County road right-of-way) Thursday and Friday and are back out there. Chairman Schmierer stated that he has told Greg Vogel that the only way it is ever going to work properly is that they are going to have to petition for reconstruction of the tile through there, because they have had problems with that for years. Joe Roach with SFLECC stated that he talked to Mr. Pratt and he said that SFLECC’s concern is that they have the old McDaniels property and in the back they have surface water (5 acres) that surfaces over on him. That’s the area what we’re allowing Indiana Beach to mitigate their wetland on. He said, “And in regards to that area coming across between us and them, there will be a diked area and an overflow on that so that there will be a wetland and the water will not go across. When they worked out there last fall, they found a riser and they just put a new head on the riser and it’s under water. I don’t know where the tile goes but it’s compromised some place. So, when they do that, I was talking with Wrede’s, they said they would have to get that tile in running order, wherever that goes.” Chairman Schmierer said, "If they want the County to do it, it is going to have to be petitioned to replace it, reconstruction.” Surveyor Sterrett, “We don’t have a County tile out there anywhere.”


Surveyor Sterrett presented drainage plans for paving the Tri-County School Parking Lot. He stated the plan is to blacktop over the existing gravel lot. Due to the change of characteristics of the site they were required to meet the White County Drainage Ordinance. Engineer Frauhiger showed the proposed drainage plans and recommended approval of the drainage plans. Board Member Ferguson made the motion to approve the drainage plans as presented for the Tri-County School Parking Lot. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried.


Chairman Schmierer recognized Ron Simons who was representing Willie Mote. Attorney Loy explained, “After the last meeting Denny and I called Ron to talk to him about your problem on the C. D. Ireland Drain and Ron had indicated that they were in the process of wanting to try to relocate the drain and he has been very cooperative, at least when last I spoke with Ron and asked him if he would come to this meeting to inform you of what their plans are and see what you think.”


Ron Simons spoke to the Board, “To begin with we have to get the field drained before we can get any true estimates. So, between Wayne Schroeder and our company, we have dug up the existing tile. He had cut it on his side of our boundary, but what had happened was it filled full of mud, about fifteen or twenty foot. So we had to come in on our property and we had to drag the stone back and dig up about twelve foot to get to this. So we do have it draining right now and I think this is an option that we might do it it’s ok. We might go ahead and hook the twelve inch tile back up correctly he way that it was, and after it dries off, maybe after they get the crops out of the field, we’ll work with Schroeder or Bixler who farms and owns the ground. Maybe later we will go ahead and run the tile where it does not go on our property and we don’t have to worry about them wanting to come in and tear up our stone. Because the whole yard is stone six to twelve inches deep. We have a real mess right now. We actually have a hole where it is coming out of their field and draining into our tile now. So, it is going down, I imagine another 3 or 4 days because they really had it backed up.”


Chairman Schmierer asked, “So, you’re going to hook the tile back up the way it was to start with?” Ron Simons answered, “That’s the intention right now.” Chairman Schmierer asked, “And then this fall you’re going to dissect it and take it around the property line to be able to keep off of there (Willie Mote’s lot).” Ron Simons answered, “That is the intention, because they have always had problems with drainage on that field and every time they have a problem they want to come over and dig. Well, that was fine before but now we put up a fence and we have this all stoned. If we could just eliminate the problem that would be great. Right now we have to run into quite a bit of expense. I am going to have to have an excavator come in and clear this while we do have it open so we can get back down to the correct depth, which is about eleven and a half foot. We have to replace the stone. We have to have Howe or someone come in with an excavator so we can dig deeper. The problem was Schroeder saw a sink hole so he dug it out. In the process, he didn’t have quite a long enough boom so he tore it in half then when he went back to repair it, it had filled up with water and that’s where we have been for the last three weeks. We are helping them as much as we can. We didn’t want to tear up the stone but we had to.”


Chairman Schmierer asked if that was going to be satisfactory. Surveyor Sterrett asked who is going to repair the tile, are you going to have it repaired on both sides? Ron Simons said, We are going to have to have it tied together all in one shot so I suppose it will be us, I will have to hire an excavator.” Discussion on who to hire followed. Surveyor Sterrett said Howe has the work order, but Ron Simons was told if he wants to get Crowell to do it, let him do it. Ron Simons asked if they could get some assistance on this. It was decided that is the County’s expense out of the drain maintenance fund to repair C. D. Ireland County regulated tile drain, but Willy Mote’s will be responsible for the fence and their gravel lot on the right-of-way. They will be responsible for all expenses if the tile is rerouted in the future. Ron Simons will contact Crowell Excavating and they will need to get a current certificate of insurance in to the White County Surveyor’s Office.


Denny Coffin was next on the agenda to address the Board about drainage problems at his residence on North Main Street in Reynolds. He stated that a few years ago they re-ran the S. Holcomb Tile Branch of the Esther Fraser Ditch down to the end of the street and around, leaving the lots on his side of the street draining into the old clay tile, which is sinking and in need of repair. He asked if the Board would consider putting in a six inch tile along side of the existing old tile to drain those lots of his, his daughter’s and Dale Kelly’s. He provided sketches of the tiles and the area. At Division Road they could connect with the newer tile.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that Dale Kelly has recently repaired the new tile where there was a suck hole and the “T” wasn’t put in right. Denny Coffin said it is a 15 inch plastic tile with a sock on it right at the end of Tom Diener’s driveway. Denny Coffin stated that the route of a new tile would be about a 310 foot run. Surveyor Sterrett said that Dale Kelly Construction gave him an estimate of $900.00 to $975.00. Attorney asked if it would be relocating a portion of it. Chairman Schmierer said no, it would be replacing a portion of it. The sketches were studied. Surveyor Sterrett stated that there is an airwell in Mr. Coffin’s yard that still drains into the old tile.


Mr. Coffin stated that part of his problem is that over the years they have lost part of their natural watershed at the 4-H grounds with them building new building and building it up with sand to get those buildings up and that natural water flow gets crowded down into their residential area quicker than what it used to. It causes the water go across the road onto his property.


Denny Coffin explained that when they put the sewer line in it was on the same grade as the County Tile and that is when they rerouted it. He said they hooked the sewer up right but not the County tile.


Denny Coffin said that only about six inches of the old tile is running, the rest is filled in with dirt. Chairman Schmierer said if there is quicksand there the tile would have to be bedded in stone or something to hold it. He said it sounds to him like that is what is wrong with the old sixteen inch tile, it is full of quicksand.


Surveyor Sterrett will research the project and get back to the Board with it.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that he has gotten a subpoena for the trial of Kelly Equine vs. Dalton’s Inc. regarding a horse that died after the Snow Ditch was sprayed last year. The trial date is May 30 and 31, 2002.


Surveyor Sterrett asked if a drainage permit would be required for Twin Lakes Schools for installing bleachers. The project is over 10,000 square feet of bleachers. Engineer Frauhiger stated that he has not known of anyone needing a drainage permit for installing bleachers. Chairman Schmierer said we will have to see what kind of bleachers they are. Surveyor Sterrett said they are on piers. Board Member Heimlich said if they aren’t changing the surface they’re on it won’t make a difference. They will be on both sides of the football field. Chairman Schmierer said he can’t see where we would be involved if they are on piers. It was agreed that if they were building them so that the water would just run through them and go underneath them it wouldn’t change anything.


Tom Pilotte addressed the Board with an ongoing problem. He explained at County Road 400 N and 500 W that he has 30 to 40 acres a year lost because of water backing up into the Hoagland Ditch for the last 4 of 5 years. He said the back of the headwall has washed out. He would like a couple of caps put on the May-Kingsbury and Price tile drains to keep that water from backing up. He said all it would do is keep the water in the Hoagland Ditch where it belongs.


Tom Pilotte explained that it doesn’t affect anyone but him on the west and Jim Haller on the corner and it would help Haller considerably.


Tom Pilotte stated that an open ditch was approved by the Drainage Board some twenty years ago but did not materialize. No one on the present Board nor Attorney Loy remembered anything about that.


Surveyor Sterrett stated if there is a headwall where the tile empties into the open ditch, the headwall is probably going to have to be taken out. Tom Pilotte said that he and his son Brian looked at that the other day and it appears to him that on the other side of that headwall farm rocks have got dumped down in there and what he would do is to make a cement pad out to the west of it and make a spill way and keep the water from coming up there and making a tidal pool. Engineer Frauhiger said you would have to take the headwall out because there is nothing there to attach it to. You would have to replace it with something.


Surveyor Sterrett stated it is on County Highway property. Chairman Schmierer stated we will see what we can do with it.


Chairman Schmierer asked Tom Pilotte where the proposed open ditch was to be. Tom Pilotte said it was to run parallel with County Road 400 and then it would turn south on CR600 just shy of a quarter of a mile where there’s a bridge and another bid airwell. Chairman Schmierer asked how long it would be. Tom Pilotte answered, “It would be a mile, plus a quarter south and run along the road and where the ditch angles across the section to the east, they were going to run right down along the road and dump right in there and then backfill the old channel and square that property up. That’s been over twenty years ago and it has just gotten progressively worse.” Chairman Schmierer said, “Let us research it then. If we are going to spend this much money on it, we would like for you to send us a letter requesting this to his (Surveyor’s) office. That way, if we have a neighbor that doesn’t like it because we fixed it, we have a reason why we did it. We need to do some research with Steve Brooke on it and see how we can get it fixed. If we spend any maintenance money, I want him to request it by letter.” Mr. Pilotte agreed.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2002 meeting. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Jerry Cook is repairing a 24 inch tile over by Round Grove for Frank Gick that drains into the Vanatta Drain and the tile is underwater. Jerry Cook suggests that a thousand feet of the Vanatta being dipped would get the tile out of the water. He says the tile is blown out because the water can’t get in the ditch. There are least eight blowouts. Chairman Schmierer directed Surveyor Sterrett to go and look at it and use his own judgment on it.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.