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June 3, 2002 Tape #011



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 in attendance were Donna L. Martin, Oscar Wells III, Fred Mosher, Art Dragoo, Jerry Wiley and Charlie Mellon.


Chairman Schmierer called the meeting to order and Attorney Loy opened two quotes on spraying the White County Regulated Drains. An invitation to quote, a list of ditches, maps, specs and description of drains to be sprayed was sent to three companies and two replied. The Surveyor asked for an individual quote on each ditch due to separate maintenance funds. They were also asked for a total sum quote. Attorney Loy stated that he would open the quotes, read them and then take them under advisement to be awarded at a later time. The first quote was from Dalton’s Inc of Warsaw, Indiana for a grand total of $24,777.00 and the second quote was opened from Shideler Spray Service of Eaton, Indiana. It will need to be added by calculator.


Surveyor Sterrett presented a Petition for Maintenance on the A. K. Robinson Drain in Honey Creek Township which was submitted by Dirk Fleck. Surveyor Sterrett stated that there is approximately a mile and a quarter that needs dipped. They have tile under water. Surveyor Sterrett stated that there is approximately $4,000.00 in the A. K. Robinson Maintenance Fund.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to accept the petition. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Art Dragoo, owner of Dye Lumber Co., asked the Board for a variance to construct a chain link fence up to the top of the west spoil bank of the Buss Ditch at the former Kenney Implement property, the future site of Dye Lumber.


Attorney Loy explained that the law gives the Drainage Board a maintenance right-of-way, seventy-five feet from the top of the spoil bank of every regulated open drain. The law is specific, nobody is to construct anything permanent within the right-of-way, for instance, you plant crops within the right-of-way at your own risk. Permanent structures are not to be put within that right-of-way without some sort of written consent from the Drainage Board.


Chairman Schmierer asked how close they wanted to be to the ditch. Art Dragoo explained that they would like to use the Buss Ditch on the east and the private ditch on the south as natural security fencing, taking the chain ink fence from the main building and running it to the east ditch. He said seventy-five feet of it would be encroaching. Chairman Schmierer said, “What we can do is give you a the variance to do that, with the stipulation if we have to move it to work on it you will have to put it back at your own expense.” Mr. Dragoo agreed to that. He asked if he can go right up to the slop with the fence. Chairman Schmierer stated, “We don’t really care if you go to the top of the slope as long as it doesn’t interfere with the drainage, which it shouldn’t. But, if we have to work on the ditch, if we have to move the fence it will be at your expense. So when you put your posts in, put them in accordingly so that you can take it out if you have to.”


Board Member John Heimlich made the motion to grant the variance to Dye Lumber to construct the chain link fence on the right-of-way of the Buss Ditch. Board Member O. D. Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Landowner Fred Mosher reported that on the north edge of Monon Park, a ten inch tile that runs parallel with the road is not carrying water very good. He said it needs to continue on west to the Winkley Ditch or at some point cross south to the Winkley Ditch. He said at one time there may have been some laterals in there.


Chairman Schmierer stated that the County Highway Department was working there last week. Chairman Schmierer said he did not know if they did any good getting that opened up or not. Donna Martin who lives right there stated that they had the County truck with the jetter there but did not find any way to get through it in that area, it is still blocked. She said that the water goes down naturally but it takes two to three weeks. Chairman Schmierer said it is not a County maintained tile so it doesn’t have anything to do with the White County Surveyor’s Office. Steve Brooke this it is a private tile. Fred Mosher said he knows that the tile that runs parallel with the Park Road is in the County right of way and he thinks there are three catch basins on that drain. Chairman Schmierer stated he will get with Steve Brooke to discuss it this week. Chairman Schmierer advised Mr. Moser and Donna Martin that the landowners that live along there could petition to put a new tile in and then would all be assessed on it. Mrs. Martin said they contacted the Monon Park Board also and they are going to talk about it at their meeting tonight.


Dale Kelly was next on the agenda in reference to the Holcomb Tile in Reynolds in the north Main Street area, but was not in attendance. Denny Coffin addressed the board at the last meeting about this drainage situation. Surveyor Sterrett reported finding minutes where they put the new tile around. Surveyor Sterrett reviewed the drawing of what was done with the tiling in that area with the Board.


Surveyor showed where Dale Kelly has repaired the tile. He stated that Dale Kelly wants to dig up the old tile and replace it with new six inch tile in its location, about 300 feet at an estimated cost of $900.00 to $965.00. The Holcomb Tile maintenance is paid by the Esther Fraser maintenance fund and it is $47,000.00 in it. Surveyor Sterrett stated that he thinks if they block that old tile off they’re going to flood some yards. He said he does not think they should black the old tile off. Chairman Schmierer said he feels Surveyor Sterrett should be allowed to have the tile repaired as he sees fit.


Board Member Heimlich made a motion to allow Surveyor Sterrett to have the tile repaired as he sees fit. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Landowner Wiley asked the Board for permission to get on the right-of-way of the Chapman Ditch in order for him to put in a crossing for his driveway for his future residence. He stated that his neighbor, James Keesling, has him landlocked and he needs to get onto his property to haul dirt for the crossing so he doesn’t have to buy dirt.


He explained that he has no way to get on to his property without wading the ditch. Mr. Keesling dug a swale across the property and put junk vehicles and such to black him from driving there. Before the property was sold to Mr. Wiley, the two properties shared a driveway.


Chairman Schmierer told Mr. Wiley he would have to have permission from the Drainage Board to put the crossing in. He told him to get Engineer Done Ward draw up a design and size the tile so it will not obstruct the flow.


Attorney Loy advised Mr. Wiley to consult a private attorney about his problem with Mr. Keesling. He stated that Mr. Wiley may have a prescriptive easement.


Chairman Schmierer said that the Board can give Mr. Wiley permission to get on the right-of-way easement to do it, but first we have to see what is designed for the crossing. Mr. Wiley said there is a seven foot pipe under County Road 900 and he intends to put an eight foot one in. He has been talking with County Road Superintendent Steve Brooke about it for about a year and a half. That is why he went ahead and got the tanker car like he told him to.


Mr. Wiley explained to Surveyor Sterrett that the Chapman Ditch is parallel with County Road 900 for 700 or 800 feet. Mr. Wiley explained that he is trying to get two junk trailers off his property and Mr. Keesling won’t let him pull anything across the driveway now. He has to park on the County Road, cross the ditch to get onto his property to work. Attorney Loy stated that Mr. Wiley should contact an attorney and see if there is a prescriptive easement. If that has been the only way in and out of that property for a sufficient period of time you have an easement even though there wasn’t one recorded. He said you likely have some legal rights against the neighbor. He told Mr. Wiley that the installation of the crossing would be at his cost and the Drainage Board does not maintain that crossing after it is installed.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Tom Pilotte has submitted a letter requesting putting the flappers on the May-Kingsbury and Price tiles as discussed at the last Drainage Board meeting. Surveyor Sterrett was instructed to get the work done out of the drain maintenance funds.


Chairman Schmierer suggested that Shideler’s spray quotes should be added up and then the contract be awarded to the low bidder. Surveyor Sterrett stated that we need to award the bid soon so they can start spraying. Board Member Heimlich made a motion to award the spray contract to the lowest bidder. Board Member Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


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


Attorney Loy had the completed variance for Alice Hare for the Surveyor’s Office.


Chairman reported that he cannot get any results out of Williams Communications to get tile repaired. Chairman Schmierer asked Attorney Loy if he can inform Williams Communications if they do not tend to repairs needed on County tiles that they cut during their fiber optic installation in White County that we are going to get the repairs done and use some of their bond money. Attorney Loy answered yes, that can be done.


Chairman Schmierer said he is sure they cut some at John Humphreys and he wants them to look at that.


Surveyor Sterrett asked if the County Highway just fixed one that Williams Communications cut just west of Chalmers. Chairman Schmierer said yes they did and that’s not right, Williams should have to fix it.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.