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July 1, 2002 Tape #013




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 Ronald A. Schmierer, O. D. “Bud” Ferguson and John C. Heimlich, Attorney George W. Loy, Surveyor Dennis W. Sterrett, Engineer Todd Frauhiger and Drainage Assistant Mary Sterrett in attendance.


Others attending were Dirk Fleck, Dean Fleck, Faye Lowring and White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke.


Chairman Schmierer addressed the issue of drainage review fees. He said it was his understanding when we raised the fees he assumed we were raising them strictly for reinspection of subdivisions, he didn’t know we were doing it for private buildings. He stated that someone from Tillett Engineering had questioned the fees. Engineer Frauhiger stated, “We have not been doing it for private building.” He explained charging $2,000.00 fee up front and then refunding if it wasn’t all used for the review of their drainage plans. Todd explained the fees on some recent projects. (See Tape). Chairman Schmierer said, “So we’re making them pay $2,000.00 up front instead of $1,000.00 then?” Engineer Frauhiger said, “That is correct. The only reason we raised that last year was if the project required inspection.” Chairman Schmierer said, “We hadn’t done that with Jordan’s and consequently they have not finished the drainage on their project up in the north end of town.” Chairman Schmierer asked that the Surveyor’s office check the status of the Tillett/Witko project account to see if Tillett received a refund.


Engineer Frauhiger stated that the Echo Trails Subdivision had indicated on their plan an easement that was secured, so their drainage plans were approved. He said now we find out the easement is not secured and they now have a detention pond without an outlet. They will now have to look at other alternatives and he thinks it will have to be reviewed again.


Dirk Fleck was present to discuss the Joseph Kellenburger Tile Ditch in Honey Creek Township. Dirk Fleck stated, “We have fifteen or eighteen inch cement tile that I know is in the red in maintenance. I have talked to the two majority tax payers on it and they are both in favor of the consideration of replacing it rather than try and keep repairing it. It is pretty deep, it goes through some sandy ground and we’ve had a couple of major repairs on it in the last three years.” Chairman Schmierer said it is $6,183.78 in the red now. John Heimlich asked if this is the old cement tile. Dirk Fleck answered, “Yes, it goes south and it is all on what I consider Gerald Whiteman property that just got sold to Charlie Geier. Charlie and Nancy (Sickler) are both in favor of looking into replacing it rather than repairing it, or rather a portion of it. There is about twelve or fourteen hundred feet of it that we have gone back into and repaired and it is crucial mainly for Nancy’s farm.” Board Member Heimlich said his experience is with the old cement tile that you are putting some new in every year.


Chairman Schmierer suggested that they should petition for reconstruction if they think that is what they need to do. He said that is not going to affect the maintenance money any. Dirk Fleck asked what is to be done about the maintenance being in the red, does the tax rate have to go up on that? Chairman Schmierer said, “We have the rate at $4.00 an acre. You hate to raise it that much more.” Dirk asked how the reconstruction is financed. Chairman Schmierer explained the landowners can pay it over five years but there is a ten percent interest charged on it. Dirk asked, “The landowners would also have the option of just going in replacing it, footing the bill on it and then keep paying the maintenance tax?” Chairman Schmierer said, “Right, I don’t see why not, do you George (Loy)?”


Attorney Loy asked, “How much repair work are we talking about?” Chairman Schmierer said he is talking about replacement. Dirk Fleck stated he is guessing there’s twelve thousand dollars. Attorney Loy asked how many landowners there are. Surveyor Sterrett said he thinks there is about twelve in the watershed. Dirk Fleck said he knows of five. Board Member Heimlich asked if we are talking about doing it under maintenance. Chairman Schmierer said no, you have to do it under reconstruction; you’re already $6,000.00 in debt under maintenance. Board Member Heimlich said you would just add bigger maintenance. Attorney Loy asked if you would take the old tile out. Chairman Schmierer said no, it would be replacing it right beside it. Attorney Loy said that would be reconstruction. Chairman Schmierer said he thought you would just leave maintenance along and let it catch itself up. It is about three years in debt. There are 483 acres in it and it takes in about $2,000.00 a year. Attorney Loy asked if pretty much all that maintenance been spent on repairing the tile? The response was, “Yes.”


Chairman Schmierer explained the process to Dirk Fleck by saying, “You bring a petition for reconstruction. If there’s five landowners and you have a couple of them protest it, if it is decided by the Drainage Board that the benefits are more than the cost then it is done whether the landowner wants it or not.” Board Member Heimlich said, “If the majority of the acres is in favor of it, it’s done.” Dirk Fleck asked “Is it done through the tax roll or does every individual pay their portion?” Board Member Heimlich answered, “It would be done through the tax.” Board Member Heimlich explained that the reconstruction would be a separate assessment from the maintenance tax and the maintenance tax would have to continue.


Dirk Fleck was directed to get a petition from the Surveyor’s office and get as many landowner signatures as possible for the reconstruction.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that as soon as County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke gets back from vacation they will start working on the A. P. Gladden #1 Drain. He said they need to know about the fees that will be charged to use the County’s Jet Vac. Discussion followed (see tape) and it was decided that the Commissioners would decide on the rate during their meeting. The rate should be enough to cover expenses, perhaps $50.00 an hour. Surveyor Sterrett was told to go ahead and get the work done and keep track of the hours. Surveyor Sterrett asked if the decision at one meeting would take care of every project. Chairman Schmierer said yes, it will be so much an hour.


Surveyor Sterrett asked if anyone knew how much of the tile was jetted the last time. Board Member Ferguson said he knew where they started and he thought the problem was in the trees at the Phelps property. Steve asked if they were abler to get through it there. Board Member Ferguson said yes they did get through it, but he didn’t know how long it lasted. Steve Brooke asked how long ago they did that. Board Member Ferguson thought three or four years ago.


Surveyor Sterrett stated that he should be able to get the field work (surveying) done on the Hollingsworth Ditch by the time the crops are out.


Board Member Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes. Board Member Heimlich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Attorney Loy reported that the Dye Lumber Company variance has been recorded, and the Spraying contract has been signed by the contractor.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that the ditch spraying was started last Tuesday, June 25, 2002, up by Headlee in the northeast part of the County.


Chairman Schmierer asked if County Line Tiling/Mike Ezra has the J. K. Ackerman Ditch reconstruction project done. Surveyor Sterrett said that it is done, but he hasn’t been up there yet. Chairman Schmierer asked if he mowed it. Surveyor Sterrett said he knew he had mowed part of it.


Board Member Heimlich asked if Charlie Mellon got the pipe for the W. W. Helfrick Drain he requested at the last meeting. Steve Brooke answered yes he got it.


The Carter-Hines Drain Reconstruction Hearing is set for August 19, 2002.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.