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August 5, 2002 Tape #015


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, and Secretary Romana Kiser in attendance.


Others in attendance were David Finley of Samuel L. Moore & Associates, Charles Mellon, Jack Pherson, Trent Pherson, Randy Hunt, Mike Ezra, Bill Criswell, and Steve Rosentreter.


Chairman Schmierer called the meeting to order and recognized Jack Pherson who addressed the Board with concerns about the recently reconstructed Christian Brechbiel Drain. Jack Pherson explained, “The last big rain we had, the land where the two twelve inch tiles connect to the fifteen inch tile in that junction box, two and a half days water came right up out of it. The first four or five hours after that rain we could understand part of the problem because we saw where the water washed out some of the rip rap and stuff and covered up the outlet. Bobby Wrede came out and got that all dug out and cleared out. But, from Tuesday morning until Thursday noon those twelve inch tiles were pushing the water right up out of the catch basin outlet and basically turned Dr. Tribbett’s land into a holding pond for all of that water and there’s considerable amount of damage done there. I guess my viewpoint is, we made this investment and that fifteen is not taking the water from those two twelves. We have a fifteen on a .16 grade and we have one twelve coming in at .21 grade and the other twelve starts out at .16 grade and ends up at .34 and the velocity of those two tiles when they come together, that fifteen just doesn’t take it. It goes wherever the least resistance is and that is up out of there and there’s considerable amount of damage and in three years we’ve yet to solve the problem of getting a crop out of there. I don’t know if the engineer is here, but I would like for him to somehow explain to me how this thing is supposed to work or what’s going to be done to stop that water from coming up out of them airwells. It just took it way too long to get out of there, way too long.


Dave Finley of Samuel L. Moore & Associates took the stand and reported, “We looked at the capacity of the fifteen inch pipe as it was and we determined that we should be able to carry it (water) in the fifteen without surcharging that airwell. We looked at the capacity of the two twelves coming in. We put the ten inch chaser in there figuring that would be enough to account for both of them in the event if there was some blockage in the fifteen. Unfortunately I don’t have those numbers with me; I really can’t get too specific at the moment.”


Jack Pherson stated, “The ten inch chaser was only to correct the 400 or 500 feet that we found that was laid at a flat grade. It only ran 400 or 500 feet from the outlet up.”


Dave Finley answered, “There is going to be some amount of surcharge in that fifteen inch pipe. What we checked was the amount of surcharge that we expected to see in the airwell where it all comes together. Assuming things are functioning properly, you ought to have enough capacity in that fifteen inch going down, especially with the chaser on it, to handle everything that is coming out of those two twelves. There’s going to be maybe some surcharge in the airwell, but we checked the hydraulic grade line there to make sure we weren’t going to be above the ground surface there. So, we’re not really sure exactly what the problem is at this point, why that water is coming out the way it was. I don’t want to sit here and tell you stories, but I probably need to go back and see why something like this is going on. According to what we had computed first time around, it shouldn’t be happening.”


Jack Pherson asked, “Can you explain to me how you can take the volume from two twelves, even if they’re on the same grade, and run it into a fifteen, even if it is on the same grade as those twelves, and expect to get it in there? Because the square inches just don’t calculate out. When you talk to tile people they say if you want to eliminate the problem, you need to go to the eighteen (inch tile). One guy I talked to said it looked to him like the fifteen inch tile is undersized or the twelve inch tiles are oversized, because when they come together something is going to happen.”


Chairman Schmierer recalled that there was talk about putting an eighteen inch tile in, it was discussed, and it was dropped back to a fifteen inch tile because of costs. Trent Pherson said it wasn’t landowners’ decision to drop the size of the tile back. Chairman Schmierer stated he thought there was somebody at the meeting protesting costs on that.


Jack Pherson stated, “Wayne Hunt challenged the cost of sock tile and several people said it was best to put sock tile in because of Sandy Loam, and he was challenging the price of some size of tile and he gave a price of how he could buy the tile for a certain price and everybody knew that he couldn’t do it because it was way too low, and plus he was challenging the engineering fees.” Chairman Schmierer said he knew there was an argument over it. Trent Pherson asked Mike Ezra what the difference in cost is between eighteen and fifteen inch tile with sock. Mike Ezra thought about $1.30 a foot. Trent said 1500 feet times $1.30 is very little money.


Chairman Schmierer stated he does not know what can be done now that the fifteen inch tile is in and running two twelve inch tiles into it, perhaps it was just having an exuberant five inch rain. Dave Finley said that is part of what you are dealing with, you have a lot of head pressure upstream on the system and you had a least a 100 year rainfall depth with the duration of the rain that happened. Jack Pherson answered, “I disagree with you. I’ve seen this amount of rain in the last five year.” David Finley said, “You had somewhere between four and six inches in under six hours. The hundred year depth for a four hour rain is about 4 inches. So, if you got more than four inches…”


Jack Pherson said again he disagreed with him. He explained, “Yes, if rained a lot. It was so dry out there it sucked up half of that rain before it even knew it hit the ground. The drainage system right next to it, it sucked all of that water out of there and it was out of there by dark and none of that water ran off because in that drainage system there is a dam at the end of a waterway and it has to go into these tiles so it doesn’t run out. By dark that night it was gone and this one here (Brechbiel) was shooting water right up. Go back to the question of why it was downsized. I heard that Rick Raderstorf (former County Surveyor) and Todd (Frauhiger, Engineer) made the decision to downsize this on themselves. We the people that financed this put the faith in the engineering company to do the correct thing, we felt like the engineers would know. They said it would work, but it doesn’t work. We have turned Dr. Tribbett’s field into a retention pond. From Tuesday morning until Thursday at noon, the airwell along the road it was still coming up out of there.”


Dave Finley stated, “I you look at the actual hydraulics of the pipes, free and unobstructed, it should work. If you look at the two twelve inch pipes running at full capacity of coming into that (fifteen inch pipe). Yes, it is going to surcharge the fifteen inch one, I can’t deny that, but it shouldn’t surcharge it above the ground surface.” Jack Pherson said he sees that in the other drainage system, it does come up in the airwell but it doesn’t come out of it. He said, “You talk about it shouldn’t but in reality it does, now what is the explanation to correct the problem? That’s why I’m here. What is the answer, what is the solution, what is the time table to cure it. I would like an answer.”


There was some discussion on bid rainfalls in recent years. Dave Finley explained design standards they go by. Jack Pherson said they had somewhere in the five inch range. Dave Finley restated that they got the rain in a short period of time.


Jack Pherson expressed, “There has to be a solution to correct it, because what I lost in this field the best you can do is break even. That was out goal, to eliminate those situations like that. We put the faith in the engineering company to construct and engineer something that we could be proud of and pass on to the future generations. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen water come up out of those airwells. The water has come up with less rain than we had this time. This first big rain we had my mom drive by and said that thing doesn’t work. For some reason this thing is way too slow. There’s something not taking the water away.”


Dave Finley stated, “I am not sure the size of the tile is going to be your problem, I can double check. There may be other things that we need to look at.”


Charles Mellon wondered if they had checked to see if something was plugged in the fifteen inch tile. David Finley said we did not find any significant problem with the fifteen inch tile. Chairman Schmierer said that he thought Todd (Frauhiger) checked all that out when the ten inch chaser was put in. Jack Pherson said Mike Ezra was out there from where they connected the chaser, from there on up the tile line, dug every couple of hundred feet and checked. He said from where they connected the caser, from there to the outlet, they found some flat places, and from where the chaser is connecting everything that fifteen has to be giving it all the water it wants because it does come out of there.


Chairman Schmierer stated, “With that water surging out of the ground, that fifteen was carrying it all it could carry. If you have that surging out of the ground where the two twelves are hooked to the fifteen, it could be running up hill and with that much pressure that fifteen would still be carrying water like crazy.” Chairman Schmierer stated that Engineer Finley was filling in for Todd Frauhiger and Engineer Frauhiger needs to follow up on this. Engineer Finley agreed that they would do that.


Dave Finley stated, “If it was performing like that with a ten and a fifteen (inch pipe), it is going to be doing that with an eighteen inch pipe. The extra capacity you would have compared to those wouldn’t be enough.” Trent Pherson commented that we’re not having problems where the ten and fifteen are. Surveyor Sterrett asked if there could be a problem between where the two twelves come in and the airwell where the chaser is? Trent said no, because we’re filling that structure where the ten and the fifteen come in. Jack Pherson stated, “From the chaser to where the two twelves come in there, Mike dug that out and two guys stood there, Todd and the tall guy (Ron Nolan) and they came up with the correct grade.” Chairman Schmierer directed Dave Finley to talk to Surveyor Nolan also and see what can be figured out for us. Dave Finley stated they would come back with the answers.


Landowner Randy Hunt, representing his mother, addressed the Board with a request to get a much stretch of the Mertz Ditch cleaned that is silted in really bad. He stated that the last time it was cleaned was between 1981 and 1983 and everyone up at the muck end has outlets underwater. He said they would like to address using the maintenance money to clean the ditch. Chairman Schmierer said that can be done with maintenance money, first we have to wait until the crops get off and secondly, they won’t do anything until they get a written letter from you and adjoining neighbors asking us to do that. That way, if another neighbor asks why it was done and didn’t want it done, we can say we did it because you asked to have us do it. It needs to be in writing so we have ourselves covered. Chairman Schmierer said there is another area above that on the ditch that needs dipped. He said he understands there is about two and a half miles of ditch that needs done. One landowner said, “If the grade falls, you need to pick up your grade that you need to cut back on.”


Chairman Schmierer stated, “You fellas get us a letter and when Denny can survey it to where you can tell what level it needs brought back to, we can do it under maintenance. We need a letter on it. Denny is covered up with surveying right now. It is a possibility we can work it by spring before you plant. We’ll try to get it done so we can get it quoted, it has to be quoted. There is money there to do it, but we do need a letter signed by the major landowners. If you have 65 to 70% of the landowners affected that’s all we care about. I don’t want someone to come along and say we shouldn’t have done it. I think we can prepare you a letter in the Surveyor’s Office.” Surveyor Sterrett stated that he was pretty sure that the office has sent Randy Hunt a petition to have signed.


Randy Hunt also addressed the issue of Milt Cole wanting the Renwick extension of the Amelia Suits ditch cleaned. He said they have been less than successful in getting the neighbors interested in that project. He said his question is on Milt Cole’s half mile of the ditch, if they clean the brush on their own, could they get some kind of a written agreement that Milt Cole wouldn’t have to pay on it again if they ever get around to cleaning the rest of it. Attorney stated that would not be a possibility. Chairman Schmierer agreed that the ditch is in horrendous condition. He said if he were Milt Cole he would petition the ditch and bring it to a landowners’ meeting to be discussed.


Randy Hunt stated that there is a mile and a half of terrible brush and agreed with Chairman Schmierer that is going to have to be dipped. He said there are several different opinions on it. One landowner wants to know where the spoil and brush will be placed this time and doesn’t want it on his side because it was put on his side the last time, and what it is going to cost, several issues. Chairman Schmierer said he would still petition it if he were Milt Cole and get the people in here to sit down and discuss it. He said the ditch is horrendous. He said if we determine that it is beneficial, in other words, the costs are not prohibitive, we can go ahead and do it. Board Member Heimlich stated that if you have over fifty percent of the people that are adamantly opposed to it, they probably could get it stopped.


Secretary Kiser stated that the Surveyor’s Office sent Milt Cole a petition for the cleaning of the Renwick Ditch. Randy Hunt verified that he had seen that petition.


Surveyor Sterrett reported he had not made a decision on the subdivision for Daniel Bradfield west of Monon (Vidanate Giant Acres). He and Board Member Heimlich went an inspected the site. It is out on SR 16 west of Monon across from the flooring plant. Chairman Schmierer said there are water problems out there anyway. Surveyor Sterrett said there wasn’t any tile shown on the right-of-way plans and Engineer Frauhiger had called Merrill at the State Highway Department and he said that they were going to issue Mr. Bradfield two highway permits. He said he asked if they would send us a letter to that affect. Engineer Finley said a highway permit doesn’t necessarily mean it is a drainage permit, it could just be a cut road for a driveway. Board Member Heimlich stated that when he and Surveyor Sterrett went out there, they couldn’t figure out where the water was going to go, maybe it is alright, but we need Todd to take a look at it. It went across the road but we couldn’t find any drain over there that it went to. He said there was also a low area in there. Jim Milligan had asked for an exemption from the Drainage Ordinance on it. Chairman Schmierer said they should submit a drainage plan and apply for a drainage permit, let them tell us where the water is going to go.


Surveyor Sterrett asked if the Drainage Board maintains waterways that are over County regulated tiles. Board Member Heimlich stated that on most of those that he has seen, the tile is regulated and the waterway isn’t. Surveyor Sterrett stated he has one complaint that the neighbor’s waterway is not deep enough. Board Member Heimlich said unless you can see that the waterway was taken in, in most cases the tile is regulated and the waterway isn’t. The problem was reported by Ed Federer over by Wolcott. The ASCS cut a waterway and now it is ponding and won’t go across. Chairman Schmierer said to contact Tom Wagner, Soil and Water Conservationist. He stated that if he has created the problem putting a waterway in, he should correct it, he’s going to have to deal with it. Board Member Heimlich said we do not have any jurisdiction over the waterway. Chairman Schmierer asked if it is blocked up on Don English. Surveyor Sterrett answered yes. He said they also had 2 ½ inches of rain up there in a short period of time.


Surveyor Sterrett reported that Randy DeVault has started work on the Plummer Tile and he thought he was going to have 100 or 150 foot of 24 inch tile to put in, but he thinks it is about 400 feet now that he gets to looking at it. It is all crushed up. It is a 90% - 10% project at the head of Honey Creek and we are to pay the 10%. They had thought it would be a $30,000.00 project and we’d pay about $5,000.00. They don’t know if they’ll cut any tiles coming in to that and have to repair them, so it was figured in. Chairman Schmierer said now that we have it started we have to finish it. He said it is a mess. They have driven over them with tractors and combines and broke them down. Surveyor Sterrett said he has 150 foot in already.


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


Attorney Loy asked Secretary Kiser to refer the labor statement signed by Stu Krintz, an employee of the White County Highway Department, to County Attorney Sheryl Pherson. (Stu Krintz occasionally does private work for his company through the Surveyor’s office.)


Mike Ezra asked when the Carter-Hines Reconstruction bids would be let. That will be done after the Reconstruction Hearing on August 19, 2002. He asked about the Opal Carmichael maintenance project. Surveyor Sterrett is not done surveying that project. He is about half done with it due to crops in the way.


Chairman Schmierer adjourned the meeting.