MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

REGULAR SESSION

JANUARY 24, 2001

3:00 P.M.

 

 

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Don Williams, President; Carl Conner,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Vice-President; Jack Pike, Secretary;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Don Ashley, Attorney for Board and

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Karan Hargrave-Barnhill, Surveyor.

 

 

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Andy Easley, Ralph W. Blake, Robert

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Robinson,Bruce Biggerstaff, Allen

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mosbey, Kenneth Ubehlor and Jim

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Morley, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

President Williams brought the meeting to order.

The first order of business was the approval of minutes from the previous meeting.

 

Jack Pike made motion to approve minutes of January 10, 2001, 2nd by Carl Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

DETERMINATION ON HOLD HARMLESS:

A.Rabbit Run

 

Karan Hargrave-Barnhilll, Surveyor explained that this matter was discussed at the last meeting regarding two different subdivisions. The first one where utilities are crossing Sprengel Ditch, that is a legal drain, and the other one is Charlestown Square. It was discussed because the utilities are not willing to sign Hold Harmless Agreements to cross our legal drain. The Board continued this matter in order to research the matter to see if the State Statutes actually covered the County in case of any problems. She stated that some of the members of the Board have met with Mr. Ubehlor to discuss the matter.

She further suggested that the Board proceed and let them cross our legal drains subject to certain conditions.

 

Don Ashley stated as he had indicated before, this has been a practice of the Board for the last twenty years. The past Boards required this Hold Harmless in the past for the protection of the County, but the present Board can change this practice. He further explained the Hold Harmless clause is not a requirement of the State Statute, but of the Drainage Board he stated the Drainage Board has complete jurisdiction and control over its regulated drains and when someone wants to place a structure within that drain, I think you have the right to set the conditions.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he had a question concerning the statute and asked that when speaking of utilities, If this also includes municipalities?

 

Mr. Ashley answered that he assumed they were talking about a municipal utility.

 

President Williams asked who was going to speak for Rabbit Run Subdivision?

 

Mr. Kenny Ubehlor stated that he thought it seems to be the contention that we were going to cross the ditch with cast iron and be 3 feet under the ditch and put concrete on top of that to further protect the pipe from any damage. He stated that they also agreed that if the Board would allow this they would clean the ditch and establish the flow line before doing any of the pipe work. He also explained that they agreed to put a standpipe on either side of the ditch stating ďCaution Sanitary SewerĒ, so that anyone who would work the ditch in the future would know the sewer lines are there.

 

President Williams asked about a steel I-Beam on top of the sewer line.

 

Mr. Ubehlor stated he would also place an I-Beam on top if the Board so desires.

 

President Williams asked if the Board needed this in the form of a contract.

 

Don Ashley explained that the Board can set forth any conditions that they think necessary to protect the ditch.

 

President Williams stated that he would like to see the ditch cleaned. He also stated the banks are in good shape and if those are re-angled there will be erosion. He further explained he was referring to cleaning out the center of the ditch and putting in the cast iron pipe.

He asked about the thickness of the concrete.

 

Mr. Ubehlor stated it would probably about 1 foot in thickness and with the steel I-Beam over that. He stated that they will protect the sewer line.

 

Commissioner Pike asked what the minimum clearance was.

 

Karan answered that the minimum was 3 feet.

 

Mr. Bruce Biggerstaff explained that there was a minimum slope coming out of the existing Rabbit Run so they couldnít be a tenth lower even if they wanted to be. He further stated the line was kept at the absolute minimum because they also have to squeeze underneath Williamís high-pressured gas line.

 

Mr. Ralph W. Blake stated that he believed that Mr. Ubehlor had cooperated with the County and also that he did not blame the County for wanting to protect the ditches and themselves.

 

President Williams made a motion to approve the agreement that:

1.      The ditch be cleaned to Boardís specifications

2.      The cast iron pipe be 10 inches, encased in concrete with a steel I-Beam covering

†† it.

3.      Signs on both ends of the ditch signifying that the ditch contains a sewer line.

 

Karan asked Don Ashley is this would require a contract.

 

It was answered that the minutes should be sufficient.

 

Mr. Ubehlor stated that he would be happy comply to this agreement since he would be coming before the Board many more times for other items.

 

Commissioner Conner 2nd the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

CHARLESTOWN SQUARE:

 

Jim Morley, Jr. stated that he represented this subdivision. He explained they have two crossings, one is a water line and it actually crosses underneath the pipes that go parallel along Stahl Road and is not in the flow line of the ditch. He stated they would bore underneath the existing pipes that will be 18 inches between them, which is Indiana law. He stated that if the County wants more than 18, they could do that also. He explained that there will not be an open cut in the ditch, and should there come a time when the ditch would have to be dredged they would never harm their line because it is underneath the other pipes.

 

President Williams asked Steve Sherwood if this met the requirements?

 

Steve Sherwood stated that since it met the manufactureís specification he did not have a problem with it and 18 inches should also be sufficient.

 

Mr. Morley explained that the 18 inches is the IDEM requirement.

 

President Williams asked Mr. Morley if he was not willing to sign a Hold Harmless?

 

Mr. Morley answered that it was not his choice, it was the utility that did not want to sign.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that he would like to see 24 inches instead of 18.

 

Mr. Morley further stated that the other issue is the sanitary sewer crossing. He explained (locating on chart for Board) that neither is inside the Right-of-Entry.

He further stated that the line is just crossing under the ditch and it will be an open cut with 3 feet of cover, which is required by the State.

 

Steve Sherwood stated that the ditch itself was in good shape and that the banks are well stabilized and there are no obstructions of saplings or vegetation.

 

Commissioner Pike stated he would like to see the sewer line go deeper than the required 3 feet.

 

Mr. Morley stated that from the previous Drainage Board some of the work had already been done and he didnít think it could be deepened. He stated that it meets the State law of 3 feet cover, but we propose to also encase it in flowable fill. He further stated that the other half of this development is in Vanderburgh County and that they required a lift station.

 

President Williams asked Mr. Morley about flowable fill.

 

Mr. Morley explained that flowable fill is a lighter duty concrete.

 

It was explained that if flowable fill is kept moist it would be easy to scrape away.

 

President Williams made a motion to approve the agreement that:

1.      Regarding the water line there should be 24 inches between the pipes.

2.      Sewer line be kept at a 3 foot minimum depth using steel pipe with a cover of concrete fill and steel I-Beams.

3.      Signs on both ends of the ditch signifying that the ditch contains a sewer line.

 

Commissioner Conner 2nd the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

 

It was stated that a contract was not required, the minutes would suffice.

 

ROBINSON DITCH:

 

Karan Hargrave-Barnhill, Surveyor stated that this matter came to the Drainage Board last year to clean from SR 161 in a northeasterly direction to right before I-64. She stated that since the Board and herself are new she contacted the property owners, and herself and Rod Madden, Deputy Surveyor went out and walked the ditch. She stated she asked the property owners to come to the meeting and discuss what we think needs to be done.

 

Robert Robinson came to the podium and explained that he did not have anything to add. He stated he believes what the Surveyor has explained to him will work and he is in favor of it.

 

Karan showed the Board an aerial photograph and showed them how the ditch ran and explained that the main problems they saw was where the ditch was crooked and it was eroding the banks and taking the farmers land. She suggested that those areas be straightened.

 

Commissioner Pike asked Karan why she wanted to straighten the ditch.

 

Karan stated that when the water is coming down at the force that it is, when it hits those curves, itís hitting the banks and then coming back around and hitting the bank on the other side and eroding it away.

 

Commissioner Pike explained that you have less erosion by putting in a crooked ditch than you do a straight ditch.

 

Karan stated that was why they were there, to discuss it with the Board and let them decide.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if they were looking at the whole 2 Ĺ miles to clean. He also asked about the depth and width of the ditch.

 

Karan answered that the whole ditch would not be cleaned maybe a mile at the most. The depth of the ditch would not change, it's probably 6 feet deep at its deepest. We would not alter the width, as it is already probably 12 feet wide.

 

Mr. Robinson stated that the main problem is the curves in the ditch, that it does need to be straightened.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that every time the Drainage Board has worked on and straightened a ditch, the problems and erosion seems to escalate for the same people who wanted it straightened. The water flows much quicker and gets the water down the creek much faster and you get more erosion at the end. He stated that in the 6 years that he has been on the Board, they have ended up with more problems when a ditch is straightened than there are when itís just cleaned out.

 

President Williams asked Mr. Robinson if he had any problem with the Board just cleaning the ditch and not straightening it.

 

Mr. Robinson answered that it would probably help, but it needs to be straightened because there are places where it is cutting into the field one way and coming back and cutting another way into his field that he and his son-in-law farm:

 

 

Commissioner Conner asked if the Drainage Board had funds allocated for ditch work and how much was appropriated for this year.

 

Recording Secretary answered that $200,000.00 was normally appropriated for Cumulative Drain for ditch work.

 

Commissioner Conner also asked if the work on ditches and drains was done by private contractor.

 

Karan answered that in the past that has been so, however she would like to get away from that and let the County work forces do some of our work. She stated that would mean the County would have to buy excavating equipment and have our County people do the work to save money.

 

Commissioner Conner asked whom the County normally used or was it bid out and how May bids are normally received?

 

Karan answered that it was bid out and that we have a list of contractors we contact to pick up the specifications. She stated that normally there are 2-3 bids received.

 

Commissioner Conner asked what the average price is for a ditch cleaning and how do we receive the bids?

 

Karan answered that it varies on the size of the ditch as to cost on the bids, some of them bid in lump sum and some of them bid so much for each linear foot.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that he would like to discuss this with the foreman in his district.

 

Commissioner Conner suggested that this be tabled so President Williams could obtain information on this matter and bring it back to the next meeting.

 

President Williams stated that since he did not have the knowledge that Commissioner Pike has regarding this matter that they should probably just clean it and if the erosion continues, then Mr. Robinson should come back to the Board.

 

Commissioner Pike further stated that he did not want to use County equipment for use of cleaning out ditches. He stated he would like to keep the Drainage Board and the Highway Department separate.

 

Commissioner Conner made a motion to table this request until next meeting at which time the Board will look to Don Williams for his input and recommendations in regards to how it should be handled. Commissioner Pike 2nd Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

 

SEITZ DITCH:

 

Karan stated that a property owner contacted her and said that a Legal Hearing had been held and that they did not feel it had been advertised properly. She stated that in checking the files and the meeting for the Legal Hearing had been changed and moved up, so that made the notices and advertisements less than the 30 days required. She stated that it was then decided to bring it back to the Drainage Board and re-advertise it and go from there. She stated that she had not been to the site as yet, she just knows what she has read from the minutes and also from discussions with Phillip Springston, who is a property owner, that wants more of the ditch cleaned.

 

She further stated that this was to bring the Board up to date. She suggested that she walk the ditch and gather more information and bring it back to the next meeting.

 

Commissioner Conner made motion to table this matter, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

ALLEN DITCHPORTER CULVERT:

 

 

Karan stated that this matter was brought up at the last meeting in regards to Mr. Porter wanting to up-size the driveway pipe, actually, Bruce Miller is going to up-size the pipe. The Warrick Engineer and myself have approved the pipe size.

She stated it runs along Ellerbusch Road in Allen Ditch, which is a legal drain. This was also approved by the last Drainage Board. The problem started when utility lines were found to be in the ditch. She stated that SIGECO called her last week and their lines are out of the way as is also the sewer and water lines.

 

She further stated that Steve has talked to Bruce about ordering the pipe and getting it delivered for the County to put in.

 

Steve added that he had called Bruce, but was told he is out of the Country till later this week. He stated that when he returns, he will have him order the pipe and the County will get it installed.

 

Steve further stated that the pipe size was larger than the pipe down the stream. He also stated that he shot grade on the existing structure and he will probably downsize it by one.

 

 

 

 

CERTIFICATION OF LEGAL DRAINS:

 

Karan stated the records are still being researched. She gave members a list of what comparisons she has found and to show the Board the problems theyíve run into.

When she matches the Certification of 2000 with the ditch map the lineal footage is not correct. She would like this continued until it can be sorted out.

 

President Williams asked Karan how far along she was.

 

Karan answered that they were probably 50 to 65% finished.

 

President Williams made motion to continue until next meeting, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

GARDNER WEBB DITCH:

 

Karan stated that this matter was brought to her attention by Allen Mosbey and stated it was also discussed by the previous Board. She explained that Mr. Mosbey indicated that the previous Board agreed to do the ditch work on this ditch that abuts his farm and crosses Castle Garden Road.

Allen Mosbey presented himself to the Board, he stated that he owns the property. He further stated that the ditch is splitting his farm in half. He said that he started this project last year in January, Mr. Irvin and Mr. Holder came and looked at the ditch and said they didnít think there would be any problem. But with spring rains, crops and such it was postponed. He stated he came back in October and asked them again, they agreed to get bids on it and he was asked to sign a waiver, however he never received a waiver to sign.

 

Mr. Mosbey stated that the reason he is pushing to get it done is because he is building filter strips, 60 feet on each side to prevent erosion. He stated he would really like to get it done before crops go in this year.

 

Karan stated that they held the legal hearing in October.

 

Mr. Mosbey further stated that he was told he would not have to go before the Board again because it was only a quarter mile of ditch with no trees or saplings to be removed.

 

Karan asked Don Ashley if there was a law that if the work to be done is under a certain lineal footage that they donít have to bid it out or hold a legal hearing.

 

Don answered that if the estimated cost exceeds $25,000.00 then it has to be bid, otherwise you can take quotes.

After much discussion about where this was located and when it was cleaned last, Commissioner Conner made a motion to table until next meeting. He also asked Steve if he would be available to meet with him on Friday, Karan asked if she could also be included.

 

Mr. Mosbey stated that this is what happened the last time, they kept saying that since it wasnít a big job, it would be no problem and now itís going to be postponed again.

 

Commissioner Pike 2nd the motion to table, motion carried. 3-0.

 

 

HALSTON MANOR SUBDIVISION:

 

Andy Easley spoke in behalf of Barrington Development. He stated they have a subdivision planned at the Southwest corner of Frame and Lincoln and a ditch runs along the Southerly side of the property. He explained they planned lot depths of 120 feet along the ditch. He stated he has made cross sections of the ditch off of the topographical information that shows they could allow a 40-foot easement for access to that ditch and still leave sufficient room to position houses. He stated that they would like to have permission to reduce the legal drain.

 

Karan stated that she met with Mr. Easley yesterday, at the time that they met she was under the impression and is still not sure where the legal drain stops. She explained that in her opinion from her research, Willow Pond comes up to the Southwest corner and stops, this is from the legal records that I have found. She further explained that the records have not been kept up in the past and this is why she cannot get the Board a certification as yet.

 

Commissioner Pike asked if this was off of Willow Pond-Fred Mann ditch

 

Karen answered that it shows Willow Pond up to a point and then its just shown as a ditch.

 

Karan further stated that originally she had told him he needed to keep 75 foot Right-of-Entry easement from top of bank to assure that we could work this ditch if we had to. She further explained that she is having second thoughts as to whether it is a legal drain or not.

 

Mr. Easley stated that his registered land surveyor, Don Greise could not find any evidence that it is a legal drain.

 

Karan stated that she suggested to Mr. Easley and she hopes the Board will agree, is that if they were willing to go ahead and leave a drainage easement 30 foot wide in width and in addition to that a 10 foot public utility easement on the outside of that drainage easement, that will still give the Drainage Board 30 or 40 feet to work the ditch if they have to, plus he says that the developer is willing to go ahead and work this ditch and lay it back with a 3/1 slope, so that it will be shaped up at the time they develop the property.

Commissioner Pike stated that the first thing they need to determine is, where is the legal drain and where does it stop. If this is a legal drain, then there is a 75-foot Right-of-Way on either side of the ditch.

 

Karan stated that the records that she could find show that it ends here (showing on map).

 

Commissioner Pike said, but you're not sure of that.

 

Karan answered that she wasnít sure of anything at this point, the records are so bad.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that before the Board grants anything to this subdivision we need to know where it is and until we find that out, we really canít grant him anything, because we donít know what weíre granting.

 

Mr. Easley stated that he had inspected the ditch, there is a 48-inch pipe that takes the draining water under Frame Road. He stated the ditch is sufficient in depth and width and it should be able to handle any water that comes down the watershed. He further stated that he feels the compromise that Karan and he has worked out to allow access to the ditch would be sufficient for equipment to work in the ditch. He further stated it would be nice if we could get a conditional approval of this request.

 

Karan stated that they still have to come back to the Board for drainage approval.

 

Commissioner Pike added that if the Board approves this plan, they will be setting precedence and until the Surveyor can find out if it is a legal drain or not, I donít think we should approve this.

 

Karan stated that she had looked through every file and map and she canít find anything on this portion of the ditch, it just ends.

 

Commissioner Pike said that it seems that the Surveyor is not real sure.

 

Mr. Easley stated that even if it is a Legal Drain, what we are proposing still has adequate access for maintenance. He stated he thinks the 75-foot is an old statutory distance, when there were long draglines and that 75 foot is not always necessary to adequately work the ditch.

 

Commissioner Pike said thatís what the statute says and until the statute changes

The 75 foot will stand.

 

Mr. Easley said, that the Board has the power to reduce it selectively, and he thinks this is adequate footage.

Commissioner Conner asked if this is the first time this issue has been brought before the Drainage Board.

Mr. Easley answered, yes, this is a new piece of property.

 

It was explained to Commissioner Conner that it has just now started going thru the reviewing process, it had to be advertised first.

 

Mr. Easley said that there is absolutely no evidence that itís a legal drain and he thinks that the Surveyorís Office agrees with him. He stated that when my client bought this property it did not show a legal drain on the research or Title Insurance.

 

Steve Sherwood stated that the question he has is, if looking at these two sketches where you see the property lines and the subdivision is intended to be on the right hand side of the land described as the property line and if the left hand side is determined not to be a Legal Drain, would the developer have to secure permission from the land owners to clean the ditch outside his property line. He also stated if it is a legal drain, he has the power to do so, but if itís not then he has to reach over the ditch on someone elseís property and secure permission of the property owner.

 

Commissioner Pike answered yes, and then he made a motion to table until the Surveyor can assure the Board whether or not this is a legal drain, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

President Williams asked if there was any other business to come before this Board, since there was not, he made a motion to recess, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.