WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD
FEBRUARY 28, 2001
President; Jack Pike, Secretary; Don Ashley,
Attorney for Board and Karan Hargrave-
ALSO PRESENT: Ralph Blake, Pam Hendrickson, David Dahl,
Sherri Phillips and Steve Sherwood.
President Williams brought meeting to order.
The first order of business was the approval of minutes from the previous meeting.
Commissioner Pike made a motion to approve minutes of February 14, 2001, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried. 3-0
CITY OF BOONVILLE WASTE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY:
Karan Hargrave-Barnhill, Surveyor stated that this was continued from last meeting, as they did not have any representation.
Karan explained that the City is requesting to cross Cypress Creek with their sewer line, it will be 3 feet below the flow line of the ditch. The City has entered into a Hold Harmless Agreement that will need to be executed by the Board, if they choose to do so.
She further stated that she has reviewed the plans and there was a slight blockage in the roadside ditch that drains into Cypress Creek and the City has submitted a request with Steve Sherwood, which she believes comes up at the Commissioner’s Meeting, to ask for a drive-way permit and to do this work in the road Right-of-Way.
Commissioner Conner asked if this would correct the problem.
Karan stated that it would.
David Dahl, Midwest Engineers introduced himself to the Board. He stated that the City is going to construct a new sewage plant on the West side of Cypress Creek just South of Millersburg Road. He further stated that in order to get the sewage to the new plant from the old plant, they were going to be coming up from the old plant up along Cypress Creek on the access road to the City’s CSO basins and then they plan to bore under Cypress Creek to get to the new site. He further stated that in order to get water to the site they are going to be bringing a 6 inch water line also up from the CSO basins and boring across Cypress Creek for that.
He further stated that it would have a minimum of 3 foot cover in the bottom of the ditch. He also stated that in addition the treatment plant site will have an access road off of Millersburgh Road and the County Highway ditch has a pretty steep slope and there is a drainage problem on the Northwest corner. He stated further that they would like to flatten the slopes of that county ditch so that it can be mowed and also improve the drainage in that corner that comes into Cypress Creek at Millersburg Road.
Mr. Dahl also explained that on the plant site, they have kept everything out of the 75 foot Right-of-Way easement as far as buildings and things of that nature. He stated they will have some associated fill for the road and things of that nature and there is an outfall sewer, which will go into Cypress Creek as it is shown on the site plan.
Commissioner Conner moved to accept the City of Boonville’s proposal as presented.
Mr. Ralph Blake addressed the Board and stated that there are a lot of years in front of us and there will be a lot of development. He also stated that he hoped that putting the sewer line in at the 3 foot depth would not come back and haunt the Board. He asked if the line had to be moved or the ditch had to be maintained, who would do that?
Karan stated that is what the Hold Harmless Agreement is for. The Agreement is there to protect Warrick County, if any work has to be done on the line or ditch the City is responsible for any cost associated with moving the line.
Mr. Blake also stated that the Hold Harmless sounded good and fine for next year but what about a few years down the road. He said he was counting on the Board to make decisions that would not adversely affect the future.
President Williams asked for a second on Commissioner Conner's motion. He asked for a second 2 times more. The motion died for lack of a second.
APPROVAL OF CLAIMS:
Commissioner Conner stated that the Board should have a list of the claims one week prior to meeting
Commissioner Pike made a motion to pay claims, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.
Karan asked if the request that the City of Boonville made will be put back on the agenda for the next meeting.
President Williams answered that it would be on the agenda again in two weeks.
Commissioner Pike stated that when the Drainage Board approves the plans for drainage, the Board has no way of holding the developers responsible for construction of the structures or Retention/Detention basins. He explained that there are Irrevocable Letter of Credit held for street construction. He stated he thinks the County needs to do something like that on drainage, because we have so many complaints. Once we have approved the drainage we have no way of going back and enforcing the drainage requirements.
Commissioner Pike further stated that he would like Karan to put together some sort of program that we would have a bond or some type of financial backing so that when it is inspected and it is not up to spec we would have something to fall back on. He asked Karan to put together something for the Board to look at.
Karan suggested that the Board should basically do what they do on the streets and sidewalks. She further stated that she would put something together with more specifics, but a dollar amount is submitted whenever they do their drainage plans for all the drainage structures in it, so we would just have them separate that out from the streets. She also stated that they could do periodic inspections. She stated she could do that if the Attorney for the Board agrees.
Don Ashley, Attorney for the Board stated that when we review drainage plans for subdivision we are acting on behalf of the Planning Commission. We have no statutory authority over anything except regulated drains. The Planning Commission can handle subdivision proposals the same as they can the road proposals, but as a Drainage Board we have absolutely no jurisdiction. He further stated that the Drainage Board’s job is strictly to approve or reject plans that are submitted as a part of the subdivision ordinance.
Karan asked, if the Drainage Board chooses to enact a drainage ordinance that requires all the things that are being required for a drainage plan and the developer’s do not agree, what leverage do we have?
Mr. Ashley answered that the Drainage Board has no authority over subdivision drainage the only authority the Board has is by virtue of a County Ordinance whereby the Planning Commission delegated the supervision of subdivision drainage to the Drainage Board.
Karan asked but isn’t that a Planning Commission State Statute that requires drainage plans to be approved?
Mr. Ashley said not on anything other than a regulated drain, The Drainage Board has no authority over private drains or mutual drains, our authority for reviewing subdivision drains comes strictly through the Planning Commission. He further stated that our recommendation is to the Area Plan Commission, the enforcement if need be of any violations or non-compliance of drainage plans has to be enforced by the Planning Commission. He said the Area Plan Commission has the control and jurisdiction over the subdivision plats.
Karan stated, That the Plan Commission amended the Subdivision ordinance that requires the Drainage Board to approve the Drainage plans and require some type of Bond or Irrevocable Letter of Credit to ensure Drainage structures are placed according to the plans approved.
Mr. Ashley stated that was correct. He further stated that the Board’s function has been to review the plans and either accept them or require their modification. The Board has no continuing supervision over these drains.
Karan asked how is it that we require retention basins in subdivisions if we have nothing to back us up.
Mr. Ashley answered that this is the Board’s recommendation to the Planning Commission, that’s part of the subdivision plat approval by the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Pike stated that the reason he brought this up is because we have so many subdivisions basically that the courts end up with after they get built, that have a drainage problem.
The Board was looking for a vehicle to control this so that when the subdivision gets completed that the drainage does work properly.
Mr. Ashley stated that our report is to the Planning Commission.
Karan asked, so if it’s the Drainage Board’s wishes that we could approach the Planning Commission as a whole to ask them to change their ordinances to allow us to have more control over drainage.
Mr. Ashley stated we are a creature of the State Legislature and we have only those powers and duties set forth by statute. He stated that we are merely acting as an adjunct to the Plan Commission, because they requested it about twenty years ago.
Karan stated that she thought that whenever the Planning Commission upgraded the subdivision control ordinance, they brought that up to State Statute requirements and standards that required that the Drainage Board review plans. She further stated that she thought it was a State Statute and a Planning Commission statute that required the Board approve drainage plans.
Mr. Ashley answered that the County ordinance specifies that the Drainage approval can be delegated to the Drainage Board for review. He further explained that all the Board has ever done is review and make recommendations to the Area Plan Commission. But the enforcement of the drainage plan lies with the Planning Commission.
Steve Sherwood, Warrick County Highway Engineer stated that they worked with the Surveyor’s Office in the past trying to enforce some of the improvements outside the road Right-of-Way such as drainage basins and structures through letters of credit with the streets up through the Planning Commission. He also stated that they have held amounts of dollars over their heads so that the contractors would finish improvements outside the road Right-of-Way. He also stated that in the past it has not been the rule, but it has been the exception. He went on to say that many of the drainage approvements as Karan states are outside the road Right-of-Way, but its an all inclusive lump fee spelled out in the certificate of compliance. He also stated it's those issues outside of the Road Right-of-Way that have been his concern.
He further stated that there is no leverage for the Drainage Board or Surveyor that it is done unless its through the Board of Commissioners as part of the reduction of dollar amounts in the street plans or the improvements which again is the mechanism of the Planning Commission, so there is a subdivision control ordinance for the streets, but as Don says nothing has been set up for the drainage.
Karan stated that Commissioner Pike’s question is that there is no inspection done on the drainage structures before they’re covered up or roads are built over them or the retention basin is completed or any of that, so the joints could be slipped or they could not be constructed as in the plans.
Steve further stated that their inspections consist of if they just happen to be there at the time and the final inspection doesn’t guarantee what is already covered up. He stated there is no daily inspection team. He further explained this has been discussed before, but it would take a considerable financial commitment to have an inspection team like Vanderburgh County does. He explained that Vanderburgh County does not let any concrete or asphalt be laid until someone from their office has inspected it and given an ok. Steve also stated that we have the enforcements but we are not there to witness them or even be ensured they are being done properly. He also explained the County’s mechanism falls on the developing engineer that everything was built according to plans.
Commissioner Pike related that in the past there have been a couple of subdivisions that were evidently not built to specifications and caused a lot of drainage problems. He said he was looking for a vehicle for the future to try and avoid some of these problems.
Steve also reported that the concrete box has been ordered across Anderson Road and as a follow up to a report that he wrote to the Board. He stated that in speaking with Karan that this portion of ditch is a legal drain east of Anderson Road, but not west of Anderson Road and there is some 1400 to 1500 lineal feet of ditch to be improved to get to where the County stopped ditching as part of the drainage improvement that were for that offsite watershed in Summit. He stated that the Highway Department is going to honor its commitment to complete its improvements that were started by that section. He explained that he and Karan had discussed bringing this up at a later date as to whether this should be petitioned to make a legal drain extension and was all in the report for your consideration.
Commissioner Pike stated that he thought this should be looked at because this goes back to the same subdivision we have discussed previously and the County needs to make sure the water drains properly.
Karan stated that she could contact the property owners that this would affect and see what their feelings are on this subject if the Board should so desire.
Commissioner Conner asked Steve if he recommended taking any action regarding the 1400 feet of ditch to resolve the drainage problem out there.
Steve answered that as Karan mentioned it would probably be a suitable idea to extend that drain all the way to the northern boundary of Summit Pointe Section A to ensure that this flooding never happens again. He stated that he believed this is why it happened in the first place due to the neglect of the drain over the years and then with the construction errors by the developer of that development that diverted the water through the subdivision instead of bypassing it as it was intended to be.
Commissioner Pike agreed that the Board should be able to control it and it does kind of force us into taking it in as a regulated drain.
Steve stated that the next logical step would be for Karan to contact the property owners and make sure they are in favor of it.
Commissioner Conner asked that in the present plans to help alleviate or eliminate the problem over there, there are no plans to do anything within this 1400 feet of ditch at the present time.
Steve answered that it has been discussed within the Highway Department with no plans to move forward. He stated they have been evaluating options and one of the options is to make it a legal drain. He also stated that he knows of one of the owners who would be in favor of it if it doesn’t take out too many trees. He explained that most of the property is mostly trees so it would have to be discussed with the landowners. Unfortunately some of the trees would have to come out just to be able to work the ditch.
Commissioner Pike asked Karan to present a report at the next meeting on this matter.
Karan answered that she would have a report for them at next meeting.
Commissioner Conner made a motion to adjourn, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.