WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD
JANUARY 16, 2002
MEMBERS PRESENT: Don Williams, President; Carl Conner, Vice-
President; Jack Pike, Secretary; Don Ashley,
Attorney for Board; Karan Hargrave-Barnhill,
Surveyor and Rod Madden, Deputy Surveyor.
ALSO PRESENT: Paul Bair, Frank Naas, Bryan Diehl, Robert Stone,
Bill Bivins, Sherri Phillips and Ralph Blake.
The first order of business was the approval of minutes. Commissioner Conner made a motion to accept the December 19, 2001 minutes, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.
Commissioner Pike made a motion to accept the January 2, 2002 minutes, 2nd by Commissioner Williams. Motion carried 3-0.
CERTIFICATION OF REGULATED DRAINS:
President Williams stated that the calculations are correct and asked for a motion?
Commissioner Conner made a motion to approve the Certification of Regulated Drains as submitted, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.
Karan Hargrave-Barnhill, Surveyor stated the plans were resubmitted with corrections to be made. She added that she had reviewed them and still had questions and items to discuss with Mr. Bivins. She asked for a request to continue.
Commissioner Conner made a motion to continue the drainage approval for Sandals Subdivision, 2nd by Commissioner Pike.
President Williams asked if there were any comments from the public.
Bill Bivins stated that there was not an agreement made until yesterday afternoon as to what size pipe to put in and that was part of the delay.
President Williams asked Mr. Bivins if this was going to hurt him by postponing the drainage plans until the next meeting?
Mr. Bivins answered no it wouldn’t.
Commissioner Pike asked what size pipe was Mr. Bivins asking for?
Mr. Bivins answered 5 ½ X 24 box.
Karan explained it is a con-span and explained that some of her problems with the plan is that Mr. Bivins is directing a lot of the water into swales and she would like to have a plan profile of the type of swale that is going to be constructed to ensure that the water that doesn’t go to the ditch is being directed and can be held in the swale that is going to be provided so that the water doesn’t cause problems upstream of the development. She also explained that there are also some invert elevations on the plans that are not correct, Steve Sherwood, the County Engineer also has problems with the street plans, there are some questions on the retention basin and she wants a detail plan with the elevations for the con-span that is going to be put in the legal drain.
Commissioner Conner asked Mr. Bivins if 2 weeks was sufficient enough time for him to provide this to the Surveyor.
Mr. Bivins answered that it was.
President Williams stated that a motion has been made by Commissioner Conner and seconded by Commissioner Pike to table this issue, Motion carried 3-0.
Karan stated the Drainage Board had a request from the Area Plan Director to have these plans withdrawn, as there was a mistake made on zoning and the lot is not large enough to divide into two lots.
President Williams stated for the record he would like Ms. Phillips to come to the podium and explain the zoning.
Sherri Phillips, Director of the Area Plan Commission explained that it was discovered today in review that instead of the lot being zoned R-1A it was actually zoned R 1D, which is the largest residential lot size allowed. Therefore the lot is not large enough to divide. She further added that the owners would have to file to rezone the property. She further stated that she had a letter from Land Surveyor Doug McDonald asking that the subdivision plat be withdrawn as of this date.
Commissioner Pike made a motion to reject the application for drainage for Ridgewood Subdivision, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. President Williams explained to the public that this drainage plan is a dead issue. Motion carried 3-0.
BIG “E” PIT:
Karan stated she was going to give a quick synopsis of what has happened in the past for the Board. She stated that about 2 years ago due to the reclaiming of some property by the coalmines part of a leg of the Big E was cut off and filled in. She explained that with that being done it was causing a drainage problem with Cypress Creek all the waters instead of being held in Big E pit was going to Cypress Creek and flooding all the farmers.
She added that the County went in and put a control structure, a dam like structure in one of the legs where Cypress Creek comes into it. She found the minutes where the Drainage Board extended the legal drain from where it ended at the railroad trestle all the way up to the dam. She explained that Robert Stone contacted her and stated that the dam was not being maintained so the control structure was not working properly. She stated that Mr. Stone wants to know if there could be regular maintenance on this structure, as it does not state in the previous minutes of the Drainage Board that it would be maintained by the County. She stated that it does need to be maintained but she doesn’t know if it would be the County Highway Department or the Drainage Board since it is at the end of a legal drain.
She asked Don Ashley if he remembered those meetings, since the minutes do not reflect who was responsible for the maintenance.
Mr. Ashley stated that he thinks that the purpose of extending the legal drain was for the purpose of maintaining the dam and so that the Drainage Board would have jurisdiction over the dam, whether the legal description stops short of that he is not sure.
President Williams stated that the County constructed the dam not the owner of the property.
Karan asked Mr. Stone if he could get the County a key to the gate so that the County will have access for maintenance?
Mr. Robert Stone approached the podium and introduced himself and stated that a few weeks ago there was an article in the newspaper about the flooding of the Big E pit on the Anderson’s property. He stated that he contacted the Andersons for the purpose of determining if they were having a flooding problem on their property. He further explained that if that is the case then we have a potential flooding problem down below because then the buffering action of the whole system isn’t working because it is blocked or plugged. He stated he also contacted Mr. Burnley, who owns the property where the dam is located, but Mr. Burnley could not be present at the meeting. Mr. Stone explained that he does not mind a periodic maintenance by the County and that the County does have a key. Mr. Stone added that someone from the County has been out there this past week cleaning out around the dam, but there does need to be a schedule so that the dam stays clear. Mr. Stone passed out some pictures of the dam that were taken last spring, he added that he and Mr. Burnley have taken turns trying to keep the dam cleared. He also stated that Mr. Burnley is concerned about during the fall with a key being out, he is concerned about hunting on his property. He stated that he does not want anyone hunting but does not have a problem with periodic maintenance of the dam and asks that he be notified.
Commissioner Conner asked what Mr. Stone means when he says periodic maintenance, once every three months, semi-annually?
Mr. Stone answered that there was discussion about once a month or bi-monthly. He also stated that at the time this was being constructed it was discussed about putting a wicker or something in front to hold the debris back, but that would have to be maintained as well.
Commissioner Pike asked if they were losing a lot of logs?
Mr. Stone answered that there are just that many trees on the banks and edges of the water on the Big E and Vigo Coal Mine in their construction above had some bales of straw that had worked lose and jammed it up. Mr. Stone stated that he believes that since this was a Commissioner’s project in the beginning along with the Chamber of Commerce and others that it would certainly fall under some jurisdiction of the County. He added that the phase 2 project of Vigo Coal Company has been completed except it has not been brought on line yet and when it is completely finished Cypress Creek will come through there.
Commissioner Pike stated the design has all been approved.
Mr. Stone added that with all this done it will help buffer the flow and help stabilize the Big E from it’s 3-foot fluctuations.
Commissioner Pike asked Attorney Ashley if he believed it was up to the Drainage Board to maintain the control structure?
Mr. Ashley answered that when the regulated drain was extended, the purpose of that was to acquire jurisdiction so that some central authority would control the problem that had been encountered in the past.
Commissioner Pike stated that the one problem he has had with that area is that the legal drain was extended up to the dam, the area in-between and below that is not a legal drain. He stated he believes it is a no-mans land and that bothers him from the standpoint that basically we control above it and below it but the area where all the water is the Board has no control and now we are talking about a dam to maintain.
Mr. Ashley stated that the dam is located at the mouth of the legal drain.
Commissioner Pike stated that it would then be the responsibility of the Drainage Board to maintain and keep it clean.
Commissioner Conner asked Mr. Stone what was involved in cleaning out the dam when Mr. Stone or Mr. Burnley cleaned it?
Mr. Stone answered that there is a road back there and a good deal of the money was for laying rock so there would be access to the dam and also so it would not tear up the land owners property and the land owner has been gracious enough to allow us to do this and has also cleaned some of it on his own as it is a nature preserve. He added that when he cleaned it out it took approximately an hour to do it manually.
Commissioner Conner stated that if it is Drainage Board responsibility then he assumes that the ultimate work is going to fall within the County Surveyor’s Office to maintain the drain and dam. He added that the reason he was asking about this is, does the Surveyor’s Office have the equipment and staff to keep this maintained?
Karan stated that since it is a legal drain, if her staff couldn’t do it then it would be bid out like any other job.
Commissioner Pike stated that if the Drainage Board is going to be liable for the maintaining of the dam then they should have a key to gain legal access.
Karan stated that she remembers when Jerry was building the structure they kept a key at the highway department because at one time when she was working for the Engineer’s Office they let her use the key.
Commissioner Pike stated that since it is private property the Board should have a written access.
Mr. Stone stated he alerted Mr. Burnley to come to the meeting but he had other engagements.
Karan stated that she would contact Mr. Burnley and have something written out and have the Drainage Board Attorney look at it.
President Williams stated that it seems a Right-of-Entry is needed. He also asked Mr. Stone about the pictures and stated that whenever pictures are submitted they become part of the public record and should stay in the file. He then asked if there was any other discussion on the Big E from the Board or the Public? He then asked for any other business?
Mr. Bivins came to the podium and asked Mr. Ashley, if a legal drain is widened where is the top of bank?
Mr. Ashley answered that it was where it originally was or else there would be no limitation.
Mr. Bryan Diehl who resides at 7811 Ashwood Court, which is directly East of Sandals Subdivision, asked about the swale that Mr. Bivins is going to build on the backside of the property to keep the storm water from draining straight to the ditch.
President Williams interrupted Mr. Diehl and said that he was asking questions about plans that the Board has not seen.
Mr. Diehl stated that his concern is the only saving grace that Tanglewood Subdivision does have is the property that Mr. Bivins is wanting to develop already overflows the bank. He added that if a swale is built next to the bank of the ditch, that means the water can’t overflow and will back up farther into Tanglewood Subdivision.
Commissioner Pike stated that all of the area is flat.
Mr. Diehl stated that the only thing that ground is good for that Mr. Bivins wants to develop is a lake, because it all floods and now he wants to put in a berm.
Karan stated that the plans that she has seen does not include a berm and that the grade of the ditch will stay the same, they are just going to create a swale on the outside of the legal drain 75 feet off of the top of bank. She added that it would direct the water to the swale to go to the basin to be retained before it’s released.
Commissioner Pike asked what side of the ditch is this going to be?
Karan answered that they are proposing a swale on the North side of the ditch and a swale on the North boundary of the subdivision as well. She stated that is why this is taking so long because she wants to be sure that what Mr. Bivins does is not going to affect Tanglewood Subdivision.
Mr. Diehl stated that the houses on the South side of the new development would most likely have water in them. He added that he didn’t know how someone could sell property knowing that the houses are going to flood.
Karan stated that when the plans were filed, she sent a crew out to run grade on the whole ditch through Tanglewood all the way down to Gardner-Webb Ditch where it intersects and we are looking at sloping the banks back to a 3:1 slope which will give it more capacity as it has plenty of fall.
Mr. Diehl went on to explain about neighbors having to get flood insurance when they refinanced and that his house does not flood but some of his neighbors do.
Commissioner Pike stated that in years past the Drainage Board tried to get an easement back to the ditch between the cul-de-sac and the other properties at the end of Tanglewood Drive but were not able to achieve that.
Mr. Diehl stated that the County owns 2 lots just south of the ditch from Ashwood Court. He added that he is not trying to stop development he is just trying to protect his property from developers that build and then can walk away and leave it for the landowners to pay.
Mrs. Helen Newton who resides at 7977 Telephone Road stated that she was directly across the road from Sandals Subdivision and she lives beside the Gardner-Webb drainage ditch. She added that she had lived there 25 years and has come to a lot of these meeting and she agrees with Mr. Diehl that she is not against the development but she also knows that the property floods. She asked if there had been any changes in the plans to put the concrete culvert that was sized at 4 X 20?
Karan answered that Mr. Bivins was asked to upsize it to a 5 X 24.
Commissioner Pike stated that a new culvert was going to be put in at Telephone Road as soon as the utilities are finished as it is caving in.
There was more discussion on improvements in the area and the watersheds and that they are all taken seriously.
Mr. Diehl asked when the next meeting would be?
President Williams stated if it didn’t change it would be two weeks from today.
Karan stated that it was the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Commissioner Conner made a motion to accept the claims as presented, 2nd by Commissioner Pike. Motion carried 3-0.
Commissioner Pike stated there was a request by the Deputy Surveyor to attend a Drainage Law Seminar.
Deputy Surveyor Rod Madden stated he though the seminar would be beneficial to our office as it pertains to new laws.
Commissioner Pike stated that he had no problem with Rod attending the seminar.
President Williams asked if the Surveyor’s Office had funding for this?
Karan answered yes that there was funding available.
Commissioner Conner asked how many days were involved?
Rod answered that it was only a one-day seminar and the cost was $40.00. He added that he would only be gone for 1 day.
President Williams stated that the claim would be paid.
Commissioner Pike made a motion to recess, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.