MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

REGULAR SESSION

FEBRUARY 13, 2002

3:00 P.M.

 

 

 

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:                               Bill Bivins, Ralph Blake, Frank Naas and Gayle

                                                            Ann Dorsey.

 

 

 

The first order of business was the approval of minutes from February 6, 2002. A motion was made to approve the minutes and the motion was carried 3-0.

 

 

SANDALS SUBDIVISION:

 

President Williams stated that the decision on Sandals Subdivision will be made later in the meeting.

 

GARDNER-WEBB DITCH AT GOURLEY #8:

 

President Williams asked Karan if she had any information on this matter?

 

Karan answered that she contacted Ruhe Excavating and Mr. Jim Ruhe gave her some names and numbers to contact in Spencer County. She contacted all of the people and they gave Ruhe Excavating good references on his work and that this company has been in business for years and have a good reputation. She stated that she feels comfortable with allowing this company the job if the Board chooses to do so.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if companies who do this work normally have to file a certificate of insurance with the County?

 

Karan answered that they didn’t for small jobs.

 

Commissioner Conner made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Surveyor to employ Ruhe Excavating, Inc. from Ferdinand, In to do the work on Gardner-Webb Ditch on Gourley Place #8.

Commissioner Pike asked if the quote was $18,778.00?

 

Karan stated that was the correct amount.

 

Commissioner Pike 2nd the motion made by Commissioner Conner to accept Ruhe Excavating, Inc for the work on Gardner-Webb at Gourley #8. Motion carried 3-0.

 

SANDALS SUBDIVISION:

 

Karan stated that this has been continued several times because of concerns that she has. She stated there are several things she isn’t comfortable with and has talked to Mr. Bivins about them. She stated that the water is going to be collected in swales or ditches along the north boundary and carried down the west boundary to the retention basins, then some of the water is going to be collected within a ditch or swale along the legal drain into a pipe under the road which will go into the basin. She explained that she is okay with the concept but the problem is with the elevations that are on the plans. The structures going in are going to be at the bottom of the basin, if the basin has water in it at all that water will come back into the pipes and stand in the swale indefinitely.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that the elevation now is 391.26 and on the other side it will be 390.96 so it will be 4 feet above the bottom of the basin. He added that this would be on both sides.

 

Karan stated she could accept that.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that the pipes will be a foot above the existing ditch and they will have flap gates on them.

 

Commissioner Pike asked who was going to maintain the flap gate on the pipes?

 

Mr. Bivins stated that they would last our lifetime, but that he would put it in the restrictive covenants who will maintain them.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that he knows that Mr. Bivins wants to hold water back but anything can get in the pipes and hold the pipes open.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that they would have a subdivision association and that would be one of their duties to inspect and repair pipes.

 

Karan stated that she still wanted a profile of the swales, so that elevations can be checked to ensure that the swales won’t hold water.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that it would be a ˝ inch slope.

 

Karan stated that she wants Mr. Bivins to put the cubic feet of storage that is being provided in the basin on the plat.

Karan stated that the swale will be on the outside of the legal drain, so that it will be directed to the basin and held and then released into the legal drain.

 

Commissioner Pike asked how deep and wide the swale would be?

 

Mr. Bivins answered it will be 2 feet maximum with a 3:1 slope.

 

Karan stated that is why she wants a detailed drawing of the swale and the elevation so that she can make sure it is higher than the pipe so that the swale is not holding water. She added that with those corrections it is up to the Board as to whether they want to approve it now or wait until Mr. Bivins makes the changes.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that what bothers him about the swale is that generally somebody builds  structures over the swale or grade it even and that is where most of our problems are.

 

Karan stated that her office is running into that a lot lately.

 

There was discussion on revising the Drainage Ordinance to deal with problems such as these.

 

Karan stated that if the plans are approved there could be a condition on the secondary plat a note be placed on each one of those lots that the swales cannot be disturbed.

 

There was also discussion on restrictions for the associations and then associations are never formed so that the covenants can be followed. Karan also stated that she is working on a draft of Drainage Ordinances now and is wanting to form a committee compiled of engineers, commissioners etc.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that what Mr. Bivins has presented is more than adequate, it just after they start developing that the problems start. He recommended the Board approve the plans for Sandals Subdivision with the changes outlined.

 

President Williams asked Commissioner Pike that before he made a motion he wanted to ask the public for any input.

 

Commissioner Pike withdrew his motion.

 

Brian Diehl introduced himself to the Board and stated that he lived at 7811Ashwood Court directly East of the Sandals Subdivision. He asked how many houses were going to be along the North side of the legal drain.

 

It was answered there would be 13 homes.

 

Mr. Diehl asked how close would the homes be to the legal drain?

 

Mr. Bivins answered the houses can’t be constructed within 75 feet of the legal drain.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that on numerous occasions he has seen water flow out of the legal drain for at least 100 yards through 3 lots out into the field. He added that his lot is 140 feet wide and his neighbors are the same. He stated that when there is a big rain there are going to be three houses flooded.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that he is going to do some filling in of the lots.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that would just back it up onto his property.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that with his drainage plan, it would catch all of the subdivisions water.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that he understands that, but if it already floods and if the development is built up then it is going to start backing up more.

 

Mr. Bivins asked Mr. Diehl if he is saying that Tanglewood Ditch overflows its banks?

 

Mr. Diehl answered yes it does.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that the County is going to go in and do some work on Tanglewood Ditch.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that even if it is sloped at a 45 you are still talking about a foot of water that goes out a hundred yards.

 

Mr. Bivins asked Mr. Diehl how many times he has seen this ditch overflow?

 

Mr. Diehl answered that he has lived there for four years and he has seen it happen at least 3 times and even once since the culvert has been replaced. He added that he has pictures where transformers are underwater.

 

Commissioner Pike asked Mr. Diehl if he was talking about the east end?

 

Mr. Diehl answered that it’s basically the whole subdivision

 

Commissioner Pike stated that there used to be a dam just east of the concrete box culvert, is it still there?

 

Mr. Diehl stated he was not aware of it.

 

Karan asked, a dam in the ditch?

 

Mr. Diehl stated it was probably kids playing and building things. He went on to add that if you put houses there they are going to be underwater and if you build up the development it is going to flood Tanglewood Subdivision. He stated that he has seen railroad ties floating down the street and this was after the new culvert was put in.

 

Commissioner Pike asked how much of Gardner-Webb Ditch are we cleaning?

 

Karan showed Mr. Pike what part of the ditch was being cleaned on the plan. She went on to explain to Mr. Diehl why she has required the swale on the new development and details to prove that he is going to have a big enough ditch to catch the water coming from the north and carry it to the basin to keep it away from the legal drain.

 

Mr. Diehl asked whom he could go to if this theory on the plan doesn’t work?

 

Commissioner Pike stated that we are trying to address some of the drainage problems in that area, the biggest problem is that most of the area is flat. He added that they try to keep the ditches clean, in some cases make them deeper and keep them mowed so the vegetation doesn’t hold the water back and that the County is doing what they can.

 

President Williams asked Karan if the retention basins were going to be big enough?

 

Karan answered that by calculations it meets all the requirements, the 50:5 is large enough and that is why she took such care with the elevation so that the water did not back up and stand in the yards, because she knew they already had problems. Karan also stated that she knew there was a definite drainage problem and water probably does come over the banks, but we are trying to increase the capacity of the ditch to alleviate some of that problem. She added that what Mr. Bivins is doing is catching all of the water that is in his development and directing it to a pond and she doesn’t have a solution, but the County will do everything it can to ease the problem.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that Tanglewood’s problem is that it has no retention in the subdivision directly to the North, which sits higher.

 

Karan asked as a suggestion that the lot the County bought, could it not be used for a retention basin there to catch some of Tanglewood’s water and hold it then release it back into the ditch?

 

Commissioner Pike stated he thought that could be done.

 

President Williams asked if that would alleviate Tanglewood’s problem?

 

Karan answered that she thought it would. She went on to explain how it would work.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that his company might even dig it for the County as they could use the dirt.

 

President Williams stated that maybe that could be arranged.

 

Karan stated that Steve Sherwood had all the information on the box and the grade, so he may be able to help us.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he thinks there are two separate issues here. He added that he is not denying the gentleman’s problems and concerns, but he thinks that they are really historical in nature whereas basically what is being talked about is handling Mr. Bivins problem from his development and that these are two separate issues and that is the way they need to be dealt with. Commissioner Conner made a motion to approve the drainage plans for the subdivision as long as they meet the requirements of the County Surveyor.

 

President Williams asked for a second.

 

Commissioner Pike stated he wanted to question more than he wanted to second the issue. He asked in relationship to two lots the County owns, where is that in relation to the subdivision and would it be feasible for a holding area?

 

There was much discussion on how this would work since the problem was on the North side with the drainage problem being on the South side.

 

President Williams agreed that this was two separate issues.

 

Mr. Ralph Blake stated that he believes that Mr. Bivins is an honest man. He added that there are too many people that don’t understand about the flood plain and the water table and things of that nature. He went on to explain how it is suppose to work and the problems and mistakes the County has made through the years. He also stated that a lot of the drainage problems are not Warrick County’s fault, it came from the Wabash and Erie Canal where they improperly filled it in.

 

Commissioner Pike seconded the motion that Commissioner Conner made on accepting the drainage of Sandals Subdivision. Motion carried 3-0.

 

President Williams thanked Mr. Bivins for offering to build a retention basin and they would study it but it probably isn’t feasible since it is on the wrong side.

 

Karan stated she would also talk to Steve Sherwood and see if he can help with a solution.

 

President Williams asked Mr. Naas if he would please come to the podium.

 

Commissioner Conner asked Mr. Naas if he lived in Tanglewood Subdivision?

 

Mr. Naas stated that he did not but he owned the property they were talking about making a retention basin in.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if Mr. Naas had concerns that water is sitting on his property?

 

Mr. Naas stated that is why he is here and that the water runs through the section where the 75-foot easement is where they dug out and made it higher along the edge of the bank and that is where the water runs through.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if anyone knew if Tanglewood had a Neighborhood Association?

 

No one in the audience seemed to know.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that this is a real issue and that he thinks he speaks for the Drainage Board and the Commissioners that they have a desire to attempt to do anything that they possibly can, because he would like to put a motion forward that we direct Karan to work with a group of neighbors in the Tanglewood Subdivision in regards to finding out exactly what the issues are and look at possibly the employment of a professional engineering firm to go out there and come back to us with some options that may resolve the problems. He added that whether or not Mr. Bivins puts in a subdivision or not these problems still exist and will continue.

 

Commissioner Pike stated that he doesn’t think there was ever a watershed study of that area and the ditch coming off of Fuquay Road is grown up and is always stopped up. He thinks that a watershed needs to be done on the whole area to see what is really needed.

 

Karan stated that she could do what was done on Howard Ditch and solicit quotes for a drainage study in that area.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he would like to put into a motion what he had stated earlier that Karan work with the neighbors and get a drainage study on the Tanglewood area. President Williams seconded the motion, Motion carried 3-0.

 

Mr. Naas stated he didn’t think a retention pond would work.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that is why he wants Karan to do a study and get back with the Board.

 

There was still much discussion on this subject about how the water flows and about some of the older subdivisions, what culverts were put in and how the Drainage Board is trying to solve these problems.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that they had purchased an additional ten acres to the North and if the people on the North line of Tanglewood, their back lots have water shoot across there and if they would cut a swale to intersect with his swale that would divert a lot of the water down to the ditch. This is something to look at.

 

Commissioner Pike made a motion to recess, Commissioner Conner second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.