MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

REGULAR SESSION

MAY 26, 2004

3:00 P.M.

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phillip H. Baxter, President

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Carl Jay Conner, Vice-President

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Don Williams, Secretary

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Rod Madden, Deputy Surveyor

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

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Don Adler

 

 

 

President Baxter brought the meeting of May 26, 2004 to order.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 

President Baxter stated the minutes need to be continued and asked for a motion.

 

Commissioner Conner made a motion to continue the minutes, 2nd by Commissioner Williams. Motion carried 3-0.

 

DRAINAGE PLAN APPROVAL:

 

ELBERFELD INDUSTRIAL PARK

 

Rod Madden stated that at the last meeting this was continued as the Drainage Board Members wanted to look at the problem firsthand.

 

Commissioner Conner stated he would like to address this and stated that he spent approximately 2 Ĺ hours with individuals from the Elberfeld area and based upon what he saw and what he could understand, it appears that the drainage ditch through the industrial park is not the only problem. He added that there are a number of problems that exist and there was discussion in regards not only to the drainage through the industrial park but the drainage that runs parallel to the railroad tracks and runs under what is known as Bridge 41 on Seven Hills Road. He further added that they are presently in-house with a redesign of Bridge 41 and that one of the suggestions from the group was to straighten the ditch out that runs parallel to the railroad tracks up until it gets to Seven Hills Road, then it has to drain down Seven Hills Road before it can drain under because of the bridge and the culvert. He stated that since we are in the process of redesigning the bridge, he has spoken with the Engineering Department and what he would like to do is get the Engineering Department with a representative from the Surveyorís Office to go back out with him and to meet with the group to see if it is realistic to move the bridge when it is reconstructed from its present position up Seven Hills Road closer to the railroad tracks. He further said he would also like to see if it is then feasible to re-channel the drainage ditch so that it is a straight alignment from where it presently runs parallel to the railroad tracks across under the new bridge. He stated he would like to set something up with Rod and Steve and whoever else we need to get out there and maybe we can get that done the 1st part of June.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that in regards to the other issue which is the ditch that runs through the Elberfeld Industrial Park, his question to the Boardís Attorney is what is the process to get the drainage ditch classified as a legal drain for purposes of putting the responsibility on the County to correct the problems of that ditch, not only from an engineering perspective but also from a financial perspective.

 

Don Ashley, Attorney for the Board answered that to establish a new drain it is initiated by a petition which is a statutory procedure which is rather lengthy. He also stated that it can be initiated by the County Executive which is the County Commissioners and there are certain items that have to be included in the petition. He will out line those for whoever determines the course of action that needs to be taken.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if the County Commissioners just based upon a motion, asked for a vote to establish this new ditch as a legal drainage ditch and then if we can get approval of that, then can we start the paperwork with all of the details or do we have to do all of the detail first?

 

Don Ashley, Attorney answered that the petition is the first step.

 

Commissioner Conner asked the first thing that comes to his mind when you say petition is getting signatures, is that part of it?

 

Don Ashley answered that it can be initiated by owners of 10 % of the acreage or 25 % of the assessed valuation or by the County Executive which is the Commissioners and the petition is filed with this body (Drainage Board) and there is a procedure that the Surveyor has to make a personal inspection along with a report.

 

Commissioner Conner asked that if we take this before the Commissioners tonight at their meeting can it be dealt with by just saying that the Commissioners want to establish a petition to name this ditch a legal drain and that will start the process?

 

Don Ashley answered that the Commissioners could direct that a petition be prepared pursuant to the terms of the statute.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that the Indiana Code # is 36-9-27-54.

 

Rod Madden added that he thinks it will be beneficial not only to the landowners but to also include the ditch as it continues onto Bluegrass Creek Ditch under the new bridge all the new ditch and then the County would be able to maintain the whole stretch.

Commissioner Conner agreed with Rod and then asked if Bluegrass Creek was not already a legal drain?

 

Rod answered that it is on the West side of the track.

 

Commissioner Conner asked Rod if he could get the legal description they would need for the petition?

 

Rod answered that he could get the landowners and he thinks they have a form in the office and that they can get the legal description. He also stated that he thinks the landowners will be cooperative.

 

Rod stated that he would get a form laid out and up to Commissioner Connerís office.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he thinks they ought to start the ditch at St. Johnís Road which is North of the industrial park. He also stated he would bring it up at the Commissionerís Meeting tonight to get it started.

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to continue the drainage plan for Elberfeld Industrial Park, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

HOLD HARMLESS:

 

DEACONESS HOSPITAL:

 

Rod stated that as he understands it Deaconess Hospital is attempting to run a gas line that is within the Counties legal drain entry for Howard Ditch and there is just a short section of the ditch that they need. He added that the problem is not only is it our legal drain it is also a part of I-164 and the state owns a drainage easement in the same area.

 

Mr. Don Adler from 3-I Engineering stated that the state and county share jointly the same easement.

 

Rod explained that Mr. Adlerís request is he needs a letter from this Board to the State asking them to give up their rights to the easement so that Deaconess can put in their gas line.

 

Don Ashley, Attorney stated that the Board has already done that as he saw the instrument that the state relinquished the Right-of-Entry and both parties agreed.

 

Mr. Adler said that both parties have reviewed the document but the State is requesting a letter from the Board that asks specifically for the State to give up their rights and if the State gets a letter they will execute a document.

 

Attorney Don Ashley stated that he thought it had already been done.

 

Mr. Adler stated that they are just waiting for a letter from the County.

 

Mr. Ashley stated again that he thought this was all taken care of but maybe what he saw was just a proposed copy of the relinquishment.

 

Mr. Adler answered that Warrick County requested it and the State offered to relinquish their rights to Warrick County if they would send the State a letter. He added that the document was prepared and both parties had inspected it, the Hold Harmless is acceptable but the State wants a letter from the Drainage Board that will ask the State to relinquish their rights to this easement in this ditch and if and when they receive this letter they will execute the document.

 

Commissioner Conner asked what would happen if the Stated doesnít get a letter from the County?

 

Mr. Adler answered that he supposed that the County would not get the agreement from the State as they donít want the gas line in their maintenance corridor. He added it just cuts at the very end and it is already in that area as it crosses Howard Ditch right North of two culverts that come out at I-164. He further added that it would just clip the edge of the easement but for some reason Mr. Lucus decided that he did not want to implement it and so they decided to just relinquish their rights to Warrick County as they maintain that ditch anyway.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that what he understands is that the State is relinquishing their rights to the ditch to Warrick County?

 

Mr. Adler answered that was correct.

 

Commissioner Conner asked if it is up to Warrick County to send them a letter?

 

Mr. Adler answered that if Warrick County sends them a letter they will relinquish their right to the easement in the ditch.

 

Commissioner Conner said to the State?

 

Mr. Adler answered no the State will relinquish it to the County.

 

Commissioner Conner stated he understood that but a letter needs to be sent to the State.

 

Mr. Adler stated the letter probably needs to go to Mr. Lucas because that is who he has been dealing with.

 

Commissioner Conner asked what if we donít give them a letter?

 

Mr. Adler answered he did not know except for the fact that it would probably slow down the construction of the hospital.

Commissioner Conner asked why are they concerned about putting this gas line in their Right-of-Way but they are not concerned about the County putting the gas line in their Right-of-Way as that is what the County is doing if we give them a letter.

 

Mr. Adler stated that as of right now the easement the County has for maintenance is the same easement that you both have for maintenance has both names on it and to get the States name off of it, the State is requesting a letter from the County relinquishing the State of any ownership. He further added that he would think that the repercussions for Deaconess Hospital would be very severe as it would slow the construction considerably.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he is just trying to understand why the State apparently feels that they donít want their name on the easement but that the County can.

 

Mr. Adler stated that it is actually an odd deal, as the County is in charge of this ditch

anyway as it is a legal drain, but in the construction of I-164 they had to move a segment of the ditch and somehow both parties were named in this easement and the State is always reluctant to do anything. He added that he thinks because everything takes so long that it has to be signed by State officials, but he really doesnít know the answer.

 

 

Commissioner Conner asked Don Ashley if the County was taking on any liability here?

 

Don Ashley answered no because we have a Hold Harmless Agreement.

 

Commissioner Conner stated then that what is being said is that there is no reason for the County not to grant giving the State a letter?

 

Don Ashley answered that Karan is the one who has been the contact, he was not aware of the fact that there was any hold-up. He added that Karan had asked him to review the documents which he did and he stated they were satisfactory along with the relinquishment by the State Highway Department to Warrick County where we would then require a Hold Harmless from Vectren. He stated it is just that simple and he didnít know there was another requirement. He asked if the State had requested the letter in a communication or asked if Karan had anything where they had required this letter?

 

Rod answered that there was a huge stack of correspondence but he didnít really understand the part about the letter.

 

Mr. Adler explained that Mr. Randy Kerry from the State Highway Department has stated that this is the last requirement the State will require. He also stated that he also did not know anything about a letter until he had talked to Mr. Kerry who asked him where the letter was. He then in turn called Karan and Karan was also unaware of any letter that the State required. He still doesnít know why or even understand why the State wants the letter since Attorneys on both sides have agreed that the Hold Harmless is adequate.

 

Rod added that he thought that it was Mr. Lucas that is requiring the letter.

 

Mr. Adler further added that the Hold Harmless is on Vectrenís desk because the gentleman that was supposed to sign it is on vacation.

 

Commissioner Williams asked how far is the gas line under the flow line?

Mr. Adler answered that the part they are doing is not under the flow line, it is approximately 40-50 feet away from the ditch, but there is a segment of the line that is under there now and is encased in concrete or in a pipe. He stated that he was not involved in that particular construction but that is normal construction procedure and it is a 12-inch high pressure and the one that is coming down will be following along the edge of the existing Gateway Blvd and it will make a crescent curve to the Southwest and then it will tie to the point where it heads out across I-64, it would not actually go into the flow line of the ditch at all. He further added that it just intersects the easement at a point about 4-feet from the ditch.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that it is not even going under the ditch and will be no closer than 40-feet from the ditch, is that correct?

 

Mr. Adler answered yes.

 

Mr. Ashley stated he doesnít know what it is they want in the form of a letter because if they have requested something further from the Drainage Board, he would like to look at that before he advises the Board to go ahead and send a letter.

 

Commissioner Williams asked if anyone had something in writing as to what they are wanting?

 

Mr. Adler answered that he did not but that he could call and find out.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that if they could get an explanation ready he could drive by there tomorrow morning and pick it up, as we need to know exactly what they want.

 

Mr. Adler answered that what he understood is they want Warrick County to write a letter relinquishing the Stateís rights to this easement so that Warrick County would accept maintenance, which you already have, but this is what they want.

 

There was discussion on who was the point of contact at the State Office and two persons were named, they were Randy Kerry and Don Lucas.

 

Commissioner Williams stated he would with permission from the Board try to find out something tomorrow.

Commissioner Conner stated that Commissioner Williams had his permission and asked if this was to be tabled until the next meeting?

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to table until next meeting, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

Mr. Adler gave the Board his card so that they could contact him.

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion for him to find out what the State wants, run it by Mr. Ashleyís office and send them a letter, is this all right with the attorney and everyone involved? He added that this way it wonít take 2-3 weeks to get this taken care of.

 

Commissioner Williams then made a motion that they draft and send a letter contingent on the Attorneys approval, and asked if that would be a problem, he then made a motion that he would meet with Mr. Kerry or Mr. Lucas find out what they want in a letter and run it by Mr. Ashley as well as the other two Board members and upon their approval get Cheryl to draft a letter and get the president of the Drainage Board to sign the letter and send it off. This motion was 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

CLAIMS:

 

President Baxter stated the claims amounted to $4,021.30 and asked for a motion to accept them.

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to pay the claims, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

President Baxter asked for any other business.

 

Rod Madden, Deputy Surveyor asked the Board that in view of the recent heavy rains in which Warrick County received he can see the possibility that they will be in need of emergency funding. He stated that this has been done before and that he also realizes that it is not something we want to make a habit of , but there are going to be areas where there is damage and probably wonít be able to wait. He explained that as the Board knows it sometimes takes a month to get specs written up, bids turned in, get the Boards approval and some of these canít wait a month. He also added that in case of an emergency does come up he will try and contact the Board to get additional permission one on one.

 

Commissioner Williams told Rod that if he has an emergency he would give his permission if he had permission from the other Board members but that he would like to be kept informed.

 

Commissioner Conner agreed with Commissioner Williams.

 

Rod explained that he is afraid that with all of the heavy rains there might be some emergencies and thought he would get permission now.

 

Commissioner Williams asked that with the Presidents permission he made a motion to adjourn.

 

President Baxter asked a gentleman out in the audience if he needed to approach the Board?

 

The gentleman explained that he was attending the meeting to see how it functioned as he had a presentation to bring before the Board at the next meeting and wanted to see if he understood what to do.

 

The motion was 2nd by President Baxter to adjourn, motion carried 3-0.

 

 

 

 

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