MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

REGULAR SESSION

JULY 14, 2004

3:00 P.M.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Karan Barnhill, Surveyor

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

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bill Bivins and James Niemeyer

 

 

 

President Baxter brought the meeting of July 14, 2004 to order.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 

President Baxter stated there were minutes from June 9, 2004 and June 23, 2004 to be approved.

 

Commissioner Williams made motion to approve minutes of June 9 and June 23, 2004 as presented, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

DRAINAGE PLAN APPROVALS:

 

LYNN RIDGE ESTATES SUBDIVISION:

 

Karan stated there has been a request for this to be continued.

 

Bill Bivins approached the Board and stated that this really did not have anything to do with drainage, but he needed to ask them a question. He added that this development has the Countyís trash collection site located on one of the parcels. He added that he has talked to Mr. Pemberton who owns the land across the street that he was willing to give to the County to replace this area.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

Commissioner Williams stated he did not think there will be a problem as far as getting the correct parties together to discuss this.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that he would have Mr. Pemberton contact the Commissioners as he had told Mr. Bivins that he had property across the road that the County could use as this is right in the middle of the subdivision.

 

Mr. Bivins explained that there was a mistake on the notice that was sent out, his secretary has mistakenly put the meeting was at Boonville City Hall instead of the Commissioners Room.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that the next meeting would be the first meeting on August 11, 2004 and made a motion to continue this Drainage Plan, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

OTTER CREEK SUBDIVISION:

 

Karan stated this is Phase II of the existing Otter Creek Subdivision on Eby Road and the lots all are 2 Ĺ or larger and drain to existing lakes & pits and no drainage is required.

 

Bill Bivins stated they added 4 lots to the existing subdivision and have done a replat as there was a location change of a road and they do drain into the existing stripper pits.

 

Commissioner Williams asked if the land was reclaimed?

 

Mr. Bivins answered that this particular subdivision is not, but the first phase was part of reclaimed land.

 

Commissioner Conner made a motion to approve the drainage plan for Otter Creek Subdivision as submitted, 2nd by Commissioner Williams 2nd by motion. Motion carried 3-0.

 

BARRENFORK CREEK DISCUSSION:

 

Karan stated she was contacted by Parvin Shelton who owns and farms the ground where a portion of Barrenfork Creek runs, he stated that the storms that hit had knocked down some very old and very large trees in the creek blocking off the drainage. She explained that Jerry Aigner was already at the site and she contacted Commissioner Conner as she could not contact of any of the other Drainage Board Members.

 

Karan explained that with Jerry Aigner already being there installing pipe for Mr. Shelton and Mr. Shelton asked if Mr. Aigner could go ahead and pull those trees out and repair the ditch bank and with Commissioner Connerís approval and the hopes that she would get approval from one other member she told Mr. Aigner to go ahead and do the job. She added that Mr. Aigner gave her an estimate of $2,070.00 to excavate and repair the bank, place some riprap and remove the tree from the channel and repair a couple of other places.

 

Commissioner Williams asked if she needed approval from another member since there was only one?

 

Karan answered that she would appreciate it very much.

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to approve the improvements to Barrenfork Creek that has already been accomplished, 2nd by Commissioner Conner and he stated that he felt it was really an emergency situation and since there was already someone out there who could correct it, that is why he agreed to have it done without any dollar amounts.

 

President Baxter stated he thought that was a good idea and asked for a vote on the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

 

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS:

 

Karan explained to the Board that she went to the Council meeting last week for two reasons, the first being the one on the agenda here tonight. She had requested an Additional Appropriation for seasonal help as we are doing a lot of work on Caney Creek which is approximately 2 miles of ditch and in order to bring the cost of improvements down, instead of bidding the material and cost of labor to install the erosion control blanket, we opted to use our summer help and our employees to do that. She added that not only does the contractor increase the labor cost he also marks up the cost of the material whenever he purchases it from his supplier, so she thought that would save the County some money. She explained that her crew is working very hard to get this job done and they still have a ways to go with her running out of money in seasonal help.

She also added that last year she was able to transfer money as that was when Rod had left and there was extra money to go in that line item and keep them working through the summer.

 

Karan stated that the Council suggested she set up a line item in Cumulative Drain for Seasonal Help and put money in that line item to pay for seasonal help to work on the legal drains and she does not have a problem with that.

 

She added that Krystal Powless with the County Council has contacted the State Board of Accounts and they said this was allowable as they do the same thing at the Highway Department on one of their funds and also the Assessor does it out of their Cumulative Fund.

 

Karan explained that she has already turned in an Additional Appropriation Form as it had to be in by last week and she is asking the Boardís permission and their support ingetting $3,000.00 in Cumulative Drain Fund appropriatedfor seasonal help.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that he just had two questions and they should be easy to answer, the first being that she had contacted the State Board of Accounts? He then stated his first question should have been, is her crew and summer help putting down the stability matting strictly in legal drains?

Karan answered that summer help and her crew works strictly in legal drains and that Krystal has contacted the State Board of Accounts and that this is allowable.

 

Commissioner Conner asked why wouldnít the County Council give her the Additional Appropriations?

 

Karan answered that the Council stated that County General does not have any money, but that Cumulative Drain Fund does.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that the Council is really the ones that have the funding responsibility for the County. He stated that he does not see that the Drainage Board does not have the responsibility to provide the funding for purposes of additional help, but that if Karan can justify the additional help and that if she can justify that there is a savings between doing it in-house and not out-sourcing it then he thinks the County Council has a responsibility to fund it, the County Commissioners do not have the responsibility. He added that his second question is, was it an emergency type situation or could it have been a situation where she could have estimated what the cost was going to be by doing it in-house and what the cost would have been to do it outside from a contractual purposes and came to us prior to making the commitment of doing it in-house so the Board could see what the savings was?

 

Karan answered that she probably could have done that but the problem is that by the time we bid the project out we have already done several other ditches and found that it was cost saving, so we continued to do it this way to save money. She added that this legal drain was a lot larger and we did not expect Henry Bigge to move so quick that we would have to be out there day in and day out doing nothing but matting. She replied that in a realistic way it could have been done that way, but we have been doing this in a smaller amount and the contractor usually does not move as rapidly so that we have plenty of time to get in there and get the job done. Unfortunately, Mr. Bigge has moved very fast and we are right behind him laying down mat trying to get it done before it rains again, so that it doesnít all wash back in.

 

Commissioner Conner stated his understanding is that she has been using in-house personnel to do similar work this summer, and his other question is, is this going to be the only time she is going to ask for Additional Appropriation because of the fact of our having a shift in the line items, is she going to have to come back to the Board at some point and time and say that she needs another $3,000.00 or another $6,000.00 because she is doing this type of work in-house?

 

Karan answered that she anticipates that the $3,000.00 will make do until it gets bad weather and the seasonal help will be laid off. She added that what she intends to do, is that when she turned in her next years budget she added a seasonal help line item in County General so that next year she shouldnít have to do an Additional it will be in the budget.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he thinks that is where the money should come from, that the County Council has to live up to their responsibilities.

 

Karan stated that is why she asked for additional money for next year because in the summer is when her main construction season is and she needs extra help to get the projects done.

 

Commissioner Conner asked on the difference from what the Board is going to be paying in-house to do that project and what it would have cost if we had out sourced it, just based upon experience that she has had this year alone, can she give the Board an idea of what the actual savings for the County is going to be, are we talking a few hundred dollars or are we talking thousands?

 

Karan answered that she thinks it is in the thousands of dollars that is being saved, as the contractors mark the product up at least 20% that they receive from the supplier, so we are saving at least 15% for every roll of matting that we purchase.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that would make sense since the contractors are in business to make a profit.

 

Karan explained that the County gets the product at County cost and does not have the mark up from the contractor.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that answers all of his questions.

 

President Baxter stated that he wanted to tell Karan that the project looks nice.

 

Don Ashley, Attorney for the Board asked Karan where the seasonal help was paid out from (up to this point)?

 

Karan answered that it was paid out of County General from the Surveyors budget.

 

Mr. Ashley stated that Karan is asking for Additional Appropriations out of Cumulative Drain Fund and he said that there is a procedure that it has to be advertised and the State Board of Accounts is notified and they actually conduct the hearing on this and if they are aware of this and approve it, he says it will be okay.

 

Mr. Ashley added that he has in the past had serious doubts and questions about the use of Cumulative Drainage Funds for anything other than the actual maintenance or construction of ditches and he has always felt uneasy for any expenditure other than those things. He also stated that he has been concerned that at some point and time that the State Board of Accounts could question those expenditures and probably require the repayment to the Cumulative Drainage Fund out of the General Fund, but if you are going through the procedure of Additional Appropriations, the State Board of Accounts will be part of that and they will be here for the hearing.

 

Commissioner Williams asked if the hearing will be before this Board?

 

Mr. Ashley answered it would be before County Council.

 

Karan asked, does the Council notify them?

 

Mr. Ashley answered yes.

 

Karan stated that she guesses the County Council knows they are supposed to be doing that as she does not know.

 

Mr. Ashley stated that every Additional Appropriation Hearing that he has ever attendedor been a party to the State Board of Accounts has been notified and have been in attendance at the meeting and they examine the procedure.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that now he is somewhat confused, he supports (based upon Karanís responses) the transfer of the $3,000.00 but based upon what Mr. Ashley is saying is that maybe there is a legal issue here.

 

Mr. Ashley answered that the legal issue will be avoided if the actual procedure for the Additional Appropriation is taken as the State Board of Accounts is going to be sitting in the meeting and if this is improper they would raise the issue at that time.

 

Karan stated that the procedure that she goes through anytime that she asks for additional appropriation is she submits it to the Auditors Office and they advertise it and then they put it on the agenda of the County Council.

 

Mr. Ashley stated that every hearing that he has ever been to for additional appropriations the State Board of Accounts has been present.

 

Karan replied that as far as she knows they have never been to any of the meetings she has attended.

 

Mr. Ashley stated they attend all additional appropriations meeting.

 

Commissioner Williams stated he has never seen them at a meeting either.

 

Karan stated that she can only tell the Board that the only other issues we have used the Cumulative Drain Fund for she has personally talked to the State Board of Accounts, but on this one Krystal stated she had talked to them and received their approval, but with anything else she does not know about.

 

Commissioner Williams asked so with the approval of the State Board of Accounts, we are all right? He added that this may be the way the Council handles it in additional appropriations via their executive assistant.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he does not deny that the conversation didnít occur, but we are talking about several individuals being involved in that conversation and he is wondering if before we approve this, if we as a Board do not need to see something in writing from the State Board of Accounts.

 

Mr. Ashley stated that he thinks the State Board is going to be a party to this and the additional appropriation will not be approved if the State Board of Accounts raises the issue.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that if we as a Drainage Board sit here today and say that we approve the transfer of $3,000.00 it still will not occur until the State Board of Accounts attends the additional appropriations meeting by the County Council.

 

Mr. Ashley answered that it will not be approved until the additional appropriation procedure has been approved by the County Council.

 

Karan stated that the Drainage Board is just approving for her to present it to the County Council.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that the Drainage Board controls all Cumulative Drain Funds, so he thinks the Board should go ahead and approve this to follow procedure.

 

Mr. Ashley stated that his question has always been whether the State Board of Accounts would question expenditures other than maintenance of ditches and they will be privy to this additional appropriation and they will either approve it or they wonít.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that what Karan is telling us is that the Councilís executive assistant has contacted the State Board of Accounts for this amount for this use and they have told the Councilís executive assistant that it was appropriate.

 

Karan answered that as long as they are working on regulated drains.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that since it has the whole process to go through, as far as one member of this Board he would like to make a motion to approve the request for $3,000.00 additional appropriation for the work to be strictly used on Cumulative Drain Fund appropriated for legal drains.

 

Commissioner Conner added to the motion contingent upon approval by the State Board and Commissioner Williams added that to his motion and also approval of County Council giving Karan permission to proceed, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0.

 

 

 

 

 

CLAIMS:

 

President Baxter stated there are claims in the amount of $59,989.92.

 

Commissioner Williams asked who Petter Business Systems was?

 

Karan answered that it is an office supply company.

 

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

 

President Baxter asked the Board and Mr. Ashley if there was any other business to come before the meeting, if not he would entertain a motion.

 

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