MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

REGULAR SESSION

OCTOBER 27, 2004

3:00 P.M.

 

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:                                               Carl Jay Conner, Vice-President

                                                                                    Don Williams, Secretary

                                                                                    Karan Barnhill, Surveyor

                                                                                    Don Ashley, Attorney for Board

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:                                                       Joe Johns, Sandra Knight, Bryan Diehl

                                                                                    Steve Orth, Helen Newton and Mike

                                                                                    Chandler

 

 

 

 

Vice-President Carl Conner called the October 27th, 2004 meeting to order. President Phil Baxter is absent. The first order of business being the approval of minutes.

 

APPRVOAL OF MINUTES:

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to approve the minutes of October 13, 2004, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 2-0.

 

DRAINAGE APPROVAL:

 

FREEDOM SUBDIVISION:

 

Karan Barnhill, Surveyor stated that this is a development on Folsomville Road that was at the last meeting and the parcels are all over 2 ½ acres, they have requested that no drainage plans be required. Karan recommends approval. She explained that the reason it was continued from last meeting is there was no one to represent it.

 

The Drainage Board looked over the plans to refresh their memory on the subdivision.

 

Mr. Steve Orth introduced himself and stated that he represents the REC Group, he apologized for not being here at the last meeting as there was a misunderstanding.

 

Commissioner Williams asked how many drives there would be coming out?

 

Mr. Orth answered there would be four, with 2 of them being shared.

 

Vice-President Conner asked for any questions from the Board? There being none what was the will of the Board?

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to approve the Drainage Plans for Freedom Subdivision, 2nd by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 2-0.

 

BLUEGRASS CREEK EXTENSION:

 

Karan stated this was a Public Hearing on the extension of Bluegrass Creek to accept this portion as a legal drain and at the last Public Hearing there were some property owners who were not notified, so therefore, we had to notify all of the re-notify all of the adjoining landowners along the extension of Bluegrass Creek. She added that they have all been notified and the petition is in order and the Commissioners have approved it in the Commissioners Meeting and forwarded it to the Drainage Board.

 

Vice-President Conner stated he would then assume that this has to be acted upon or is this just for informational purposes, do we have to adjourn this meeting to have a Public Hearing?

 

Attorney Don Ashley answered that the Public Hearing can be held at the regular Drainage Board Meeting.

 

Vice-President Conner asked if anyone in the audience who wanted to speak on the issue of the Bluegrass Creek Extension of regulated drain, seeing none he asked if there were any questions from the Board?

 

There were no questions from the Board so Vice-President Conner asked what the will of the Board would be?

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to approve the extension of Bluegrass Creek to a Legal Drain, 2nd by Vice-President Conner. Motion carried 2-0.

 

SANDALS SUBDIVISION:

 

Vice-President Conner stated the next item on the agenda is discussion on the Sandals Subdivision and he assumes there are several audience members that would like to address that issue, but prior to the audience addressing it he asked Karan Barnhill, the Surveyor if she had any input.

 

Karan stated that the reason she had it put on the agenda is because it came to her attention after the last Drainage Board Meeting the residents approached the Board of Commissioner in regards to the traffic and different problems they are having in Tanglewood Subdivision.

 

A gentleman in the audience asked if they could please turn the sound up. Commissioner Williams told him the speakers were located in the middle of the room.

Karan stated that at the last Commissioners Meeting it came to her attention that there was discussion about placing an undersized pipe structure in the ditch as a Tennessee Crossing, she has great concerns with that because of the flooding that occurs in the development almost every time there is a heavy rain. She placed this back on the agenda to bring it to the Drainage Board’s attention and she feels like there is a need for some type of action, she just doesn’t know how the Board wants to proceed. She added that her recommendation is that if anything is done at all to force the traffic to come through Sandals Subdivision that the developers or whoever is supposed to be in charge that they be made to put the bridge in so that the traffic can get across without impeding the flow in Tanglewood Ditch.

 

She added that would be her recommendation to the Board instead of putting in a Tennessee Crossing and rather than an undersized structure that we know would impede the flow of the ditch and possibly flood homes and she wants it made part of the record that should the Board decide to do anything of that sort she is not in favor of it. She also stated that she believes a bridge should be constructed so the construction traffic will go through Sandals with impeding the flow of the ditch.

 

Commissioner Conner asked that Karan then did not support any size structure being put in the ditch even on a temporary basis for purposes of moving the traffic to an alternant entrance?

 

Karan answered that she did not. She added that if anything at all is to be done in the ditch she would request that it be a low water crossing and even this she would have great reservations about even with using tera-mesh units or some type of concrete crossing to stabilize the bottom of the ditch to make sure the construction traffic does not keep the ditch stirred up all of the time as there is Rule #5 that says we cannot force sediment down on landowners and we also do not want to impede the flow of the ditch. She added that the Board should take great care and caution in making a decision on this very volatile situation.

 

Commissioner Conner thanked Karan for her input. He then asked for someone who is representing the developer?

 

Bill Bivins introduced himself as representing Murphy Homes, Inc., and stated that he had a letter from Mr. Murphy stating that for personal reasons he could not make the meeting, but that putting the bridge in is going to be his #1 priority this spring. He added that they do not anticipate any large amount of traffic there during the construction of the additional houses until that point and the rock was put in yesterday on that road so they see no need to get into a mess with the ditch until they start the bridge this spring.

 

Vice-President Conner asked that Mr. Murphy was now not in favor of putting in anything temporary in the ditch.

 

Mr. Bivins answered that the construction season is basically over and they are not going to be able to put any kind of road in there that will hold up as they can’t get compaction on anything now.

 

Vice-President Conner asked if Mr. Murphy would commit to no construction until the bridge is put in next spring?

 

Mr. Bivins asked if Commissioner Conner was talking about new houses?

 

Commissioner Conner stated that Mr. Bivins had just stated that there was not much time left in the construction period.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that he was talking about road construction.

 

Commissioner Conner asked that it would be spring when the bridge would be put in?

 

Mr. Bivins stated that was correct.

 

Commissioner Conner stated then he would assume that there would be work going on prior to spring and that they would still be using Tanglewood.

 

Mr. Bivins stated that basically the construction going on will be the building of houses and that Mr. Murphy anticipates that within two years everything will be built and sold.

 

Karan asked if the North section had been secondary platted?

 

Mr. Bivins answered that Phase II of the North section the roads have been constructed and graveled. He added that there is Phase I Section B that has been recorded and they are on Section B Phase II.

 

Commissioner Williams stated that his question since there is still going to be houses under construction, there will have to be materials brought in so what type of vehicles are going to be bringing in the materials and will there still be concrete trucks coming in?

 

Mr. Bivins answered that probably not more than 4 or 5 houses will be build this winter.

 

Someone in the audience stated that there were 7 houses under construction and the concrete footers had already been poured.

 

Commissioner Williams asked if the materials would be coming in on semi trucks?

 

Mr. Bivins answered that they would probably be smaller trucks from Knight lumber and he also stated that Mulzer was very conscientious when he delivered the rock, he used tandems instead of tri-axles to lesson the rock load. He also stated that he speed limit has been observed unlike that of the homeowners who also do not stop at the stop signs.

 

Mr. Craig  ? who works with Murphy Construction introduced himself to the Board and wanted to clarify about the construction trucks as each individual house will have a concrete truck, lumber and this will not be a daily occurrence and except for these deliveries the rest of the trucks will be like pick-ups.

 

Mr. Joe Johns who resides at 7844 Tanglewood Drive stated that at the last Commissioners Meeting it was told that Construction season was just about over and there would not be any more heavy traffic coming through the subdivision. He added that yesterday which was Tuesday there were at least 60 dump trucks that came through the neighborhood in one day and the school bus does not even come back into the neighborhood and so why is the 10-ton limit not enforceable? Is it true that the Commissioners agreed to let Murphy Homes use that street? Mr. Johns was told by a Sheriffs Deputy that the Commissioners agreed to let Murphy Home use our street for an access because the street was already falling through. Is there any truth to this matter?

 

Vice-President Conner stated that to his knowledge there was no written agreement to this matter.

 

Mr. Johns asked if there was verbal agreement?

 

Commissioner Conner stated they did not have a verbal but they can go on the assumption that they can use the streets because they are in fact public streets.

 

Mr. Johns answered that they are public streets but there is a sign the states there is a 10-ton weight limit and someone from one of the County Offices had to approve that sign and the ordinance which should be enforceable by law.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that he would assume that the County Commissioners were the ones that ultimately made the decision of what the tonnage would be on those streets and they are not denying the fact that they posted it at 10 or 15 tons, however, the Commissioners are not responsible for this regulation to be enforced, it is the Sheriffs Departments responsibility.

 

Mr. Johns went on to say that the Deputy Sheriff stated that they could not enforce it as the Commissioners and Murphys had an agreement that the weight limit would not be enforced so their hands are tied.

 

Vice-President Conner stated he was not aware of any agreement with the Commissioners and any builder or developer in regards to specifically giving anyone any permission to exceed any weight limits.

 

Mr. Johns was asked someone in the audience what one of the trucks would hold in weight limit not counting the truck and then asked Mr. Eble? How he was vested in this program as he kept saying “we”  don’t want this or “we” are not having this, do you have money coming in there?

 

Commissioner Williams stated this is not a Drainage Board issue.

 

Mr. Johns then stated that he thinks that it is a Drainage Board issue as there is a bridge in front of his house that the County spent $100,000.00 putting in and now it is cracked and leaking and it is over a legal drain that they are crossing so this is a Drainage Board issue, am I not correct on that?

 

Commissioner Williams answered that the bridge is.

 

Vice-President Conner asked for a 5-minute adjournment and made a motion to adjourn for 5-minutes.

 

Mr. Johns answered that was fine with him.

 

Vice-President Conner stated that he had to get a second.

 

Mr. Johns stated that Mr. Baxter wasn’t present so he would not get anyone to second his motion.

 

Commissioner Williams seconded the motion.

 

Vice-President Conner stated he would resume the meeting in about 5 minutes.

 

(  this was after meeting was adjourned)Commissioner Williams stated that he did not think they could leave the room and talk about issues.

 

There was a 5-minute recess.

 

Vice-President Conner asked Mr. Johns to return to the podium and apologized for interrupting him.

 

There was a gentleman in the audience who kept asking us to turn the volume up, the Commissioner invited him to sit with them so that he could hear.

 

Mr. Johns asked if it was legal to build the banks of Tanglewood Ditch higher than they were originally to keep the water from overflowing as it always did in the past?

 

Karan answered that as long as they did not obstruct the flow of the water to the ditch they could raise the banks in her opinion.

 

Mr. Johns stated that he thought that as long as it did not impede the natural flow of the drainage, which means downstream as well as in width.

 

Karan stated that she needs to understand exactly what Mr. Johns is saying.

 

Mr. Johns said that what he means is that they have built berms on the ditch after it was widened on the Chandler side as well as the Murphy side.

 

Karan answered that was because they had drainage swales that are taking the drainage from the subdivision along the swale into the basin. She added that they could do that as then the basin releases it into the ditch and they are trying to keep the storm water from going from the development un-retained.

 

There was discussion from Mr. Johns and Mr. Chandler about a water truck being used to wash down the street into the storm sewer. The discussion turned argumentative.

 

At this time Vice-President Conner stated that the Board would give everyone a reasonable amount of time to express their opinions, however, he cannot allow any arguing between ( Mr. Johns then stated that he was addressing the Board and not Mr. Chandler). Vice-President Conner asked Mr. Johns if he would please let him finish as he is trying to the best of his ability to allow him every opportunity to express his opinions and concerns. He also stated that he would appreciate a little respect out of Mr. Johns to let him (Vice-President Conner) finish his statement, but if he doesn’t want to do that,  the Board doesn’t have to have this discussion, they can go ahead with other business on this agenda.

 

Mr. Johns told Vice-President Conner that he did not need to be chastised by him nor did he need to be talked down by him that he had made his point and he believed that was enough.

 

Vice-President Conner stated that he was not talking down to Mr. Johns he was just stating facts.

 

Mr. Johns stated that he had agreed to let Mr. Conner finish his statement and he needed to do that.

 

Vice-President Conner told the audience member that he too would have an opportunity for any rebuttal to what Mr. Johns states and added that Mr. Johns had 5 more minutes.

 

Mr. Johns asked what size bridge they are planning on putting in between A & B? He asked if it would be as big as the one on Tanglewood Drive as it would have to carry the same amount of volume.

 

One of the developers or engineers from the audience answered that this would be a box beam bridge and the whole structure would be open.

 

Mr. Johns stated that he had one more question, from the last meeting he believes that the Commissioners requested that Mr. Bivins get Mr. Murphy who has the authority to answer direct questions about his property to a meeting and he was wondering why the owner was never present as it is his money that is being spent.

 

Karan answered that Mr. Murphy had sent her a message stating that he could not make it to the meeting as he had a family member who had passed away and he was attending the funeral, but that if it were necessary he would be at the next meeting.

 

Mr. Mike Chandler came to the podium and introduced himself and stated that he has been at the site all day long and that there has not been any water truck out there on the property hosing any roads down. He added that people need to get their facts straight and quit going with hearsay and lying and that was all he was going to say about it.

 

Mr. Brian Diehl who resides at 7811 Ashwood Court and his property is east of this development. He stated that 2 years ago when Mr. Chandler was doing this they were going to build swales and retain water and now he has a ditch running along the back side of this property and this was never brought up. He added that it seems things keep changing and now the ditch holds water for days on end, it is a mosquito pit with a rip-rapped dam at the end of it. He stated the ditch that runs through Tanglewood Subdivision 20 years ago he could step over it with just one step and now he couldn’t take a running leap and cross it now, who is going to be responsible for the erosion on his property?  He asked if all property owners along the ditch should have to worry about losing their property to erosion?

 

Karan asked if he was talking about Tanglewood Ditch or the swale?

 

Mr. Diehl answered that he was talking about the new ditch that runs along the back side of his property parallel to Ashwood Court?

 

Karan answered that the property owners would be responsible for that ditch.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that the ditch is dug on the Sandals property right on the property line and when it starts eroding his property, he is being told that he is going to be responsible for it? He added that there did not used to be a ditch there, that the developers dug the ditch.

 

Commissioner Williams wanted Mr. Diehl to show him where he lives pertaining to the drainage plans.

 

Mr. Diehl explained that in February of 2002 they were going to build ditches and swales on the North boundary down to the West boundary, there was nothing about the East boundary having a ditch along side of it and now he has two ditches on his property which present 2 erosion problems.

 

Karan stated that it does have a swale along the East property line, it may have not been discussed at a meeting, but it is showing on the drainage plans.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that a swale is something that rises, this is a ditch.

 

Karan answered that a swale is a ditch.

Mr. Diehl stated that what they did is dug the ditch out and took all the dirt on their side to raise it where before it was lower than his property.

 

Karan stated that on the drainage plans it was shown as a drainage swale and a swale is an indention or a smaller version of a ditch.

 

Mr. Diehl stated so that when this swale starts to erode his property then she is saying that it is his problem?

 

Karan stated that the swale along his property line, the only drainage that is going down that is the storm water that is to the north of this development that they are not required to catch, it is coming down the swale and going into the regulated drain. She added that he should not be getting any more water in that swale than he ever received before, it was just sheet flow and not noticed. She also added that once the construction is finished and the ground is seeded his property should not erode away. She also stated that she had already asked them to remove the rip-rapped dam, it should just be rip-rap to keep the ground from eroding.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that when Mr. Murphy sells all of the houses and he is long gone and he starts losing his yard because of something that someone else did, who does he go to?

 

Vice-President Conner stated that the first thing that needs to be done is determine that the developer is complying with the approved drainage plan.

 

Karan answered that aside from the rip-rapped dam they are complying.

 

Vice-President Conner stated that if this ditch is on his private property and if it is not a regulated drain then it is the property owners responsibility for that drain and not the County. He advised Mr. Diehl to check with an attorney and see if this is correct, but this is how he understands it from the County’s attorney.

 

Mr. Ashley, Attorney for the Drainage Board stated that this is basically correct.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that on his property this is a utility easement, there was no drainage there.

 

Karan stated that what she expected was that the swale would be off the property line.

 

Mr. Diehl asked Commissioner Conner that if he dug a 40-foot deep hole in his back yard and if three years from now that hole eroded enough so that it took my neighbors house down that would be his problem and not Mr. Diehl’s because that is basically what he is being told.

 

Commissioner Conner stated that is not what he said, but that is his understanding of the law and Mr. Diehl had also heard what the Drainage Board Attorney said. He also added that if Mr. Diehl did not feel that answer is appropriate then he should hire himself some legal counsel.

 

Mr. Diehl stated that for the record he thinks that is a bunch of bull#***.

 

Sandra Knight of 7766 Sandalwood stated that she has pictures of whatever you are calling this ditch where the erosion is washing down and the dam is blocking and causing it to stand behind property owners who live on Ashwood, which would be between their development and the existing subdivision. She added there is major erosion washing down the ditch to where the pipe is half full of mud and standing water. She also stated that you can also see that the dam is dry and yet the water is still contained behind the houses. She gave the pictures to the Drainage Board.

 

Karan added also that any of the erosion or the silt that is leaving the site should be reported to the Soil Conservation Service and Amy Steeples is the lady to report to.

She also stated that she needs to come out and look at the site as she hasn’t been out there recently to see any of the construction.

 

Vice-President Conner asked Karan to let him know when she is going as he would like to go with her.

 

Karan stated that she would report this to Amy Steeples for the erosion as the development has to be constructed according to their specifications, and she would check on the drainage plan construction. She added that as far as redirecting the storm water that has already been approved she does not think there is anything that can be done.

 

Ms. Knight complained about the development not being close to erecting the bridge as all they are doing are constructing roads and houses. She added that they are not working on the entrance to Sandalway.

 

Helen Newton who resides at 7977 Telephone Road and lives directly across from the Sandals Subdivision where the traffic comes in and out of Sandals, her concerns are about the Gardner-Webb Ditch as it is a huge watershed, which meets up with Tanglewood Ditch. She was worried about a Tennessee Crossing affecting her neighbors homes as she thinks they would be flooded out.

 

Karan stated she is not recommending a Tennessee Crossing as she has the same fears.

 

Mrs. Newton asked if it was illegal to put dirt into the drainage ditches? She explained that the silt fencing falls down or is pushed down by mud and is on the road is it right for a developer to wash that down with a hose into the ditch.

 

Karan stated that should not happen but this is also a problem that should be reported to the Soil Conservation Office has an ordinance for State and it is called Rule #5 which states that it should be disposed of properly.

 

Mrs. Newton stated that there was not a water truck there but there was a man with a hose washing it off of the road and she is the one who told Mr. Johns about it. She added that she is not against Mr. Chandler or his development she just wants everything done correctly as construction will go on all year.

 

Vice-President thanked Mrs. Newton for her concerns and comments.

 

CLAIMS:

 

Vice-President Conner stated the claims were in the amount of $5,564.53 and asked if there were any questions from the Board?

 

Commissioner Williams asked about the air compressor rental?

 

Karan answered that it was to ring the gabion baskets at Coles Creek as they had 22 baskets to put together.

 

Commissioner Williams made a motion to approve the claims as submitted, 2nd by Vice-President Conner. Motion carried 2-0.

 

As they were making the motion a gentleman asked if he could speak about Sandal Subdivision and Vice-President Conner told him that they were through with that subject as they had moved ahead on the agenda.

 

Vice-President Conner asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

Mr. Johns from the audience addressed the Board and stated that usually it is asked if anyone has anything else to say and another gentleman here wants to speak and now you are telling him he is not allowed to.

 

Vice-President Conner asked for a motion to adjourn, Commissioner Williams made a motion to adjourn, 2nd by Vice-President Conner. Motion carried 2-0.