MINUTES

WARRICK COUNTY DRAINAGE BOARD

AUGUST 22, 2007

 

The Warrick County Drainage Board met in regular session with President Phillip H. Baxter presiding also in attendance were Nova Conner, Vice-President; Don Williams, Secretary; James E. Niemeyer, Surveyor and David K. Zengler, Attorney for Board.

Minutes were recorded and transcribed by Cheryl D. Embry.

 

Attendance in the audience was Gary Tree, Jack Faber and Manny Rydholm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 

Phil Baxter: August 22, 2007 Drainage Board Meeting will now come to order. The first on the agenda is the approval of minutes of August 8th.

 

Don Williams:  Move to approve

 

Nova Conner:  Was I here?  Yes.  Second.

Motion was made and passed to approve minutes.

 

DRAINAGE APPROVAL:

ONCOLOGY HEMATOLOGY ASSOCIATES OF SOUTHWEST INDIANA P.C.:

 

Jim Niemeyer: Would you state your name please.

 

Gary Tree:  My name is Gary Tree and I represent the Oncology Hematology Associates. I work for Marshall Bergman and Associates the design builder for the project.

 

Jim Niemeyer:  I did want to comment that your plans are very nice.

 

Phil Baxter:  Has anything changes since last week when we looked at the plans?

 

Mr. Tree: No there have been no revisions to these drawings.

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Everything is in order.

 

Don Williams:  The drainage basin was larger than statute was it not? This was more than 50:5, it was more like…..

 

Jim Niemeyer:  100 year storm.

 

Mr. Tree: We have mobilized on the site and on Monday the contractor started moving the top soil around and yesterday and today they have been busy placing the fill underneath the building that needs to be raised up to meet their elevation.

Jim Niemeyer:  Just be sure you don’t kill that big oak tree out there.

 

Mr. Tree: We’ve got protective measures around it, its really part of the ambiance of the facility.

 

Commissioner Baxter asked if there were any questions?

 

Nova Conner: I don’t have any question, but I would like to make a motion to approve.

 

Don Williams:  Second.

 

Motion was made and seconded.  Motion passes 3-0.

 

Mr. Tree: Is there anything else I need to do, I think the fees have been paid.

He was told that his work at this time was finished.

 

PROJECT REPORTS:

HOWARD WILLIAMS DITCH:

 

Jim Niemeyer: I gave all the members here a summary of all the projects that we had studied and were completed in so far as the studies were concerned and I ranked these projects in what I thought was the order of importance. The first one is, I think we need to complete that Howard Ditch maintenance because the ditch is filling in with silt and there is an erosion problem on the Vanderburgh County side in that the water is eroding the bank and last year it had exposed a water main which froze. Then farther upstream which is south there is a detention pond on the Vanderburgh County side and it is beginning to undercut and we are going to have to repair that. There is still cleaning that needs to be done. Through the studies that BLA has done I surveyed a profile down the ditch to test the thickness of the silt and it is about a foot and a half thick and we touched hard bottom so we know what the top and the bottom is. There are slides in that ditch that need to be cleaned out, I saw a flapper valve that won’t open because of silt and debris on top of it. It won’t be a real simple project plus I’ve been in contact with INDOT to clean the culverts under I-164. We need to….I’ll have to contact them again and I think I’ll just get the survey profile stake so that they can see them and then I think it might spur them onto action because they need to know what elevation to clean to. I’ll get that done, the other thing is we need to go ahead and proceed with the John Mattingly matter, he owns Stor-n-Loc to let him know what we are doing and to make proposals with regard to the contract which was completed between he and the County some years ago. I think it was back in 2000, I gave a copy of that to Mr. Zengler for interpretation.

 

David Zengler: Yeah, and as I remember he agreed to do the maintenance so I think Jim just needs to contact him and if he is going to perform the maintenance or the County does it for the maintenance, whichever.

 

Nova Conner:  Yes, because it is right on that property.

Jim Niemeyer: I hope we don’t have to tear down the fence to get to it but when we get a contract with a long stick we’ll be in good shape. But we’ll have to haul everything out of there cause there is just no other way. And as far as disposing of the silt I did find a taker for that.

 

Nova Conner: But you’re saying that you have to take some of the fence down?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  I don’t know yet.

 

Nova Conner:  Because I know in this clause where he said unreasonable…..

 

Jim Niemeyer:  There’s very little space there maybe 10-15 feet and it might even be less in spots. It is going to be very difficult to get to the Vanderburgh side because there is just no room to get a machine in there. That’s a problem and there is a lot of brush that needs to be cleaned out of there also. I’ll get the specifications completed.

 

Don Williams:  When you contact Mr. Mattingly if there are any problems let me know and I will be glad to talk to him. We played football together.

 

Phil Baxter:  Also Jim when you’re talking to INDOT, did they clean out the culverts under 66 there at Frame Road?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Not that I know of.

 

Phil Baxter:  They were contacted as I remember last year we cleaned out that….

 

Jim Niemeyer: I really don’t remember.

 

Phil Baxter:  If you don’t care please check that when you talk to them on the I-164 project.

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Those culvert there under I-164 there west of Deaconess are about 50% full.

 

Phil Baxter: I’m talking about the ones east.

 

Jim Niemeyer: I know where you’re talking about, I’ll talk to them.

 

Don Williams:  Make sure you let INDOT know that it is a priority because of drainage problems.

 

Phil Baxter:  Both of those areas.

 

LEGAL DRAIN INVENTORY FOR CLEANING/MAINTENANCE:

 

Jim Niemeyer: The other thing that I want to do is beginning this fall I want to start inventorying all of our….I don’t know if I can get it done by spring, probably not…but inventorying our legal drains for cleaning and maintenance.

 

Nova Conner:  Jim, is this is where I was going to help you on my 4-wheeler? I was to ride with you and we were going to inspect ditches. I would have a legitimate reason to ride it there.

 

Jim Niemeyer:  We do need to get that done and then begin the program so that when we get a ditch cleaned out that we go ahead and save all that work. We need to..and I’ve started this in some cases…but I have been hampered by lack of rain to get it sowed, get the ditch bank cleaned off and sowed with seed and even matted if necessary so that once we get grass established we don’t have to go back and do this. All we will need to do is spray because the sprays they have now will not affect any grass that you sow, they are very selective, they will knock out the weeds. So we could do cleaning for cents per foot rather than dollars, so I think that would be good.

 

SPRAY CONTRACTORS:

 

Jim Niemeyer:  I’ve got two spray contracts that I have given to David for review.

 

Nova Conner:  Is that in terms of environmentally, is that a spray that is…….

 

Jim Niemeyer:  They are environmentally safe but we need to use a contract sprayer as they have all the insurance and training. I would stay away from doing it in-house because of that very reason.

 

Don Williams:  And you are checking out all these contracts?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Yes

 

NORTH GREEN SPRINGS VALLEY:

 

Jack Faber:  My name is Jack Faber, I am a resident of the North Green Springs Valley Subdivision right behind Schnucks and the apartments at 8199 North Birch Drive. I am the president of our home owners association and with me is another one of our members and I am drawing a blank right now as to what his name is. Yes, Manny Rydholm, I write his name all the time. Basically I’m here for a couple of reasons, we’ve been needing…..

Because of the flooding last year we created our Homeowners Association and….

(there was discussion about what year the flood happened) So it was because of that flooding that we created our homeowners association and what I had done once we had created that was I presented a map showing the amount of water that came into the area and the houses that were affected by the water and during the meeting of October 11 2006 we were told that an impediment of the natural drain that is behind Schnucks and between the apartments and condominiums that impediment of this natural drain and the owners responsibility to clean it if it is their property and if not the committee would have it cleaned out and charged to the owners expense, the owners were going to have to pay for it if they didn’t take care of it. This was passed by a motion and it even says in here that six months from now they didn’t want to still be waiting on this. Well, its been over 6 months, Manny’s fortunately has been able to come to these meetings to find out what’s been going on. I did some looking, my plat for my house says that I have to make sure that my ditch that’s between me and the owner behind us is cleaned from tree limbs, tree roots any kind of debris and I wanted to look and see if the plats for these owners say the same thing. So I went down to the Planning Commission downstairs and printed out copies where it says on these plats that they are required to clean this ditch and the reason I’m bringing this up is because its this ditch that’s causing our flooding. We feel that if that ditch is cleaned it can let the water that’s coming into our neighborhood escape basically and relieve our situation. Because we really feel its affecting not only the people that live here but our home prices because if this flooding continues even if it is dry now but that can change. So we looked at this and we’ve been talking about this as a Home Owners Association Board, Manny’s fortunately been bringing up to meetings and we’ve been told over and over that the legal ditch is the way it’s going, we understand that process is going. Our concern is though throughout the County there are other legal ditches and what kind of guarantee are we going to get that our ditch is going to be cleaned at all when you see the state of some of these other ditches. So what we’ve decided to do was to create a press release and we’re going to have a press conference where we’re going to meet with anybody who will show up and we feel that we’ve come in front of you many times asking for help and we were told 6 months ago that the ditch would be cleaned something would happen and we feel that its time that we start talking to the media, letting them know our situation based on the flooding that occurred and just trying to get our voices heard a little bit more. We don’t really want to do it but we’re going to do it just because as you see by the number of homes on that map mines one of them included that we don’t like living in fear of a heavy rain. We have taken it upon ourselves as a home owners association to go in check our own ditches for blockages, we’re talking to homeowners inside our neighborhood to make everybody aware that it is our responsibility to clean it. We feel that the other owners whether they are an apartment complex or Schnucks somebody that has a lot more money than we do. We feel its just as much their responsibility to clean it and clean it to stop the blockages or the…..we need that flow of water coming through. I think if you would read it, it’s pretty straight forward our press conference which you’re more than welcome to come to is Thursday September 13th at the public library the central public library there off of Bell and you could hear what people have to say and their concerns.

 

Phil Baxter:  Jim, do you want to update him on this?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Well, I’ve told them several times that we have and are still in the progress of obtaining a signature from Schnucks people and Mr. Zengler has sent them the latest paperwork for signature and approval and I spoke with Mr. Henry Nodarse of Bernardin and Lochmueller yesterday. I asked him where this was in the process and they said that it was in review by Schnucks. We can’t make them, we can’t force them to my knowledge.

 

Mr. Faber: Well, I know you can’t force them to sign it but over 6 months ago practically 10 months ago there was a motion passed by your committee that said you would have it cleaned and bill them and we never received…..

 

Don Williams:  What was the date we gave you on that? To be cleaned by?

 

Mr. Faber: I have a copy of the County Drainage Meeting minutes.

 

Don Williams:  Well, I know we had passed the motion, my question was, was there a specific date given to you that it would be cleaned?

 

Mr. Faber:  I’ll read what….who’s Mr. Don Williams?

 

Don Williams:  That would be me.

 

Mr. Faber:  Okay, I’ll read what you said. It says “okay then, I would make a motion that we have the County Surveyor contact the manager or whoever the CEO is at that particular store and let them know the situation with the emphasis of the impediment of the natural drain and their responsibility to clean it if it is their property and if not then we can have it cleaned and bill them. He needs to understand all that and we don’t want it 6 months from now, the sooner the better that’s my motion, do I have a second?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  It was cleaned.

 

Don Williams:  Are you aware that ditch has been cleaned?

 

Mr. Faber: That ditch has not been cleaned between

 

Jim Niemeyer:  It was cleaned because I talked to the property manager.

 

Don Williams:  This has been one of our top priorities and we do things according to priorities and that area…..it’s just as a government we can’t go in and do things without getting people like Schnucks to sign off, its just that simple and I have no other comments and I look at our priorities to make sure that they are in the order that I wanted.

 

Mr. Faber:  It says on the plat though that if drainage is being blocked…….

 

Don Williams:  Has the Homeowners Association got your people to clean out all their ditches in there?

 

Mr. Faber:  We have started that, yes.

 

Don Williams:  Good

 

Mr. Faber: But I would like to say that I really feel like we are being………in the meeting minutes it said that Mr. Niemeyer and first we’re being antagonistic about this.

Don Williams:  Yes, you are.

 

Mr. Faber:  And we know that and…….

 

Don Williams:  And we don’t respond at least I don’t respond well to threats.

 

Mr. Faber:  It’s not a threat.

 

Don Williams:  So hold your news conference and….

 

Mr. Faber:  I’m sorry that you feel like it’s a threat but we feel like we’re not being listened to…..

 

Don Williams:  And I’m telling you that we’re doing what we can.

 

Mr. Faber:  Well, then you shouldn’t have said that in this statement that from 6 months from that time that ditch would be cleaned out.

 

Don Williams:  The ditch was cleaned.

 

Mr. Faber: Schnucks did it because Manny and Mr. Niemeyer talked to them, what about the apartments?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Schnucks did clean it out.

 

Mr. Faber:  And what about the apartments?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  They did not complete all of their assignments, they did some and I have not been able to get much support there, I will admit that. But I think once we get this done too you know…they own property too you know and if we need both of them, I kind of have a hard ball here to play with because if I antagonize them they might not sign it either, you see what I mean. So we’re trying to do….trying to be a diplomat I suppose in dealing with them because if we get their signatures we will proceed on it and get it cleaned out. There’s not really much to cleaning out the Schnucks side, its not in bad shape, if I were going to do anything I would probably spray the outside of it and go back in and touch it up. It won’t take much to get it back up in tip top shape. The worst spot is on the east side of the Springview Apartments between the apartments and Wyntree Villas. That is going to be difficult because it’s so narrow and v-shape, but I’m not afraid of that. But all we need to do if we don’t get Schnucks then we need Springview to sign cause it takes a certain amount of acreage or assessed value to get it approved. That is something that we have no control over. I told Manny Rydholm we would even go in there and do it and then I realized that was a mistake because we really can’t go on private property, I just don’t have that authority and further more we are completing the Storm Water Management Department which I believe will give us the authority to go on private property to clean it so we’ve got two approaches to solving the problem. The Department of Storm Water Management once it’s funded which we hopefully…..we hope that the County Council will approve our temporary funding requests here on September 6th and we are funded then we can go cause we don’t have any money this was a non-funded mandate, we don’t have that kind of…any money, in fact I’m paying the Storm Water Departments expenses out of my own department fund and I will recoup that but we’re kind of out on a limb. But we’re doing it, we’re doing the job that we’re supposed to do.

 

Don Williams:  I realize that it’s not as fast as any of us would like it to be done.

 

Nova Conner:  Jim could you just tell me exactly again what needs to be done here, you’re saying that Schnuck’s and the apartments need to follow through to get the ditches cleaned is that what you’re saying?

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Well, if they will it would just be fine but like I say…..

 

Don Williams:  They have been on board, at least they talk positive.

 

Jim Niemeyer:  Yeah, I don’t have any doubt that they won’t but you know they’re kind of like government too.

 

Nova Conner:  But that is the whole issue that we’re waiting for those two particular property owners to sign.

 

Don Williams:  Schnucks owns so much of that we can go ahead with the legal drain without probably the apartments, should we keep that as a priority to do that?

 

David Zengler:  At the last meeting you approved that their……the whole proposal was subject to…..

 

Don Williams:  Because right now that is a non legal drain and its private property and this Board really has no obligation. Everything we’ve done …….

 

Mr. Faber: So the statements on my plat and their plats…I thought

 

Don Williams:  If it is a…well, plats I’m not sure are enforceable so you c an check on that, I don’t know.

 

Mr. Faber: Well, then what is the point of the purpose saying that you can’t block any drainage in anybody’s easement.

 

Don Williams:  You can’t do it intentionally.

 

Mr. Faber: Well, intentionally by not taking care of your property, I think that’s intentional.

 

Don Williams:  I think you would have a judge disagree but we have no intention of giving up and getting this project done, you can do as you like. We’ll do it as quickly as we can and we have two primary areas that are primaries and that area is one of the top two, so…..

 

Mr. Faber: We’ve been hearing this and we are just concerned that’s its going to be overlooked or we’re going to keep hearing it and….

 

Don Williams:  That’s fine, you do what you’ve got to do. Okay, we’re going our best to help you out and I thought we were trying to work together but if you want to make it adversarial, go for it.

 

Mr. Faber:  We are trying to work together, Mr. Wilson, if that is your name.

 

Don Williams:    Williams, sir, we have really tried to, Mr. President I have no need for any further comment personally.

 

Mr. Faber: I really don’t appreciate the way you’re talking to me right now because we have….and okay the way I understand is I thought we were allowed to speak and not get interrupted, I apologize but it’s very rude to try to say something and have you continually interrupt me and if that is the way this committee works then we’ll just do everything by letter and we’ll continue to do everything that we can to make as big a stink of this as possible because it’s affecting our home prices and I believe if you lived there you would feel as passionately about it too.

 

Don Williams:     I apologize for that, but that’s the reason it’s a priority because I do care and do know people in that area.

 

Mr. Faber:  I believe you have already said to me all that I need to hear, thank you.

 

CLAIMS:

 

Phil Baxter:  We have claims in the amount of $2,124.38.

 

Don Williams:  Move to approve.

 

Nova Conner:  Second.

 

Motion was made and seconded. Motion passed 3-0.

 

There was discussion on the ditch behind Schnucks saying that Schnucks keeps saying they will sign but as yet they haven’t. Wyntree Villas has also said they will sign. Schnucks wants to be able to put stuff within the legal drain which is not allowed. It just takes a lot of time to do this properly and the public wants it done yesterday. It was stated that this Board was only liable for legal drains and not any private property, so the Board should just stay with legal drains.

Motion was made to adjourn by Commissioner Williams, seconded by Commissioner Conner. Motion carried 3-0. Meeting adjourned.