MARCH 26, 2008

2:30 P.M.



The Warrick County Drainage Board met in regular session with President Phillip H. Baxter presiding; also in attendance were Nova Conner, Vice-President; Sean M. Owen, Deputy Surveyor and David K. Zengler, Attorney for Board.

Minutes were recorded and transcribed by Cheryl D. Embry.


Audience members were Les Shively, Glenn Merritt, Sharon McClure, John Reiplinger, William Bivins,




Warrick County Drainage Board March 26, 2008 will now come to order. First on the agenda is the approval of minutes from March 12, 2008.


Nova Conner:  I made a motion that we approve.


Phil Baxter: Second


Motion was made and seconded. Motion passed 2-0.




Glenn Merritt: I’m with Cash, Wagner and Associates 414 Citadel Circle Evansville, Indiana 47715. A couple of things have happened since the meeting on the 12th. I know both Ms. Conner and Mr. Baxter were wanting to read the letter from Mr. Sherwood and I myself hadn’t gotten a copy of it either at that time. I have had a chance to read through it, he had a couple of statements in there that kind of were….didn’t necessarily ask for us to do something but kind of left some things up in the air, I thought and I addressed them with a letter last Friday. He had a statement stating that the rock check dams that we initially had on the plan, he was a little concerned with the long term maintenance of those structures if they weren’t maintained properly that they might not do what they were supposed to do and I had removed those already on the drainage plan I re-submitted on March 6, 2008 because we had already gotten approval from Ms. Shank to extend the swales through her property behind the pole barn and tie into the main tributary to Esche Ditch. So I had already removed that part of the equation that he had some concerns on.

Then his other statement towards the end of his letter, he said that Esche Ditch should be able to handle the proposed Piper Ridge Subdivision flow and this additional flow can be allowed to discharge to Esche Ditch as similarly stated and then he said but towards the end that our access was through Ms. Shanks property which I already mentioned that we had taken care of that and received a letter from her stating that she was satisfied with the improvements and that we could discharge our flow through her property which is where it goes now anyway we were just going to upgrade that channel where it could handle the flow from our subdivision. One other thing some photos were taken out there just upstream of our property on the morning of March 19, 2008 after the large rainfall that we had on the 18th of March. The picture shows that the ditch can handle a tremendous amount of water.


Nova Conner: Okay, in regards to this can you show me in terms of like where Pfafflin Road is and the present homes there.


Mr. Merritt: This is looking west off of Fiesta Drive. So Pfafflin Lake would be way up the hill, this is downstream, this is towards our site. Miss Shanks property…here is the pole barn (showing on plan). Pfafflin Lake is probably 60 feet elevation difference above  where we’re talking right there, if they have any water issues ¾ of Warrick County is probably going to be under water based on the elevation of their property in that subdivision that’s up on top of the hill. We have probably 25 to 30 feet of elevation difference just across our client’s property, our little 3 acre parcel. That is really all I had new to add to what we had previously discussed. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.


Nova Conner: Is there anyone here that would like to discuss this?


Sharon McClure: My name is Sharon McClure, my husband Doug McClure could not be here today because of business. I live on Pfafflin Lake Blvd right next to this proposed road. We do still have major concerns, we think as County Commissioners that it is your responsibility to make sure that anything that goes in should be county code. I think when you start waving especially with the amount of rain we’ve had lately, I think it would be irresponsible to just waive retention ponds and sewers and gutters and curbs and everything else to maintain water. When it rained the bottom of Pfafflin Lake Blvd, there is standing water that you have to go through and we’re also in Pfafflin Lake very concerned about our small lake and the big lake all that drainage that comes off the hill. If you don’t direct this water down the sewers or retention ponds I don’t know where all this water is going to go. I think it’s going to cause major problems. I’m also concerned our backyard abuts the back of this, the front of this road and also on the side and it comes very close to our driveway. We’re very concerned about the drainage on our driveway to our garage and in the back of our property, we’re getting hit from two sides with this and I think it is a major concern and I think you really have to think hard before you start waiving retention ponds. It doesn’t make any difference on how many homes are back there, it’s the amount of cement and all the brush and the trees that you take off, if you allow her to put in Prairie Drive you are removing 9 trees, 3 bushes, removing all the utilities a retention wall all this stuff that helps maintain between our two homes and the same with across the back. I think I have e-mailed pictures also of all the water that was back there when we got all this rain and you can see it was just standing everywhere.


Nova Conner:  And when were those taken?


Ms. McClure: I e-mailed them on…..it was during the rain because my husband walked back there in boots with an umbrella and everything else. I want to say it was either Friday but I e-mailed all three of you pictures.


Nova Conner: Because I was trying to think in you know in regards to yours, yours were on the 18th.


Mr. Merritt: Yes, the morning after it rained all day I think that was on Tuesday and those were taken on Wednesday morning approximately 9 a.m. As far as I know we’ve discussed this before as far as waiving the retention requirement and I know Les that may be what he’s coming up here for that the current ordinance states in section 7 on Storm drainage that if any retention basin is installed then you have to design it a certain way but it does not state in the ordinance that a retention basin is required on every subdivision otherwise Rosewood which is up stream would have one installed on that subdivision considering where it’s located and considering the size in relation to ours. I don’t know if you want to add anything in relation to that.


Les Shively: My name is Les Shively representing the developer of Piper Ridge. I sent a letter earlier this week to your attorney with not only a copy of Mr. Sherwood’s letter to the Drainage Board but also a copy of Cash Wagner’s response. The fact of the matter is that the ordinance that was adopted 2000 regarding requirement retention basins has been super ceded as a matter of law when on March 20, 2006 this Board of Commissioners adopted the Subdivision Control Ordinance for Warrick County and particularly within that ordinance Article 5 Section 7 regarding drainage facilities. This plan conforms to those standards and if you get beyond Mr. Sherwood’s commentary and look at the actual he admits that this plan complies and moreover states that Esche Ditch is more than adequate to handle the runoff providing that the Shank’s understand and they have been satisfied. You’ve already been provided a letter dated March 8, 2008 showing the Shanks are on board shall we say, the couple technical things that Mr. Sherwood wanted addressed have been addressed. They have been remedied and this complies in all respects, in response to Ms. McClure’s comments we are not here about Prairie Drive, we are here about the drainage plan and the McClure’s are upstream they are not going to be…….the only property that is going to be impacted is the property from which water will flow from the Sheller property to Esche Ditch, that’s the Shanks. They are happy, they’ve seen the plan, this gentleman spent a lot of time with the Shank’s. This is a five lot subdivision, only five lots, the calculations have been done, there is full compliance and we have been up here numerous times and have done everything that has been asked to be done. We ask that you approve this, this is not like a zoning issue where you have discretion the law if very clear that where they present a plan that conforms with the requirements of the ordinance your job is to make sure that that plan does conform with those ordinances and gets constructed according to those plans. But beyond that there is no just arbitrary discretion afforded approval of a drainage plan. Again if you have questions for our engineer on the specifics of the plan we will be more than happy to answer those but we think we’ve answered all the questions.


Phil Baxter: Yes, ma’am?


Sharon McClure: Again, it’s not the fact that it’s only a five lot subdivision. It’s the fact of all the cement that is being poured in order to get to this proposed subdivision. She has to have Prairie Drive access or she can go through Rosewood. She’s trying to go through Prairie Drive that is a ton of cement by the side of our homes and also across the back so I beg to differ with Mr. Shivley it does impact us a lot and it does impact Pfafflin Lake so I beg to differ. We’ve also spent a lot of time, we have spent years fighting this issue and we will continue to fight this issue. If she wants to develop her property make her stick to County Code. She needs to put in sewers, I don’t care if it’s one home or twenty homes but make her stick to County Code. Why would you want to take that chance and waive everything and then next year we get this big rain and all of a sudden we have back up, we have water coming onto people’s property standing water everywhere, why would you want to take that chance. Just look around at all the roads that were closed just in the last couple of weeks with standing water. It makes a big impact, so I’d think twice before you waive everything. Thank you.


Mr. Merritt: I guess I have just one comment regarding Mrs. McClure’s statements. I know everybody keeps bringing this stuff that we’re getting, I don’t know where she’s coming up with sewers waived but I mean storm sewers are being installed per the County Code, curb and gutters are on the roads and I know she doesn’t want Prairie Drive running directly adjacent to her house but it is public right of way and it is our only access to Ms. Shellers property and that is what it’s there for. As far as any drainage off of that road or our subdivision most of the road is in a cut section where it’s going to be below existing ground so whatever water is adjacent to that road is going to fall into the street and be collected in the gutter and flow to the storm sewer system and then out through Ms. Shank’s property. Any problems that they might have with drainage within Pfafflin Lake our drainage goes through Esche Ditch and then down through Cypress Creek, it is not tied into their drainage system in any way and as a lot of people know, yes there were a lot of roads closed last week but that was because it was a very significant storm event, it wasn’t something that we design for a 50-year storm I never have heard of return period on what the national weather service classified that storm event on the 18th but I would have to say that it was above that 50-year storm requirement. So that is really all I have to add. Thank you.


Phil Baxter: Anyone else? Do you have any questions?


Nova Conner:  The one thing that we are really concerned about is because we approve many drainage plans and they meet them all and then invariably there can be flooding, I mean it looks wonderful on paper and then it ends up and its flooding and that is something we are addressing right now. We are developing our drainage ordinances to meet more in detail and you’re right in terms of them meeting what they need to meet they have met in terms of that. It does say in there in terms of retention pond and what you stated Mr. Shively, it says that and that’s where David can you shed any light on that in terms of……..


David Zengler: There was an additional ordinance that Mr. Shively…..that took out the retainage pond issue so that would be………. I think then it becomes in your discretion you know what you want to do. I think Mr. Shively is correct in the……if it does meet…if those plans do meet the requirements of the….as far as the drainage now there’s other issues that he’s talked about that you do have discretion but in the drainage if it meets the requirements of the county ordinances I don’t think you have discretion.


Nova Conner: And like I said I think that’s truly why we have…cause we have had so many flooding issues that we are really trying to develop those drainage ordinances and where they will be more thorough and we will not have a lot of the same issues that we have but I can really truly tell you that we have overlooked and have gotten information from consultants on drainage things and say 100% and then things still have flooded. There’s not a 100% guarantee on anything in terms of that and even though we’re trying to address it 100% is just impossible. So at this point in terms of that Commissioner Baxter, I will go ahead and make a motion that we approve.


Phil Baxter: We’ve got a motion to approve the drainage plans of Piper Ridge, I will second it, all in favor. Commissioner Conner voted aye. Motion passed 2-0.




Phil Baxter: Okay, Sean you have a sign request?


Sean Owen:  Yes, is Mr. Reiplinger here?


John Reiplinger: My name is John Reiplinger I do human resources and licensing and permits and the like for Alvey’s sign company in Evansville. What we have here is an existing pylon for the Triple Crown Plaza, I don’t know if you have copies of that or not but it is this sign at 8788 Ruffian Lane. What we have been commissioned to do by the doctor there is to remove those top two panels in that sign and replace them with one of those electronic centers and it will have a very small tenet panel at the top of it to rename the plaza in her name, Dr. Griner, I think it is. The over all effect of this will be to shorten the height of that sign some what. But the issue is that we will have to run electric to this message board out there and we had it confirmed this morning that the electricity that’s provided to that sign from that building is pretty well at max so we will run new electric. Our licensing and ability to wire signage pretty well ends about 6-feet from the sign so either our customer or we will hire a subcontractor to trench new electric line out to the sign which is pretty much standard procedure. I think the issue before the Drainage Board that was asked to me was to provide a letter from Vectren because this is a utility easement giving us permission to run this trench out there through that easement to the far edge of the sign in other words the edge that is closer to the building. I think that I am here to report that half the corporate floor up there is out of town somewhere. But I have been in touch with someone in Mark Riggs’ Office he is in charge of the land acquisition and maintenance and he called me on the way over here and said did you get my E-mail and I said no I’ve already left to come to the meeting and he stated that they had no problem with whatever you are doing as long as in a straight line and not all over the ditch, so I told him that was our intent and I thought I would pass that along for your information. That is the reason for us being here is to present to you permission from Vectren Electric Company to put that trench in there for the electric.


Sean Owen: The sign is in the regulated drain easement that is why he is here today, it is an existing sign but they are going to have to cross a little bit of the regulated drainage easement to put the electric in, the sign in its position now is adequate. We’ve done work on that ditch before with that sign there. The Surveyor’s Office doesn’t see a problem as far as the legal drain is concerned with the renovation of the sign.


Phil Baxter: Any questions?


Nova Conner: I’m just not real big in favor of signs, I feel like we have enough. This one is already there but we are just getting so many signs.

I make a motion that we approve.


Phil Baxter: Second.

Motion was made and seconded to approve work on sign. Motion carried 2-0.




Phil Baxter: Mr. Snyder?


Sean Owen: Mr. and Mrs. Snyder may have been inadvertently informed that the drainage meeting was at 3:00


Phil Baxter: We will go on to Bill then and give them a few minutes.




Bill Bivins: Bill Bivins, last week on Wednesday Jim Niemeyer and myself had a scheduled meeting for that morning to look at Tanglewood Ditch and of course we had the major major rain the night before and one of the few times I’ve been pleasantly surprised after we got out there. Tanglewood Ditch stayed in its banks it did not overflow anywhere and while we were there Jim got a couple of calls from people complimenting him on the work that the County had done for the ditch. Now there was a problem on Crystal Court and I went out and ran some elevations, which I’d like to show you if I could of what we found is what the problem is out there. (he stepped up to the Board)

Crystal Court comes down and water just flows down there, there is a small pipe and then when it gets down to this pipe it’s already full. The top of the curb out there is 401.19 and I shot the ladies garage, it got right up to her garage and the pipe outlet over there is 398. Well, this flood got 400.13 and the top of the bank was 402.5. What needs to be done to alleviate her problem I believe is to take out that drain and just let that water flow directly out of Crystal Court into Tanglewood.


Phil Baxter: We’ve talked about that Bill or putting a larger pipe in, as far as what you’re saying, I like that better because you don’t have to worry about that pipe being too small or stoppage or anything.


Bill Bivins: Right, if you took out that grade and just put a standard grade there that would catch the normal water and when you do have a flood just let it flow over there. Brownwood Court had a little problem over there but it wasn’t near what they had. The other thing we were out there for was to look at Telephone Road. No water overflowed Telephone Road even the guy with the new house his pipe blew out and made a little water…..



Nova Conner:  But it didn’t go south?


Bill Bivins: No, it didn’t go across the road.  We were out there all day long.


Nova Conner:  On Telephone?


Bill Bivins: Yes, there was no flow over that road.


Nova Conner: Is that right, cause I was thinking I……


Phil Baxter: None that I saw. I was out there three times and I didn’t see any.


Nova Conner:  So what happened? I mean cause it was definitely…….


Phil Baxter: The ditch carried it.


Bill Bivins: The ditch carried it, It was a shocker to me too with all the complaints that we had.


Phil Baxter: As far as that pipe I understand that it was an improper size, it’s either 15 or 18 and I think he was asked to put in a 24.


Bill Bivins: Well, by the time it gets down to here it’s full…..But Jim asked me to come up and explain what we saw out there. I also went and looked at the two bridges in Tanglewood and went on down and looked at Bell Road and it never got over either. So it did some good cleaning those ditches out.


Phil Baxter: And as I understand it was the biggest rain event since 1901.


Bill Bivins: I heard 1910. So Tanglewood really works.


Phil Baxter: We were pleasantly surprised at a lot of areas.


Nova Conner: Yes, we were, we were excited. We were pleased on the whole and I just feel like we…now we have an opportunity with the Storm Water Management Board to really do more, so we were excited about that.


The Board thanked Bill.




Sean Owen: I believe Mr. Snyder is here.


Keith Snyder: Keith Snyder 4347 Huntington Ridge Circle. We’re trying to obtain rights to put a fence up that’s within the constraints of the utility easement and trying to get all the utility companies and stuff to sign off, we lack two to have full approval.


Sean Owen: The fence actually runs parallel with a drainage easement so the Area Plan Commission decided it would be good to get approval from the Drainage Board for that, it may go into the drainage easement a little but its kind of right on the line. But it is only a 4-foot high wrought iron spaced out fence so it shouldn’t make any impedance to water drainage or anything like that.



Phil Baxter: You say you don’t have all the approvals?


Mr. Snyder: No, I don’t have approval from everybody yet. We lack Newburgh Sewer and Indiana American Water are the two that we’re missing.


Nova Conner: Keith, I’m going to be honest with you we’ve had some real issues with fences and easements and again that is what we’re discussing in our drainage ordinances and I will not be voting for any fences in the easements at this time because we’ve had problems with people come and need the waiver and then put another kind of fence in. We’ve had a lot of drainage issues with it even though it’s wrought iron, stuff gets caught  in it so at this time then again I probably will not be giving my vote will not be for any of the easements so………


Phil Baxter I can tell you the third member of the Board can’t be here today and I won’t say that I will or won’t but after you get permission from the other utilities you might come back and try again.


Mr. Snyder: Okay, would it help to bring anything else like a picture of the layout?


Phil Baxter: Yes, it might help.


Nova Conner: I think Don would probably like that, our other commissioner.


Phil Baxter: Any other information you could give us would be helpful.


David Zengler: You might also bring a picture of the fence or a graph anything that shows the fence I think it might help for the Commissioner that’s not here.


Snyder: What do I need to do to get on the docket again or do I need to wait until I get approval from all the utilities before I set it up again?


David Zengler: Normally you have approval from all the utilities before you come before the Board, so I would say get your approvals first and then contact the Surveyor’s Office about getting back on the docket.


Mr. Snyder: Okay, thank you.


Phil Baxter: Does anyone else have anything to come before the Drainage Board?




Stan Logel: I’m Stan Logel, I live at 5677 Anderson Road and Mr. Niemeyer and I have been in contact about the drainage on the  lake on Inverness Drive. I think you were up there with us looking at it and he told us they were going to have a meeting on that tonight. He was up looking at it about a week ago. So we are up here to see what they was going to do about that.


Sean Owen: I was unaware that it was supposed to be on the agenda, I did receive some information from Easley Engineering about two hours ago but I have not had a chance to review it and Mr. Niemeyer is out of town this week and has not had a chance to review it yet.


Mr. Logel: So, I mean they have done a couple of things up there and I don’t think it’s to code or I mean it’s causing problems the lake overflows down on my neighbors who owns a lake below him and then it causes his lake to overflow now in my out building which is 24 X 30 barn and I’ve been there for 30 years and they have always had a 10-inch pipe overflow and now they’ve put in a 30-inch culvert with a 24-inch pipe and it’s causing so much more water coming over in…down into the lower lake on me and then into my building. It’s just flooding the area down there every time we get a 2-inch rain. It used to be you know you would have to get a pretty good rain for that lower lake to overflow, now every time you get a 2-inch rain that lower lake overflows and comes down onto my property and down on my neighbor. He has some dogs and it almost gets into his dog pens now. It never had done that before this past spring or whenever they put this big 24-inch pipe in.


Nova Conner:  But Jim met with you and kind of talked about some type of plan is that what you’re saying.


Mr. Logel: Well, first of all we met with Mr. Easley when he first put it in because I knew that was going to be a problem back in August or July or whenever he put it in. We told him that you went from a 10-inch to a 30-inch pipe and he said well this is an overflow pipe, well right now this pipe is 10-inch and its trickling into there and if this lake raises 5-6 more inches its already into this 30-inch big culvert and then it goes in there and comes out a 24-inch pipe. Mr. Niemeyer has pictures of it and he’s got all kinds of documents and we’ve took pictures and I think you were up there looking at it.


Sean: Yes, Mr. Niemeyer has been in contact with Easley Engineering and Don Lee and we have just received some information about it. It’s been a little hard to dig up some of the information with the passing of Mr. Easley.


Mr. Logel: Mr. Easley died, I realize that but he kept saying he would get back with us and he never did get back with us. We did see Mr. Frudenburger up there now he’s tried to do something up there, he’s put a 14-inch raise pipe with a bunch of holes in it well that’s restricting the water more and that’s going to cause the level of the lake to raise and dump into that 30-inch culvert real quick.


Nova Conner: You want to put this on the next agenda then.


Sean: Yes, we just received the information from Easley Engineering.


Mr. Logel: When will that be, the next meeting.


Nova Conner:  April 9th at 2:30.


Eugene Hebner: Stan and I went up to that lake the other night, we seen Frudenburg up there at the lake, he was spreading some straw up there, I guess he was seeding that bank down. What started this whole thing up there is the lake that he had had a 10-inch drain in it, the lake below had a 10-inch drain and when it rained everything kind of went in flow. This 10-inch drain went to this lake this lake you know took it and went on, nothing overflowed. Now then if we get anything like two inches it floods, it’s into his building, it’s washed his backyard out, it’s making a bigger ditch in my yard and I’ve come up several times, Niemeyer’s been down and these guys understand the problem, he came down one time with him and as late as this week when we went up there and he was throwing this straw out. It was one evening last week probably Wednesday or Thursday and he said I understand what you people’s saying but you’ve got to remember he said these people up on the hill here where I’m selling these lots they want a bigger lake. Now this is his response, they want a bigger lake up here and I said well you didn’t go….he said this is all to code and I said you didn’t go through nobody to put this in. In fact he told a neighbor down below was what he wanted to do was clean that bank off which is the dam, he said you mind if we clean that off a little bit, what he done, he dug the whole dam out and put that 24-inch drain in there, it wasn’t about cleaning it off. But anyway the other night he said I’m going to make you people happy, he said what do you think we should do? We told him what we thought he should do is dig where that 10-inch drain is, go on and dig down about a foot and a half deeper out around to where that water can funnel down to that and drain through the 10-inch and then if it ever did need to get up to that one he put in that 24-inch they could reduce that down but raise it another foot before they done that because if it’s an overflow that he’s worried about he’s 3-foot below the road up there. He can go up at least another foot it’s not in danger and he said well I can do that. We went up there I guess yesterday they had a thing put in and they’ve raised that 10-inch about 14 more inches higher and put some holes in that 10-inch plastic pipe for drain, all that’s going to do is slow that down and right now it’s only 6-inches from this 24-inch thing. So it’s just going to flood worse than it was now even from the other day. But I would appreciate it if you folks would get with him and do something, it’s washing there by my house where you cross and the culvert is getting washed out now just in the last month. His yard has a cup in it now where it’s all draining, there is no reason for that he said the other night if I have to do to much I’ll just put it back like it was. I said that would be wonderful we didn’t have a problem, by law you probably need to do that, you didn’t have permission to do this anyway. He said but if I do that you’re going to have to get behind me with these people up here I’ve sold to. I said what are you talking about I don’t owe them a darn thing. If you promised them a bigger lake, I’m sorry but I don’t know what he’s going to do but it looks like he’s not going to do anything guys. I appreciate it if you would help us out.


Phil Baxter: Is that directly up behind your house?


Mr. Hebner: No, it’s directly behind the guy that owns the lake down there behind me then his house is there but all the water comes to me every bit of it. I mean through the 10-inch pipe it comes all down off the lake, the bottom lake and goes down behind my house onto my property a piece of property that I bought that ditch is and it’s just eroding the heck out of it.


Sean: Yes, they live on Anderson Road and the subdivision is off of Sharon Road, up above on the hill.


Phil Baxter: Yes, I know where he lives.




Phil Baxter:  Claims


Nova Conner: I make a motion that we pay the claims.


Phil Baxter: Second


Motion was made and seconded. Motion passed 2-0.


Commissioner Baxter asked if there was anything else to come before this meeting? Commissioner Conner made a motion to adjourn, 2nd by Commissioner Baxter. Motion carried 2-0.

Meeting adjourned.