APRIL 12, 2011
The Vanderburgh County Drainage Board met in session this 12th day of April, 2011 at 5:59 p.m. in room 301 of the Civic Center Complex with President Stephen Melcher presiding.
Call to Order
President Melcher: We’ll go ahead and start the Vanderburgh County Drainage Board. It’s Tuesday, April 12, 2011. It looks like it’s 5:59.
Approval of the March 29, 2011 Drainage Board Meeting Minutes
President Melcher: Bill?
Bill Jeffers: Good evening. Does anyone need a copy of the agenda?
President Melcher: No.
Bill Jeffers: I believe your staff provided you one. Approval of the minutes from the previous meeting.
President Melcher: So, is there an approval?
Commissioner Winnecke: So moved.
President Melcher: Is there a second?
Commissioner Abell: Second.
President Melcher: All in favor say aye.
All Commissioners: Aye.
(Motion approved 3-0)
President Melcher: It passes.
LEED-Sheffer Subdivision: Preliminary Drainage Plan
Bill Jeffers: The first piece of business is the LEED-Sheffer Subdivision drainage plan. This is a preliminary drainage plan. It’s a five lot major subdivision at Kansas Road and State Road 57. As you can see it’s in the northwest corner of that intersection, adjacent to Stonecreek Subdivision. It’s a commercial development. It includes on lot one an existing facility, Elite Fitness Center, and, I believe it proposes or contemplates to have a convenience store on lot two. The other three lots, I don’t believe have any prospects at the time. As I said, it’s a preliminary drainage plan, approval of the plan allows the plat to advance to Area Plan Commission day after tomorrow. As a preliminary plan there are details to be fine tuned. All preliminary plans are conceptual to a degree and require minor modifications as they move through the process. The basic requirement of a preliminary plan is that it be a workable plan to adequately collect and orderly convey storm water to the receiving storm water system. In this case Furlick Creek, which runs through Stonecreek. Over here you see the wooded waterway, that is Furlick Creek passing under Kansas Road, and then on to the south through open ground. Also, there always are details added to a drainage plan to address erosion control, sediment control, and post construction control of pollution specific to the intended land use. Those details will appear in the storm water pollution plan submitted to the County Engineer, as the MS4 Operator, and then those details will be incorporated into the final drainage plan going to the Surveyor’s Office and then coming back to you, the Drainage Board, at a later date. The final drainage plans come back to the Drainage Board following the Area Plan Commission hearing, which is Thursday. That’s because it gives us a chance to address unforeseen issues that might crop up from public comments at this hearing, or at the Area Plan Commission hearing Thursday. Okay, the next issue is the drainage code allows this Board to waive the requirement for storm water detention when a project is in close proximity to the receiving stream and will release the excess storm water flow well ahead of the peak surge from the rest of the watershed. We’ve done this before, and this is what I’m recommending be done for this project, to waive the requirement for detention of approximately 15 cubic feet per second peak runoff from these five lots you see on your screen, and allow that peak discharge to enter Furlick Creek, down here along Kansas Road, well ahead of the maximum surge of water that arrives at the same point of discharge, which is right here where it says Kansas, 30 to 60 minutes later. What I’m saying, basically, is that all of the surplus runoff from this site will be in the creek and well downstream of Kansas Road long before the rush of headwater from the upper ends of the watershed arrives at Kansas Road 30 to 60 minutes later. Alternately, the LEED-Sheffer Development could discharge this excess runoff into this existing detention basin behind the fitness center. They could simply pipe, it would take about a, I believe we calculated a 24 inch pipe would take that 15 cubic feet per second into this detention basin, that would be an alternate plan. The developer owns a small portion of the adjoining detention basin. We were in a hurry to draw these lines, this line, as you can see it kind of shifted over on us today, but he owns this sliver of the detention basin immediately behind the Elite Fitness Center, and in that small part of the lake there’s about 29,000 cubic feet of available storage space for storm water generated by this five lot project. In fact, if all of the surplus from those five lots were put into the detention basin it would only use up 17,000 cubic feet of the available 29,000 cubic feet of surplus storage that exists, storage capacity. However, the Stonecreek Homeowners Association owns and maintains the biggest part of the detention basin, other than this sliver down here they own all of the rest of it, and they’re concerned, and they maintain it, and they’re concerned about the commercial site runoff that might enter their lake, what pollution constituents might be carried into the lake from a fueling station, for example. Now, both State and local agencies regulate post construction pollution in storm water runoff from new commercial developments, and in this case that would be handled locally by the County Engineer’s office , because they are the MS4 operator. As I said earlier, those plans will come to him and then they’ll be incorporated into the final drainage plan. But, again, to take advantage of the close proximity of this project to the receiving stream, Furlick Creek, the County Surveyor is recommending that the Board waive the requirement for detention, and approve the preliminary plan, as submitted, for LEED-Sheffer Subdivision. The plan designer, Justin Shofstall, is here from Easley Engineering, if there are any questions for him. I think there are probably some neighbors in the audience who would wish to make comments.
President Melcher: Bill, does that mean if it goes into the creek it won’t be going into the lake at all?
Bill Jeffers: No, sir, that’s correct. It will, all the water will be captured up, off site water will be captured up here on the east side of the Old Seib Road bed, and it will be directed around, all the way around and then down into the creek. That’s the existing off site water that they don’t have to detain in the first place. The water that comes down the east, the west side of the Old Seib Road bed, generally comes out of Stonecreek Subdivision’s back yards, that will continue to be carried through the side road ditch and then picked up by a new channel and routed down and around the project, through the project and off site. What I’m talking about is the detention requirement for lot two, three, four, five and part of one, it’s all combined together, all the water that falls on that ground will be gathered up in such a way that it will be conveyed to the point of discharge, which is right here at the New Seib Road, within five minutes. All this will be readily and quickly gathered up and conveyed to that point and discharged through an existing 54 inch pipe, off into the creek in about five to six minutes. The rest of that watershed above there takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to get its water to that same point. So, this excess water will be in the creek, down through Furlick Creek, under 57, past the plastic plant, well on its way to Millersburg Road before all the rest of that flood water arrives. I think that’s a more efficient way to handle this, and I hope that answered your question.
President Melcher: Yes.
Commissioner Abell: Mr. Jeffers?
Bill Jeffers: Yes, Ma’am?
Commissioner Abell: I did receive some phone calls on this. Is this a better plan for the residents of Stonecreek?
Bill Jeffers: I believe it’s a better plan than the one that was submitted last week. I met with the developer and with Justin Shofstall at the end of last week, and we discussed alternatives that we thought would improve the plan that you may have received comments on. I’m anticipating that the comments that you received had to do with the water being sent to the detention basin, that was the concern that possibly was expressed by the callers. That’s the comments I got. So, we came up with this alternative, which I do think is better, yes. So, that’s why I’m making the recommendation. I think it’s a better plan. As I said though, you may want to take comments directly from the neighbors.
President Melcher: We will. Is there anybody here to speak on this. Go ahead and just come up one a time, and state your name please. We record everything.
Bill Jeffers: Do you need a pointer?
Steve Hess: I would love to have a pointer. Ted, Steve, Lloyd, Marsha, and Madelyn. I’m Steve Hess and I’m President, Treasurer and Legal Agent of Stonecreek Homeowners Association. I have received certified notice, I had seen a sign up in the front of this wonderful investment, this community that I had invested in April 14, 2003 as a quiet, quaint, away from the chaos of the city, in a subdivision that was representing, it mimicked more of a quiet setting, a country setting. We have ducks, geese, this....is there a little button here on the side? Oh, go the other way? I’ve got it there. This is what they’re calling a retention path pond, and, actually this retention pond is a lake, one of five lakes that Jagoe had constructed in this entire community of 320 homes. I apologize, most of these residents could not arrive today because of other family commitments. My representation here today is, I had this ditch, with Mike Wathen, dug out over a year ago, and this was a major flooding issue at this time with these residents across from me. What’s going on here is one of our concerns. The water and New Seib Road construction is lower than it’s needing to path of travel of drainage on this side. I have pictures, ironically, does anyone know how much rain we received yesterday? It was a slow, steady rain throughout most of the day, probably two inches total. The pictures I will present here in a second are of this, the concerns of drainage on both sides. If I mentioned a minute ago, this 320 body of homes, we pay assessments and collect assessment dues each year on this lake, this lake, this lake and this one. We pay property taxes, I have the parcels in my attache case over here, that we have fish, we stock fish, it’s a private, non-solicitation, it’s a private pond. Our concerns are, I’m in transportation with Toyota, I deal with motors and engines daily, I have this concern of motor oil from a gas station that has rain water, such as yesterday, polluting our lake that we invested, we pay taxes on. I also believe, for the record, that if Mr. Sheffer owns some of this property of this lake that we share with him, that there needs to be some assessment taxes paid on his behalf. However, that would be a different subject with him later. Our concerns as a community is this, if we control this drainage, and flow it away from our property that we pay for, and prevent any type of pollution from this new proposed development, we have no major issues, unless I have other residents in this meeting today that can handle this. But, I am not too excited about seeing a commercial gas station coming in and approaching my community I bought eight years ago. I am more concerned about the flooding in such of a rain as yesterday that we had. If you will, I apologize, it’s raining, I have no idea how to present these other than to bring them up to you, if I may.
President Melcher: You can.
Steve Hess: This was taken at 3:48 p.m. yesterday.
Madelyn Grayson: Steve, we need to make sure that we get your comments on the microphone.
Steve Hess: Okay. This was taken at 3:48 p.m. yesterday afternoon. This is the land just north of lots three, four and five, I believe, and, again, it was a steady rain throughout the day. So, this flow of water, that Bill Jeffers presented a minute ago, if that’s true with the amount of water that this area is going to maintain, from what he just presented, I am assuming that all of this will be re-directed, instead of having this condition here, this is looking south, if you will, at this property that they’ve owned now, but he had presented that this is going to be directed away from our lake, which is over here, which is depicted here behind Elite Fitness. Elite Fitness Center is right here. This is our lake, they call that the retention pond, but this is our lake. So, if they can re-direct that water away from this body of water that we own, I have no issues, but this is why I’m here today, and I was certified on this concern, and we as a community want to protect our investments here and want to prevent any future flooding. The flood back in 2003, I did have a phone call with Bill Jeffers about a month ago, and he had recalled and reminded me of that 2003 flood that we had at this intersection, Kansas and 57. This again is yesterday’s storm, mild, very slow rain, what’s this going to present if we had a major rain, and this is our lake, again, over here to the west side of Old Seib Road, if you will, what’s going to happen with this productive area and this new facility if we allow this to come in and allow them not to control our drainage?
Madelyn Grayson: May we have those pictures for the record?
Steve Hess: You may.
Madelyn Grayson: I’ve got a jumbo size filing cabinet.
Steve Hess: Yes, I apologize for the size, but, again, it’s a visual. These will be, as I mentioned earlier, the ergonomics of the land, the latitude itself, this was what we had with what Jagoe corporation left us with in 2010. This was done March 29th, this is looking south, and Mike Wathen with the county came in, I appreciate their services, they came in as the taxpayers in our county’s expense, I’ve been a taxpayer myself in Vanderburgh County for years. Marsha Abell met me back in 1993, and everyone knows me well that does know me, but they had this ditch dug out, and as you can see, it’s more controlled today, as it was this was March, well, April 22, 2010, but this is more constructed, more clean cut to flow water when we have a heavy rain. With this new gas station, we have to have a guarantee here that they are going to control this water flow and keep it away from the residents, as well as keep it away from our lake. Okay, that’s all I have to present today. Thank you.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Do you have extra copies of those photographs for yourself?
Steve Hess: I have them saved on my computer.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Okay, good. Okay, yeah.
President Melcher: Is there anybody else to speak?
Jimmy Guessfield: Ted, Stephen, Mr. President, Marsha, Madelyn. Steve did a real good job approaching you about the areas involved. The one thing that he didn’t say, and I am the homeowner directly across the street on the corner. No, across the street from there, right there. Yesterday’s rain, those two ponds behind me, the long slim one was up to the very top, and the one in my direct back yard really couldn’t take much more drainage. The one thing that he did say that we are all concerned with is the petroleum drainage, because I spend a lot of money annually for the pond that’s directly behind my house for stocking it with fish and keeping it well groomed, and have real concern about that drainage. I didn’t take a picture, but both of those ponds were very, very high with a small rain yesterday. Three years ago when we had a major rain, both of those ponds covered the road, and it was one sheet of water, which came six feet away from going into my house. That was with a torrential rain that we had over a three day period, which we could eventually have again. So, those are my concerns as a homeowner in that neighborhood. Thank you.
Tom Zarazee: I’m Tom Zarazee. I’ve lived in the subdivision for nine years. I was the first house in the second division that they had. That big, green spot you see up there, that rain we had in 2003, it covered that pond, the one down there and the next one to it. I’ve got a dock on my pond, off my pond over there, and it’s about this high, and actually the pond sits about six inches below the water line. When that rain came, it was over my dock. He talks about going into that creek over there, well, that’s all, that couldn’t handle it, because that water, and I even called the Engineer’s Department on it when it happened. You know, I had pictures of it too where that creek was just coming over into that big, green lake up there. If they want to put that water down into Kansas, it can’t handle it now, let alone adding more to it. Quite awhile ago there was a picture, I mean, Channel 14 News had, oh, where she had taken crews down Pigeon Creek and showed how dammed up it was with all of the debris and everything else. Well, all of this stuff runs into Pigeon Creek, now, if it keeps getting loaded up with that, it just keeps backing up into us. The gentleman that talked before, I remember his yard barn was under water that year, before he moved in there, the other couple had it, and their yard barn was under water at least two or three inches, and it sits way up on a hill. Thank you.
President Melcher: Thank you. Anybody else? Go ahead.
Dave Cardiff: My name is Dave Cardiff. I own property just, let’s see here, the other way, just north of here, right about in here. One of the things that’s not depicted on this map is there is another lake right here, and our overflow, and correct me if I’m wrong, Steve, but, I believe the overflow from that lake comes to this lake, is that correct?
Steve Hess: That is correct.
Dave Cardiff: Now, recently we just had a backup issue where we had the county come out and they cleaned this drain for us, but our water when we, which is another drainage, all the drains in the neighborhood drain to these lakes. So, that water was backed up, we were pretty high, about six feet?
Justin Shofstall: Six feet over at that time.
Dave Cardiff: Well, that drains to this lake, so, any consideration to using this as a drainage should be considered. Now, to my understanding then this lake drains to this lake, and then so on and then out. That should be in consideration in this plan. Also, I just received from my mortgage company, this whole area is now the floodplain A. Do you have any information on that?
Justin Shofstall: It was in flood zone A prior to the March 17th maps. It was revised and still remains in flood zone A after the March 17th maps.
Dave Cardiff: Well, I guess, my big question would be is now I’m forced to buy flood insurance living on this, when that was a guarantee from Jagoe in the beginning, that would not be so. How will this impact our flooding problems, which have already been discussed by others, that this could create? I would really like that to be looked into before we rush and jump and give a permit, let’s make sure we know where the water’s going, and if there’s enough space for that water to go to. That’s all I have. Thank you.
President Melcher: Thank you. Go ahead.
Bob Wootton: Good evening, gentlemen and ladies. My name is Bob Wootton. I live at 9625 Clippinger Road, the house directly across from Elite there on the northwest corner, across, that one right there, yes. I’ve lived there since ‘05. In ‘07, they’ve already talked about the huge rainfall that we had, it was a downpour, it lasted several days. We were new and had never witnessed anything like that before. We had come from the eastside of Evansville, and whenever we were leaving that day, we looked to the west and those three lakes and the creek were all one. That whole thing, that whole area was just one huge lake. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. Jim’s barn, his yard barn had about four feet of water in it, and, plus what the gentleman just previously talked about, all of these, out of the five ponds, retention ponds that are in our subdivision, they all drain into each other and then all into the creek. You talked about, Mr. Jeffers talked about all of the water that will come from this new development, preceding ours, well, if you have a 24 hour rain, or a three day rain, what difference is it going to make? It’s all going to flood. We’ve talked about the pollution in the lake. I fish, and we had a fish kill in that very pond, well, it was about two years ago. The man who does the treating of the lakes, over treated it, killed almost everything in it. You know, I was devastated because I seen bass, you know, six and seven pounds laying, floating around in that thing, and I thought this is terrible. Now, if I would experience that again from oil and runoff and gasoline from that station over there, I would be sick again. You know, I just, I think, Steve just pointed out about all of us, we lived on the eastside of Evansville, we moved to get away from the busyness of the city. We lived on Weinbach just south of Covert Avenue, the area was going downhill, we had an opportunity to move and we took this as a great chance to move into some suburban life. We love it there, but whenever we start seeing these things come along, plus across the street there’s a sign over there now where there’s going to be a Huck’s, another gas station across Kansas on the other side of that road. I mean, we’re looking at a mess in our subdivision. So, I would hope that the Commissioners would take a real serious look at this and think of the property owners involved in this thing and how it’s going to affect our property. In the long run, if we intend to sell, that creek is nothing but a little ditch with a bunch of trees falling in it, just like Pigeon Creek is. Tom talked about Pigeon Creek being a mess, I mean, you see all kind of debris in that thing, when it backs up that has got to back up. It’s, until, if they would clean that thing out, if the county or whoever would be responsible would clean that small ditch out, it may help drainage somewhat, but it can’t handle water now. Mr. Jeffers stated earlier about how concrete can contribute to flooding problems. That’s going to be a huge slab of concrete there. We’ve already got the corner occupied by concrete and there’s going to be more of it. So, I would urge you to consider this and think about the homeowners and what we are facing. Thank you very much.
President Melcher: Thank you. Anybody else?
Bill Jeffers: Seeing no other, at this time, I just want to touch on a couple of issues that have been brought up, and then Justin Shofstall who designed the plan wishes to speak. Did we consider the interconnecting ponds? Yes, we did, because I reviewed the original plan for Stonecreek several years ago, in the 90's, and the designer of that plan did interconnect every pond in this subdivision. They’re all interconnected, and they all either come down through the west end, there’s a series of ponds along the west, there’s a series of ponds in the interior that come down and connect to the detention lake behind Elite Fitness Center, and then there’s an equalizing pipe that goes under Seib Road and connects to this lake, which is a detention lake. The only lake that’s in this entire subdivision that does not serve as detention, is this long, narrow lake, which serves no detention whatsoever, because it’s in the floodway. All it does, all it did was provide fill to give fill soil to build up these building pads, all of which are in the floodplain. They were in the floodplain when they were built. Each one of those homes was elevated out of the floodplain by acquiring soil out of this long basin, plus every one of these detention basins. That’s why most of those detention basins originally were over excavated because they needed the fill to build the building pads to build the homes and Elite Fitness Center on, to raise them up out of the floodplain. So, yes, I did consider the interconnecting nature of all of these lakes. Now, when you consider the interconnecting structure of this system of detention basins, a pond creates a build up of volume of runoff from the contributing areas, and that has a time delay built into it, because it takes awhile for the water to fill that tank up. Just like it takes awhile for your bathtub to fill up. That time delay is built in to this system. That creates a time delay, and what we’re trying to do by waiving detention, is to take all of this water, without any delay whatsoever and within five to six minutes, discharge it into the creek, ahead of the discharge from this series of lakes, all of which have quite a substantial time delay before they begin discharging into the creek. So, yes, the interconnecting nature of the ponds was considered. Floodplain A, yes, this was all in floodplain A, it remains in floodplain A, however, each one of these homes should have a certificate of elevation on file that shows that it’s been raised two feet above the floodplain elevation. So, they don’t have to pay flood insurance, if they have that certificate of elevation on file. If they don’t, they can get a certificate of elevation or a letter of map amendment to exempt themselves from floodplain, or flood insurance. Yes, in, I guess, most of you know I live out here, in a subdivision, two subdivisions to the south of here, and I have lived there since 2002. So, I witnessed, first hand, the flood in 2003 and in 2007, because I took my bicycle and I rode up there to watch what was happening, because I reviewed these plans and I knew I would be reviewing future plans. So, I watched it happen. Yes, it is true that all of these lakes along the creek, well, it looks like we don’t have any battery, all of the lakes along the creek were one big lake. Why is that? Because all of those lakes are in or in close proximity to the floodway, not the floodplain, the actual floodway which is the limit of land on each side of the creek that’s required to pass the 100 year flood. That was achieved in one or both of those storms. So, there are actually stakes in the ground out there that show people the line beyond which they cannot put a yard barn, they cannot put a dog pen, they cannot put a fence, because if they do so they are infringing upon the regulated floodway. Approximately 1,100 feet or so upstream of Kansas Road, two tributaries come together, and at that point there is one square mile of watershed draining into the creek above that point. That’s called the point of study, and that’s where DNR, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, that’s where their jurisdiction takes over. It’s up in the golf course about 1,000 feet above this road. At that point of study, there are 14,000 cubic feet per second of water coming down through that stream during the 100 year rain. 14,000 cubic feet of water. What I am recommending is that 15 cubic feet, one one thousandth of that amount be discharged early down here at Kansas Road. Now as to whether that creek can take that kind of a discharge when it’s fully flooded, well, yeah it can still take it as long as there’s enough head pressure to push it in there, but when you have a 24 hour rain as was brought up by the last speaker, a 24 hour rain event is still comprised of individual thunder cells passing through the area, one at a time, about every 28 minutes. Thunderstorms only last about 28 minutes, and there’s usually a pause between them. Sometime during that 28 minute thunderstorm, that thunderstorm reaches its peak intensity, and that’s the 15 cubic feet of discharge I’m talking about, that peak intensity that comes up in the middle of a 28 minute thunderstorm. It’s being pushed out into the creek, and then the thunderstorm subsides and the rest of it comes down out of that one square mile above there. So, I believe my recommendation is sound. As far as cleaning out the creek, that creek is under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and any, and it’s not owned by the county, it’s not maintained by the county. It’s owned by private property owners within this subdivision. In order to clean out a creek that’s under the jurisdiction of DNR, you must have a permit. They tell you which trees you can cut out and which trees you can’t. They tell you you can cut out trees on one side of the creek and you can’t cut out trees on the other. You can’t remove certain habitat in the creek, and believe it or not, they think of logjams as habitat. Okay, that’s just the way it is. If they want to turn it into a regulated drain, that’s a whole different story. I believe I’ve touched on most of the issues, but the big dog issue in all of this is they don’t want any water going into their lake. I sat down with the developer and his engineer and came up with a plan that does not put any water in their lake. The first speaker said a lot of water comes down the Old Seib Road bed. Yes, I was out there and watched that water come up right to the edge of the pavement of Kansas Road, one of those two storms, it was either 2007 or 2003. That achieved the 100 year flood elevation, and that’s been taken into account. I mean, you couldn’t see Seib Road, the pictures he showed you the ditches weren’t even half full during the two inch rainstorm yesterday. They were flowing pretty good, but they weren’t anywhere near what happened in the past. But the bottom line is, I went to the trouble of working with the developer to achieve a plan that does not put any runoff from these five, or from the four new lots into that lake. There already is some coming from Elite Fitness Center. I can’t do anything about that, that’s done. That was approved and implemented. But lots two, three, four and five, the water from those lots will bypass that lake, under this plan. As I said, I think Justin would like to say something about his design.
Justin Shofstall: Justin Shofstall with Easley Engineering. I just wanted to have a little bit of a brief expansion on what Bill had stated. I don’t think I can give anything as brief and exacting and succinct as a hydrology lesson as he just gave. I’ll begin as far as with the major points that were brought up by Mr. Hess, the President of the Homeowners Association, and the other adjacent property owners can be summed up essentially in three items. One, as far as with their concerns with the flooding, on the, along Furlick Creek, as Bill had mentioned was, that’s all part of the floodway construction permit that was done in association with Stonecreek Estates. Two, as far as with what little portion of water is coming off Elite Fitness, Elite Fitness, which is lot one, was all part of the original Stonecreek Subdivision development, from day one. All of that property from Old Seib Road, down Kansas to New Seib Road was all part of Stonecreek, and that’s also the reason why there is a small portion of the existing detention basin that comes off onto Elite Fitness property that’s currently owned by the owner/developer. Two, as far as they’re concerned, or, I mean, three, as far as where they’re concerned about making sure that there is no water from our development, whether it be existing conditions now, or post development and concerns with the gas station that is currently being proposed, because there is a Marathon sign that was placed on the corner about a month or a month and a half ago, is that with the water that we have to handle as far as off site water that comes on to our watershed, that is being taken into account for and is being met with at minimum 50 year storm capacity, because that is associated with a roadside design. As per Vanderburgh County requirements, all roadside ditch systems and culverts must pass a 50 year storm. I can state for a fact that currently with the eastside of Old Seib Road, the ditch is undersized significantly, it causes some problems, by the time it gets to our property we would be making significant improvements on capturing that water, channeling it around and getting it out. That’s part of the time increase as far as where we had that water in our watershed in a less amount of time than what it would be if there wasn’t any improvements done at this intersection. So, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
President Melcher: Any questions?
Commissioner Winnecke: I guess, my only, I mean, not the only question, but the question that comes to mind most has more to do with the prospects of pollution from the development versus the actual drainage. How can you address that?
Justin Shofstall: On that, as far as, everything that they do, especially with anything that happens to have–
Commissioner Winnecke: They meaning the developer?
Justin Shofstall: The developer or being whoever goes on the site. One, they have to meet certain criteria that’s set forth by the county, with the erosion control plans that are set forth, and is also underwritten by Indiana State requirements in regards to those erosion control practices in terms of storm water runoff control pollution, etcetera. There is also an entirely different set of rules applied for any type of development such as gas stations, manufacturing that would have these volatile, organic chemicals that would be associated with gas stations, or just even tanker pad filling up, that they have to meet for State requirements as well to prevent that type of spill off going in. Even with that, as far as with what’s being proposed, anything that, worst case scenario, there’s no possibility at the moment for a direct spill from a tanker truck, if they do put in a gas station and properly design meeting the requirements that would allow any of those petroleum chemicals to enter into their lake system with this current design.
Commissioner Winnecke: And why is that?
Justin Shofstall: Just as far as with, one, the perimeter drainage that we have around the undeveloped portion does not allow for any of our water to enter into their lake system, which was a concern of theirs. Two, as far as if they do follow the State requirements, that if they have a spill they also have to have the reporting that is done with it. You can’t eliminate 100 percent, because if we lived in a 100 percent world, then these issues would be a mute point. But, as far as if they follow the proper requirements that are associated with a gas filling station that meets the State and the county requirements, there should not be any issues associated with, as far as petroleum chemical spills, because they also have the backup mechanisms that are associated with, as far as with connections from the pumps, the pump head itself monitoring the systems. I’ve done quite a bit of work with Jorgensen Petroleum who does a lot of the maintenance around this tri-state area for just about all of the gas stations, and there’s, I can confirm with Roy Jorgensen too, who’s the owner/operator of that, that there is quite a bit of regulation that they follow on their part to ensure that no spills do occur that leave the site and that everything is contained.
Commissioner Winnecke: My other question is probably more for Bill relating to Furlick Creek and DNR, is there, what’s the, could you review the mechanism or the process by which someone could apply to get that cleared if there are obstructions?
Bill Jeffers: If someone from the, as a group, the Homeowners Association, or an individual who happened to own land along the creek wished to clear the creek of trees, live trees, that person would have to obtain a construction in the floodway permit from Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Water, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife would also make their review, and they might be granted permission to remove trees. Of course, they take into consideration, they would come out and look, this tree you can’t remove because it’s a habitat for the Indiana brown bat, or this tree, this logjam you can remove enough for the water to flow through the middle of the creek, but you need to leave the rootwad and, you need to leave the stump so the water shoots can grow back up because the rootwad is conserving soil, etcetera. There are fairly strict rules of what you can and can’t do. They will tell you on that permit, and if you violate the terms, and they even might ask you to mediate by planting new trees somewhere else within the same floodway, or floodplain, but, they may allow you to do some clean up. But, they have strict rules to follow, and if you violate them then there’s punitive actions they can take, you may have to plant three trees for every one you destroy, or four trees for every one you destroy.
Commissioner Winnecke: Not to, I mean, are you aware, I mean, are there obstructions in the creek now? Are you aware of that?
Bill Jeffers: Yes, there are vegetative obstructions that have been allowed to grow up. Basically, willow trees and so forth, other types of water, which are wetland habitat trees. In other words, this is a wetland, and that’s why the regulations apply, there are, there is vegetation that’s native to a wetland, growing in wetland soil in direct association with water, that’s the type of stuff that has grown up. There are piles of debris that have either been cut illegally or for whatever reason there may be some corn stalks that wash down out of the fields up around Earle, Indiana and hang on those existing brambles. I’ve been out there when I’ve actually, one of the Homeowner Association members called me and one of the homeowners in the subdivision had just dumped a bunch of junk in the creek. We got that removed. There are little foot bridges that were not legally placed across the creek so that people can go over and visit the golf course. Those types of things. Yes, there are things like that, that do obstruct the flow of water through the creek. Some of them are natural, and unintentional, and others are intentionally built across or thrown into the creek.
Commissioner Winnecke: When there are, is debris, as an example, does one need DNR approval to remove debris?
Bill Jeffers: I would not think so. Personally, I would not care if someone came in here with an obstruction petition asking the Drainage Board to order the removal of debris that had been willfully thrown into the creek by an individual, I would go out there, do my investigation and recommend to you that they be ordered to remove it, with or without a permit.
Commissioner Winnecke: Thank you. Maybe one other question, just to review the process, this is a preliminary drainage plan tonight. If we approve this it goes to APC for a public hearing on Thursday afternoon–
Bill Jeffers: Right.
Commissioner Winnecke: –and then–
Bill Jeffers: I did hear some issues brought up tonight that did not pertain necessarily to drainage.
Commissioner Winnecke: Right.
Bill Jeffers: That the same persons who obviously have legitimate, valid concerns about their neighborhood, should appear at Area Plan Commission and voice those concerns about the project. I didn’t see anybody here tonight that was using this hearing to stop a gas station. You know, there have been times when people would try to use the drainage hearing process to stop something because it was not aesthetically pleasing. I didn’t hear that tonight, but I would encourage people to concentrate on drainage issues so that when we take it to Area Plan Commission, you know, if it passes tonight it goes to Area Plan Commission, voice all of your concerns about traffic, aesthetics, what have you, use, and then that would go, you know, then it would come back to us for final drainage plan approval, and, hopefully we would take the minutes, look at every concern that every one had tonight, plus any concerns that are voiced at Area Plan Commission regarding drainage and incorporate measures, control measures into the final drainage plan that would adequately address all of those concerns. That’s the process that we try to follow.
Commissioner Winnecke: Thanks.
President Melcher: Under Area Plan, I haven’t sat on it long enough yet for one of these, does it, does it get voted up or down, their recommendation, do they vote on this, or do they just hear it?
Bill Jeffers: Okay, this is not a zoning recommendation–
President Melcher: Right.
Bill Jeffers: –so it doesn’t go to the Commissioners. This is a plat approval, and Area Plan Commission has the final authority to approve or deny the plat.
President Melcher: This?
Bill Jeffers: This right here, as a plat, a five lot commercial subdivision. Yes or no. Because it’s already zoned commercial, so, Area Plan Commission is the final authority, those 12 people they vote, if seven of them vote, or more vote yes, that plat is approved and it moves forward for permits. But, it will only get a permit after final drainage plan approval. They can’t record–
President Melcher: So–
Bill Jeffers: –the plat until they get final drainage approval.
President Melcher: –really it’s two issues, right? It’s the drainage issue and the plat issue at Area Plan?
Bill Jeffers: That’s correct, but even after the plat’s been approved at Area Plan, Thursday evening, Thursday afternoon, they still have to come back to this Board for final drainage plan approval in order to record the plat. You can’t draw a building permit until the plat has been recorded. You can’t record a plat until final drainage plan approval.
President Melcher: So, all we’re doing tonight is moving it to Area Plan for their decision?
Bill Jeffers: As a preliminary plan, the concept of which I’m recommending and you’re voting yes or no. The concept is to route all of the water past the lake, not through the lake, without detention, so that it passes off there in a speedy fashion and into the receiving stream ahead of all of the rest of the water that comes down out of that watershed. That’s the conceptual plan. It is a workable plan in its initial form. That’s why I’m recommending it. You still have the opportunity, if there are concerns that were voiced here tonight that you don’t think are adequately addressed when it comes back to you, if there’s concerns that come up at Area Plan Commission Thursday that you feel were not adequately addressed when this comes back to you, or if additional comments are made or phone calls are made in between from whomever, if you don’t think they’ve been adequately addressed by the plan as a final plan, you have one more shot at it.
President Melcher: Okay, because I do have a little bit of concern on this.
Bill Jeffers: Well, everyone should be concerned about anything that is in a sensitive area. I try my best to address those concerns. If I do it adequately I would expect that my recommendation will be positively voted on. If I don’t do it adequately, you have the option to vote no. Won’t hurt my feelings either way. It’s just a job.
President Melcher: I think it’s more than a job to you, Bill. You do a good job. Any other questions? Anybody else from the audience? Go ahead and come up, we have to, we’re recording everything.
Jimmy Guessfield: I’m really glad that, I’m Jimmy Guessfield again, and a homeowner. Thank you for a beautiful job that you did, because I just got informed of something that I didn’t know that is very concerning now. As Mr. Jeffers explained the plot area, he spoke of all the ponds that are in the area and he spoke of that one sliver that was not part of the drainage, that it was put there to elevate the property on Clippinger Road. As a homeowner there, when I bought that, I questioned why it wasn’t done to level according to the plot that I bought, and as the second homeowner I didn’t get to voice very much of my concern, but now I do have a lot more concern as it’s been explained to me. Because my property on that corner, if it was built to the specification that Jagoe said they were going to build, my backyard would have came out about 14 more feet before it would have dropped down into that pond. It does not do so, so the backfill that they took for that, or that we’re concerned about was not done to the specification of the homeowners when it was originally built. So, now I know that when they backfilled that area, it was brought to Jagoe’s attention by the original homeowner and they said that it was too late for them to do anything. Well, now I understand, but from my backyard there was supposed to be an area that goes out before the easement, before it dropped down and that level is not what the specification of my property says that it’s supposed to be. So, that gives me even more concern now with the flood plan and the drainage. Thank you.
President Melcher: Anybody else?
Steve Hess: Again, Steve Hess, President of the homeowners adjacent neighbor of this, representing 320 homes. I was instructed at the onset, the plan for tonight’s meeting is this, this is strictly a drainage concern meeting, and that if I had any concerns other than that subject to address them Thursday. Again, investing in my personal lot, lot 65 on Chatteris Road overlooking across the street from all of the beds and all of the flood where this is supposedly going to be redirected, we have the airport out there, I understand that there may be, or it may be a good source on Rexam Industries being involved with this new airport. I look at airplanes flying in and flying out and that’s fine, however, when you look at, I don’t know what their plans are and the size of fuel tanks they’re going to have in this ground either, and I’m also curious as to the quality of the dirt that’s currently in this space, which will be addressed on Thursday, if that dirt came from another unhealthy source or if it was good dirt. I could have easily said tonight no, as an invested county taxpayer, as a representation of this community, I could have said no to this. I could have said I don’t want this, because I invested in this community, I invested in this county, and I invested into that subdivision, and what we represent ourselves on are middle class, working people, not people that come home every night to a noisy gas station. So, I’m just trying to redevelop and present that when we are asked not to say anything about hesitation or frictions tonight, for the record, I do and I have a very vested interest in saying no to this project. I would ask of you to consider that with your concerns and your evaluations here, because when I invest in property and now that eight years later I’m looking at it potentially decreasing in value because of a convenience store, gasoline station, whatever risk business there is, politely I would rather see a pet rock store go into this area than have some flammable potential risk of airplanes and traffic that create further issues with our community. I believe that’s all I have to say on the concerns, but I could have said no, and I will be addressing that again Thursday night. Thank you.
President Melcher: Thank you. Okay, is there any other questions? Okay, well we’re going to need a motion one way or the other.
Unidentified: You’ve got one back here.
President Melcher: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see, I’m sorry.
Tom Zarazee: That’s okay, I’m short anyway.
President Melcher: I looked two or three times. I didn’t see anything.
Tom Zarazee: I’m Tom Zarazee again. We’ve talked all about just this one subdivision, Stonecreek. When you go down Kansas Road, there’s about two or three more subdivisions that drain right into this creek back here. Some of those aren’t fully built yet, there’s still a lot of open lots. Now, I just wonder if they took all of that into consideration when they start talking about it takes ten minutes to come down here and before we get to the big rush coming down in a half hour this will be drained, but when it’s raining 24 hours or better, you’ve got the rain up there as well as you’ve got the rain down here. So, in five minutes or 15 minutes it’s ahead of it as he said, but that’s only 15 minute gratis, after that it’s all the same, what’s up there and what’s down here. It’s the same when you have a constant, steady rain. But, this, like I say, they don’t show all of these other subdivisions that drain into that creek. Thank you.
President Melcher: Thank you. Anybody else? I don’t want to miss anybody, this is a public hearing. Okay.
Commissioner Winnecke: Mr. Chairman, I would, I appreciate everything, all of the comments, based on my experience with the County Surveyor, I would expect that his recommendation is sound in that there will be no effect on the large triangular shaped lake, or pond, and also based on his explanation of the flow of water, I’m convinced that the creek on Kansas Road can adequately handle the water. So, based on that I would make a motion to approve this preliminary drainage plan.
President Melcher: To send it on to Area Plan.
Commissioner Winnecke: Yes.
Commissioner Abell: I’ll second the motion to get this to Area Plan.
President Melcher: All in favor to send it to Area Plan say aye.
All Commissioners: Aye.
President Melcher: Opposed. Then we’ll send it to Area Plan.
(Motion approved 3-0)
President Melcher: Thank you.
Bill Jeffers: I do want to thank the people who came from the neighborhood to express their opinion, because as the Commissioners know when it affects my neighborhood I’ve been here, or been to the airport, or been to City Council or whatever to express my opinion about our neighborhood. Their concerns are valid and I look forward to helping address them.
President Melcher: I want to throw something out. Do you have to have those pictures right away? They might need them for Thursday night. Do you need those pictures for Thursday night.
Steve Hess: I would like to have them.
President Melcher: I was going to say, could we go ahead and give them back to them–
Madelyn Grayson: Sure.
President Melcher: –and they give them to us back.
Madelyn Grayson: That’s fine.
President Melcher: That way you could have them back, because I’m concerned, there’s no sense in you putting them back together again. I’m one of them members on that board, as of now, I guess.
Bill Jeffers: Lucky guy.
President Melcher: I’m sure.
Presentation of Proposed Floodway Study:
Crawford Brandeis Extension
President Melcher: Okay, next you have the presentation of the proposed floodway study of the Crawford Brandeis Extension.
Bill Jeffers: Yes, we’re going to put up some pictures of the bridge on Boonville, Old Boonville Highway, pictures that were supplied to us by engineer, Valerie Harry, from the County Engineer’s office. We’re going to look at those pictures first. The first slide is an overall picture of the area we’ll be discussing tonight. The blue lines are Eastside Urban drains, Crawford Brandeis along Burkhardt, I’m sorry my pointer ran out of batteries here. Oh, wait, here we go, right here, and then Hirsch Ditch running along Morgan Avenue, on the south side of Norfolk Southern, down to Green River Road, and then the Old Wabash-Eerie Canal, which all of this is the Old Wabash-Eerie Canal along Norfolk Southern, that runs on down to Wesselman’s Woods and out into Pigeon Creek. Now, Crawford Brandeis Extension then starts right here at the railroad trestle and runs due north and under Boonville Highway and off under Lynch Road into Pigeon Creek in this manner to the north. The bridge that we’re going to take a look at is at this location on Old Boonville Highway. So, we’ll go to the next slide. That’s the waterway, we’re standing on the bridge looking south towards Morgan Avenue, that’s what the waterway looks like for Crawford Brandeis Extension. It’s well grassed, and you can see there’s quite a flow going through there, the grass is all mashed down. Now we’re standing down at the point that you were looking at and looking up at the bridge. You can see it’s an old fashioned, probably 1936 style bridge on an old State Highway between Evansville and Boonville, two lane highway, 1936 box bridge style. If you take a closer look you can see it’s all spalled out, this is all salt damaged, salt seeping down through the concrete, leeching out the calcium. You can see they’ve added a beam on each side, that’s the old roadway when they had Model A’s going across it, then they added this beam here to widen it when semi’s started going across it. That’s an industrial area now. So, you’ve got a lot of pressure on the bridge. It’s falling apart. This most likely is salt damaged and freezing and thawing exposing the steel, the bridge needs to be replaced. Here are some more, this is like an end bent where the beams rest on the end, on the mudwall, all falling apart, needs to be replaced. This is your waterway opening coming from Morgan Avenue and running north. You can see the flow is in a northerly direction. The waterway opening is basically open, but here trying to come out of the bridge and continuing north, you can see the force of water that’s coming through there. That bridge is constricting the flow and increasing the velocity and blowing out this end. So, the bridge is too small. Just another picture, a close up of the obstruction that we need to remove. That’s about it, but, basically, I wanted to show you the bridge and now we’ll move on to another Power Point just to show you that the bridge needs to be replaced. You may have already seen some of those pictures from John Stoll, he’s the County Engineer who will be supervising the reconstruction of that bridge. Why am I here then? Okay, well, you remember–
Commissioner Winnecke: Many have asked that question?
Bill Jeffers: Yeah, many people have asked that, many have tried to do something about it.
Commissioner Winnecke: Few have done anything.
Bill Jeffers: Few have done anything, but they’ll have another chance. American Structurepoint is under contract to evaluate the waterways that we’ve been discussing, Hirsch Ditch, Crawford Brandeis, Crawford Brandeis Extension, the Old Wabash-Eerie Canal, basically, and to make recommendations to us for improvements and to develop plans for a structural and environmental improvements to the waterways. Do you want copies of this? You can follow right along.
Madelyn Grayson: You know I want a copy of it.
Bill Jeffers: I’m sorry I didn’t pass those out sooner. Warning, we are in our last half hour, so let’s get this done in 25 minutes.
Madelyn Grayson: Or less.
Bill Jeffers: Or else we’re at another $200 to PBS. Okay, Structurepoint also is the company who designed and supervised construction of the large culvert structures carrying this same Wabash-Eerie Canal system under Stockwell Road several years ago, and through Wesselman’s Woods to its outlet to Pigeon Creek. Structurepoint then worked on our behalf, with INDOT, Indiana Department of Transportation, on the culvert improvements under Green River Road, as well as with Norfolk Southern Railroad on the replacement of their dilapidated railway trestle at the junction of Hirsch Ditch, Stockfleth Ditch, and Crawford Brandeis Extension. Now let’s look at some pictures, I guess. The red circles are the area where the trestle was replaced. The red circle off to the left is an old railroad spur that was removed. Let’s look at a picture or two. Okay, improved Green River Road crossing, they removed the unused railway spur crossing, they improved a weir at the railroad bridge, that was done by Norfolk Southern, and they replaced the railroad bridge, Norfolk Southern did that. So, as I say, they, Structurepoint has been working on our behalf. Mr. Bill Butz is here this evening representing Structurepoint, he has been our contract engineer and our contract deputy surveyor to pursue these projects. It’s due to Mr. Butz persistence and persuasion that Norfolk Southern replaced our dysfunctional weir that lay in front of Norfolk Southern’s trestle and removed an old, abandoned rail spur and undersized, rusted out culvert that was holding flood water back onto the service bay floors of a small industry out there on Maxwell Road along side the canal. There may be some pictures of that. That’s the Green River Road structure, and this shows, not very clear because it’s kind of bright in here, but here’s the old railway spur was located here and it’s been removed. That railway, that pipe was undersized and it was holding water back on an equipment company adjacent to the ditch. Their floor flooded a couple of years ago. As a result of Structurepoint’s work up until now, we have a much more effective conveyance and discharge of storm water thorough the Old Wabash-Eerie Canal. We have lowered the floodplain in the valuable eastside commercial development land, and we have abated flood hazards for certain commercial and industrial property owners alongside the ditches. Also, if you examine the difference between the bids we received last year for reconstructing a portion of Hirsch and Stockfleth Ditch, and those bids we received this year, you’ll see a discount of about $35,000 due to Mr. Butz’s effort with Norfolk Southern to get them to replace the weir. On this side you’ll see the old weir is all completely dysfunctional, and now here’s the new weir that Norfolk Southern built because of Mr. Butz’s persistence, basically, telling them wouldn’t you rather do this yourself than have county forces over there doing it on your property. They don’t like anybody on their property. Now, how does all of this tie into proposed new bridge 1530 to carry Old Boonville Highway over Crawford Brandeis Ditch? Well, basically, we have an opportunity to use our existing engineering contract with Structurepoint to move forward with the same watershed study to obtain flood data specific to bridge number 1530 while gathering updated data on other waterways and bridge openings to prove that we have lowered the floodplain in this area. We also, with this updated modeling, that’s phase one that I’m proposing, phase two would be to improve natural habitat and water quality within the drain system that we maintain, phase three would be to add a natural trail along the old commuter railroad, alongside the Old Wabash and Eerie Canal, a very historic canal in Indiana, and that walking trail or nature trail would connect Wesselman Park and the nature preserve with the commercial area out there at Burkhardt Road where Lowe’s is located. So, phase one would be to model and evaluate the current improved condition that we have achieved in Hirsch Ditch and Crawford Brandeis Ditch due to the Green River Road culvert being improved, due to the new railroad structure and the weir being replaced, the removal of the old railway spur, and not mentioned here was the Stockwell Road structures that lowered the floodplain, I think about a half a foot, just that alone. So, we should review this model for the locations and add cross sections, you know, have the crew go out and take cross sections that may lower the floodplain, may show that the floodplain’s been lowered even more than what we’ve already submitted to FEMA. We submit that updated modeling along with the Boonville, the Old Boonville Highway bridge project to determine the low cord of that bridge. We need to find out how low we can set the new bridge and still pass the 100 year flood. So, basically we have an opportunity to use our existing engineering contract to move forward within the same watershed area, study area to obtain this floodplain data specific to the bridge....I’ve already read this paragraph. We also can gather additional information to serve as a local match for federal funding for additional flood hazard remediation, and natural habitat improvements, and even recreational grant money, because, as I said at their last meeting, we can’t spend drainage money on the recreational part of this plan. We would be using what we have done with drainage money to improve the floodway, to improve the ditches, to improve habitat and water quality, we use that as a match toward the federal grants we might be applying for for the walkway and historic plaques and that type of thing. We also feel it’s the most speedy way to obtain the low cord calculations for submittal to the Department of Natural Resources for the bridge project. I spoke to you last meeting about that, that we have this contract, if we extend it to include this portion of the study, we can use drainage money to offset what it would cost in Bridge Funds to obtain this data, and thereby let you have more money in your Bridge Fund to pursue bridge building. Understand, if we can show that our work thus far has lowered the floodplain elevation, then less fill will have to be brought in for the bridge approaches, and that means additional savings to the Bridge Fund. In other words, the lower we can prove that we can place the bridge and still pass the 100 year flow, the less earth that has to be brought in to build the approaches up, and that runs, oh, $12-$13 a cubic yard. There would be many thousands of cubic yards brought in. Understand, let’s see, with your indulgence I would like to ask Mr. Butz to quickly finish up our Power Point presentation and explain to you the potential for cost savings on the bridge structure, answer any technical questions that you may have, and then I will make a recommendation based on this last page.
Bill Butz: Good evening. As Bill mentioned, my name is Bill Butz, and I’m with American Structurepoint. Basically, Bill did a fantastic job of kind of outlining what he’s thinking and what he would like to do. I’ll just point very, very quickly at a couple of things, I think the key is is that so much has happened recently out in this watershed, especially with Hirsch Ditch, which is, you know, the east-west corridor, and then, obviously, what’s going to be going on with the Crawford Ditch. The modeling that DNR and that everybody has right now is more or less out of date. So, what we’re looking at doing is, we’re going to show all of these improvements that we’ve been making recently, because there is that delay in their modeling, updating that model and submitting that model to them to show those lowered impacts. So, again, I think Bill did a fantastic job, and I’ll leave it at that. The Crawford, obviously, ties into the Hirsch, which, you know, the lower your starting water surface elevation is the lower the Crawford’s would be. They’re all tied together, as we all know. So, I’ll leave it briefly at that and answer any questions you may have.
President Melcher: Any questions?
Commissioner Winnecke: Good explanation, Bills.
President Melcher: John, do you have something?
John Stoll: I was just going to add in that on my staff we don’t have the expertise to do the modeling to the extent that’s required for a watershed like this. Especially given all of the changes that have taken place out there. So, from our perspective it would be beneficial, because we simply don’t have the experience needed to be able to submit, to do that kind of model and submit it to DNR.
President Melcher: Thank you.
Bill Jeffers: So, at this point, I guess, I’m making, I guess, I would go forward and make a recommendation, unless you have any other questions. I believe you asked me to bring a recommendation before you today. That is to extend the contract with American Structurepoint to include everything you see on the final page, as future work, for total compensation under the extended agreement, not to exceed $47,000, and to include select topography survey at a lump sum $8,500, the Hirsch Ditch modeling revisions, that’s to prove that we have lowered the floodplain and that we’re starting at a lower elevation, thereby trying to achieve a lower elevation at the bridge location, $10,800; Crawford Brandeis Ditch modeling revisions, that would be going up from the railway, where the red circles are located, and modeling the Crawford Brandeis Extension up to and just past the bridge location, that would give you the, that would take you to the point of the low cord calculations. Okay, D, the low cord calculations, that would be what is submitted to DNR to set the bridge elevation, and then the various submittals and coordination that goes along with the work that has to be done and the submittals that have to be made, all totaling, again, not to exceed $47,000. I just asked Mr. Butz to break it out, and the break out is A, B, C, D and E, to show you what the work entails.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Is this to be an amendment to our existing contract that we have, or an existing contract? I’m not sure–
Bill Jeffers: We have an existing on-going contract. We have a set of plans that was produced by Structurepoint for a partial reconstruction of the area along the railroad track and Hirsch Ditch, and we have let bids on that to Mark Naas for $36,600.75. Those plans were produced under this contract, and that work to be done by Mark Naas, part of the construction, well, Mr. Butz serves as our contract deputy to monitor the construction of that. And, yes, that’s what I’m doing, I’m recommending that we extend or amend, whatever the legal language is, amend the contract and extend the assigned work to include what I’m showing here on this sheet, items A, B, C, D and E for a total not to exceed $47,000.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: The Drainage Board may well want to approve that, but I’m going to have to see a contract document, Bill, which will be signed by the Commissioners to authorize this change in compensation or additional compensation. You know, all of that can be done, but I don’t think we’re ready to do that this evening, because we haven’t see the document that would accomplish that.
Bill Jeffers: Okay. We have the original document on file, the one we’re operating under, and I suppose we could bring you an amended document to include this recommendation.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Okay, I would like, maybe I have it in my file at the office, I don’t know. I would like to see a copy of the original agreement, and then the agreement to amend, and then I could recommend to the Drainage Board, that from a legal perspective it’s satisfactory, assuming they do agree to these numbers.
Bill Jeffers: Can the Drainage Board accept my recommendation by a vote tonight, and then send it to the Commissioners for approval? Since the Commissioners have to approve all contracts–
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: They have to approve the contract, yes.
Bill Jeffers: And, it wouldn’t have to come back to the Drainage Board, if they would take a certain action here tonight to accept my recommendation, then it could move forward to the Commissioners for–
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: What I think they would be accepting would be your recommendation as to compensation. We really don’t have anything to say exactly what the work, the additional work is going to be. That would be in the agreement that’s presented to the Commissioners.
Bill Jeffers: Okay.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: You could do that much.
Bill Jeffers: I was just wanting to move this forward in a timely fashion so that the Bridge Department can obtain their permits to begin their project, their design project. So, I was just using the opportunity tonight to make, to present a recommendation, hopefully, the Drainage Board will move it forward to the County Commissioners for official action.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: At perhaps the April 26th meeting, if we have the documentation in place.
Bill Jeffers: Okay, now, I will not be in Evansville on April 26th, and that’s why I’m presenting it tonight.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Well–
Bill Jeffers: But, I mean, the paper could be here.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: Right.
Bill Jeffers: The document could be here.
Ted C. Ziemer, Jr.: So, you can work with me between now and April 26th to let me see the original agreement with Structurepoint and the proposed amendment to that agreement, and that’s what would be presented to the Commissioners on April 26th.
Bill Jeffers: Sounds like a good plan. I just hope that the, any motion that might be made would be worded to positively move it forward.
Commissioner Winnecke: Mr. President, I would move that we accept the recommendation of the County Surveyor to move this project forward as presented, with the understanding that the Board of Commissioners will execute, consider execution of the contract at its next meeting April 26th.
Commissioner Abell: Second.
President Melcher: All in favor say aye.
All Commissioners: Aye.
President Melcher: Opposed. So, it passes.
(Motion approved 3-0)
Bill Jeffers: Thank you.
Approval of Ditch Maintenance Claims
Bill Jeffers: I have some claims, just a couple of claims, they are in order, and recommend payment to the contractors.
Commissioner Winnecke: Motion to approve.
Commissioner Abell: Second.
President Melcher: All in favor say aye.
All Commissioners: Aye.
President Melcher: Opposed.
(Motion approved 3-0)
President Melcher: Thank you.
President Melcher: Any other business?
Bill Jeffers: I have no further business, sir.
President Melcher: Any public comment? Anybody from the audience?
Commissioner Abell: I have something, Mr. Melcher. Mr. Stoll, I may need you to stay. I have two issues I need to bring up. Mr. Jeffers, I had some County Commissioners from Warrick County approach me that they had gotten a grant to clean out Little Pigeon and wanted us to pursue a grant to do some work at cleaning out our park of Pigeon Creek. Are you familiar with that?
Bill Jeffers: Yes. I’m not familiar that they got a grant. I’m familiar that they approached us a couple of years ago and asked us to pursue a grant. It was suggested that all three jurisdictions; the Warrick County Commissioners, the Vanderburgh County Commissioners, and the City of Evansville Board of Works, join together in a whatever they call a joint, interlocal agreement, to pursue a million dollar grant, which was available at that time. I pushed that. I embraced it. I went to GAGE with it, no, not GAGE, Southern, Southwest Indiana–
Commissioner Abell: The Coalition?
Bill Jeffers: The Coalition, yeah. What’s the young lady’s name that was the head?
Commissioner Abell: Debbie Bennett.
Bill Jeffers: Yeah, Debbie Bennett-Stearsman, right, and we pursued it as best we could. We had a consultant that was willing to put together a plan. It had to be a rush job because you had to be shovel ready for the stimulus money. I put my name down there as a contact person. A Commissioner who is no longer a Commissioner scratched my name out and put his name down there as the contact person and that’s the last I heard of it.
Commissioner Abell: Well, I tell you what very little I know. I understand that they got a $760,000 grant.
Bill Jeffers: Well, good for them. I’ll tell you something else that I do know. They pulled out of the deal with us, because they felt they would be competing against us for part of that one million dollar total.
Commissioner Abell: Oh.
Bill Jeffers: So, that’s, they succeeded. They got greater than one third of a million dollars.
Commissioner Abell: Well, they told me, this was last week that Debbie Bennett evidently told them that there is still a couple of million out there that we could get, and that we should go after it, and I’m just trying to find out if we should pursue that. If you want to pursue it, or if you want some help, or if this is all pie in the sky, or what. I don’t know.
Bill Jeffers: The city also pulled out on me too. Warrick County pulled out first, then the city said we don’t want any part of it and left me high and dry there, and I was no longer the contact person. You know what, if it’s going to take two years–
Commissioner Abell: I know, you won’t be here.
Bill Jeffers: Right.
Commissioner Abell: Would you mind calling Debbie Bennett and just asking if there’s anything–
Bill Jeffers: I’m really kind of, I tell you the honest truth, I’m a little put out that I’m hearing it third hand, because the Commissioners in Warrick County know my name and they know my phone number, and they’ve dragged me over into their county to look at their problems.
Commissioner Abell: Well, it wasn’t like he made an appointment with me. He kind of dragged me as I was walking out of the ladies room the other night and said, hey, I want to talk to you about something. So, I wanted to bring it up to you because your name was mentioned, and just wondered if you want to–
Bill Jeffers: I wondered why my ears were burning, but that’s okay. You know, if they, you know, but they’ve got their three quarters of a million dollars, and it sounds to me like it’s almost like they’re going to hold that as a sword over someone else’s head for us to go get our three quarters of a million dollars. If it’s available, let’s go get it.
Commissioner Abell: Well, do you want to call Debbie Bennett since you know more about it than I do? I mean, I don’t mind calling her, but I know so little about what’s going on.
Bill Jeffers: She knows my phone number too.
Commissioner Abell: I’ll call her.
President Melcher: You call her and have her call Bill. Bill you’ll be the contact on it. We’re not going to scratch our names and put our names on it.
Commissioner Abell: No, you won’t have to worry about me putting my name down as contact person.
President Melcher: Or me.
Commissioner Abell: I guarantee it.
President Melcher: I think Commissioner Winnecke would say the same thing.
Bill Jeffers: Well, I know, I think I know why that happened, but there’s no reason for it to have happened, because I have no pride of ownership in this. I would just like to see the logjams taken out of Pigeon Creek. We’ve got about 12 of them between the Warrick County line and Lynch Road.
Commissioner Abell: Well, that’s what I’m hoping we can get some money to do that.
Bill Jeffers: Right.
Commissioner Abell: I will call Debbie Bennett and see if she’s going to write us a check.
Bill Jeffers: I appreciate the stimulating conversation.
Commissioner Abell: I have another issue, and Mr. Stoll you may need to be a part of this.
Bill Jeffers: Are you saving the best for last?
Commissioner Abell: No, no. I just happen to be down here a lot and people call and I get their phone calls. A lady named Mimi Slanina. Who’s phone number and address I have here, which I will give to you, called and said she lives in Evergreen Acres, and that her neighbor, and she said that Mr. Stoll’s office did some work on the lake a few years ago, and there was some spillage available to get the lake down and now the neighbor has taken it upon himself to rip rap that and stop the spillage so that he can have a nice lake in his backyard during the summer. It’s causing her some issues. She’s got trees that are going to uproot because they are under water, and she would like to have, she evidently has spoken with Mr. Wathen and he told her that the work that you did on the lake...this is the story that I’m getting. I’m not saying this is true. She said Mr. Wathen told her that that was done for aesthetic values and not for anything else. She didn’t think we would waste $300,000 on aesthetic values, which is what she said it cost. I told her that I would either have someone from Mr. Stoll’s office or someone from the County Surveyor’s office to call her and see if we could work out what problems she might have.
John Stoll: The overflow structure that drains that lake was rebuilt in conjunction with the drainage project the county did out there probably about ten years ago. It wasn’t for aesthetics or anything like that, it was simply part of the reconstruction because that was a major source of water going down the street down to Larch Lane, Pine Place and out of the subdivision. So, that was just one component of the project. As far as aesthetics, that was not part of the project. The actual outflow structure, I believe, all of it is on private property. The lake is not maintained by Vanderburgh County. I’m not sure if they have an association that maintains the lake, or if it’s the individual lot owners are responsible. We’ve talked to, several people in my office have talked to Ms. Slanina over the past few months. We’ve talked to some of the abutting property owners, other abutting property owners around the lake. They’re trying to get surveys done to determine their exact property corners so they can figure out who’s property the overflow structure actually lies on, things like that. So, I would be glad to talk to her, but as it stands now there’s no, we don’t see that there’s a Vanderburgh County issue there. Simply the drainage pipes that go under the road are taking the runoff from the lake, and because of that it’s all part of the drainage system out there it was rebuilt with a county project, that was the extent of it. It’s not on permanent county right-of-way.
Commissioner Abell: I was not told you had already talked to her, but here’s her, you probably already have her phone number, but here it is.
John Stoll: Alright.
President Melcher: Any other further business coming? Any other public comment? Do I have a motion to adjourn?
Commissioner Winnecke: So moved.
Commissioner Abell: Second.
President Melcher: All in favor say aye.
All Commissioners: Aye.
(Motion approved 3-0)
President Melcher: We’re adjourned.
(The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)
Those in Attendance:
Stephen Melcher Lloyd Winnecke Marsha Abell
Bill Jeffers Ted C. Ziemer, Jr. Madelyn Grayson
Steve Hess Jimmy Guessfield Tom Zarazee
Dave Cardiff Bob Wootton Justin Shofstall
Bill Butz John Stoll Others Unidentified
Members of Media
Stephen Melcher, President
Lloyd Winnecke, Vice President
Marsha Abell, Member
(Recorded and transcribed by Madelyn Grayson.)