The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

April 23, 2013

Commissioners not to enter dispute

WASHINGTON — The Daviess County Commissioners heard a drainage complaint Monday but they decided it is not theirs to hear.

The complaint, made at the commissioners meeting two weeks ago, was against a neighboring property on CR 150N. Homeowners Tom and Rebecca Flatt said their neighbor, Don Mattingly, had constructed a berm to keep  drainage from the Flatts off his property.

The county’s drainage board, which consists of the commissioners, met during the meeting. Surveyor Dennis Helms informed the commissioners the board does not have to be involved in this situation.

“I don’t feel we have the jurisdiction to rule on this according to the law,” Helms said.

The reason, he said, was because there is not a natural waterway, like a creek or stream, next to both properties.

“If there is no bed or bank, it is not a natural water course,” Helms said.

Because of that development, County Attorney Grant Swartzentruber said the drainage board could not rule in the case. The Flatts do have the courts as an avenue.

Mattingly was at the meeting and said he was told a different story by Helms.

“The way I understood it was you folks can take part of my property,” Mattingly said.

He was mistaken and although the board decided not to intervene, he continued to argue with the commissioners.

“I’m not digging any ditches for them,” Mattingly said.

Weights and Measures

The commissioners hired Jared Keith as the new weights and measures supervisor by a 2-1 vote. Wichman voted against.

Keith will be the first hired by the county to fill the role originally held by the state. The state has mandated the county create a position because the county’s population is over 30,000.

Keith was interviewed among several applicants at an executive session last week.

“I would say we had six great candidates out of 12 or 13 very good applicants,” Wichman said.

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