Residents withdraw petition

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — At their meeting Thursday, the Miami County Commissioners reconvened a hearing to discuss a petition brought forward by residents requesting improvements to county ditches.

After hearing from county officials, the residents withdrew their petition to improve Clayton ditch No. 210 and No. 587. rather than have it rejected by the board.

Residents of Beechwood Drive petitioned the board of commissioners last year to address flooding issues related to the ditch channel crossing their properties. At a meeting with the board in October, County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said that the ditch in question does not have adequate hydraulic capacity.

Assistant prosecutor Chris Englert advised that while residents would be able to appeal a decision made by the board to the courts, they would have to wait a year to bring forward another petition.

Huelskamp presented the board with several options for addressing the flooding issue, but noted that the benefits for the proposals did not outweigh the cost.

Englert pointed out that in order for the petition to be approved, the board must find that the benefits outweigh the costs. Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said that he empathizes with the residents in the area, but could not approve a petition that does not meet that criteria.

In other business, the board approved the design, purchase, and installation of the irrigation system for the Miami County Courthouse. The project includes a controller with rain sensor, a new supply line, and sprinklers on the lawn. The cost of the project is not to exceed $23,945.

The commissioners also signed a memorandum of understanding with Newton Schools for a full time School Resource Officer. The schools agreed to pay $61,426 over the the 2016-17 school year.

By Cecilia Fox