(Posted Jan. 7, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Subsurface drainage improvements are in the works for Kileville, a small burg in Darby Township in far northeast Madison County.
The plan is to install catch basins and drainage tile so that water will flow more quickly from yards into the open Kileville Joint Ditch. The target area lies north of Route 161 and east of the railroad tracks.
“The improvements will give a good outlet for any drainage problems they have in that area,” said Ken Koppes, Madison County deputy engineer.
Property owners in the area will share in the cost of the improvements and maintenance of the tile and ditch. The estimated cost of the construction portion of the project is $74,000.
To lessen the burden on the property owners, the Darby Township trustees plan to use road, bridge and gas tax funds to pay for a portion of the construction. Addition-ally, the Madison County engineer’s office plans to take care of the road crossing and driveway repair work. This brings the overall cost to the property owners for construction down to approximately $36,500.
At a Jan. 5 public hearing on the project, Koppes outlined preliminary as-sessments. The county engineer’s office recommends dividing the construction cost among the equivalent of 13 housing units in Kileville that would benefit from the improvements. The Heritage grain ele-vator represents three of those units. The cost to each unit for construction would be a one-time $2,800 fee, payable in one lump sum or over five years.
Those same 13 units would pay about $84 per year for maintenance of the tile system until an escrow account is built up. They also would pay an ongoing fee of about $17 per year for ditch mowing and weed spraying. All 13 units lie within Madison County.
The project also benefits some Union County landowners as the area straddles Union and Madison counties. Because Union County is providing an easement for the ditch work, those landowners will not pay the one-time construction fee. They will, however, be subject to an ongoing fee for ditch mowing and weed spraying. The estimated yearly cost, Koppes said, is $11 per acre that drains into the ditch. Approximately 92 acres of Union County farmland drains into the ditch.
The Union County commissioners, as well as other individuals who attended the Jan. 5 hearing, contend that additional land drains into the ditch. If that is the case, the cost burden for ditch mowing and weed spraying should be spread across more people and, therefore, be lower, they said.
With that concern brought to light, the Madison County commissioners asked the county engineer’s office to take another look at the drainage pattern and notify any additional landowners affected by the project.
Another hearing on the Kileville Joint Ditch petition will be held March 2 in the Madison County commissioners office at the courthouse in London. Assessment fees will be revisited and possibly recalculated based on what the engineer’s office finds through the additional research.