Commissioners greenlight ditch project

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved a ditch reconstruction project in Washington Township.

Caldwell drainage project includes several properties along Brown, Stillwell, Bausman and Farrington roads.

The project is estimated to cost about $431,990. The scope of the work includes about 654 acres of tile replacement and 1,500 acres of open channel clean out.

At a public hearing held to discuss the project last week, several property owners in the affected area spoke in favor of the project. Property owners will be assessed for the cost of the project.

Kreig Smail, district administrator for the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District, said the project should be out to bid within the week.

The board also accepted a quote for a new permit software system for the Department of Development. The new permit system will provided enhanced capabilities and functionality, Department of Development Director Richard Osgood said.

“Customer service, primarily. Interactions between the general public and the system online, interactions between our partner communities in the system, between zoning and building directly online, interaction between contractors and architects. Submission of plans and then on our side, review of documents. Reporting, which is very weak in our current system,” he said of the new system’s features.

The cost of the new software will be split between Miami, Shelby and Darke counties — $2,750 apiece for Shelby and Darke counties, $20,500. Miami County’s Department of Development provides services to both counties.

The commissioners also held another hearing on the Gallamar ditch project. Several residents spoke during the hearing, many questioning the cost of the project and how assessments were determined.

Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp explained that the formula is based on the acreage draining into the watershed, crops and any improvements on the property.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at