Court rules in commissioner’s favor in ditch petition

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee upheld the county commissioner’s decision to dismiss a landowner’s petition for ditch and drainage improvements in Elizabeth Township.

In a decision dated Nov. 29, Judge Gee found appellant Richard King, of Xenia, did not prove the cost of construction of the improvement would exceed the expected benefits.

The court also ruled King was responsible for paying court costs in the civil case, which began in 2014. King petitioned the commissioners to replace the Children’s Home drainage tile and assess the 13 property owners in and around Lefevre Road for the land improvement. The commissioners denied the petition.

King filed a petition to replace the Children’s Home drainage tile on Sept. 18, 2013. The court found the watershed “will not be completely and wholly drained upon installation of the proposed improvement.” The entry also stated the area in question would have to have systematic drainage tile installed to be considered “completely drained.”

The entry states that currently less than 10 percent of the 440 acres in the watershed has systematic drainage tile. The court also stated that the area has shallow limestone, large rock and natural springs in the watershed, which would significantly increase the costs of the proposed improvement.

Commissioners found the existing Children’s Home drainage tile, “In its present condition, is of use and retains beneficial effect” and therefore the proposed improvement is not necessary.” The commissioners also found the cost exceeds the benefits of the landowners for the installation of the proposed improvement.

King previously petitioned the Miami Soil and Water Conservation District to replace the Children’s Home drainage tile. In 2011, the MSWCD surveyed landowners in the area two times. The second survey showed the majority of landowners were opposed to the improvement and the MSWCD dismissed the petition.

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews