Sen. Leising has introduced SB 105 which would require the Indiana Department of Agriculture to update the Indiana Drainage Handbook. The most recent version was revised in 1999. The bill allows for the Department to hire the work out to a private contractor. The current version was prepared by the engineering firm of Christopher Burke & Associates. (Who, for what it’s worth, does a good job with respect to helping out the Tippecanoe County Drainage Board.) The private contractor would work under the oversight of the Department of Agriculture and an advisory board which would have to include certain members (e.g. a County Commissioner, a County Surveyor, a representative of DNR, an engineer, etc.)
One of the things I do for my job is advise our local drainage board. I can’t emphasize how important and overlooked drainage is. It’s one of those things that, when done poorly, can be utterly disastrous; and one of those things that, when done properly, can be almost invisible. Drainage doesn’t happen by accident. Among other things, it involves engineers with technical know-how and local bureaucracy designing and enforcing regulations. When your considering the pros and cons of a political philosophy, you could do worse than think about how effectively that philosophy would handle drainage matters.
Anyway, this strikes me as reasonable legislation. It’s been awhile since the handbook was updated.