Letter to CCO Editor From Bruce Ungethiem



Officials take action???

The soil erosion issue on the Dan Buck development off of Felstead road has been an issue for over six months and neighbors have been complaining since the start that proper erosion measures have not been followed. According to documents obtained from the County engineer’s office, these violations have been documented as far back as October of 2013. Recently the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued a citation and suddenly the Vanderburgh County Commissioners went out and talked to the developer. So the obvious question is why has it taken the County Commissioners so long to get involved? Were the Commissioners listening to the people?

First let’s review the Vanderburgh County ordinance regarding erosion control. Ordinance 15.44 is the county ordinance in force to regulate this type of activity and the policy is as follows:

15.44.020 Policy.

It is the policy of the Board of Commissioners of Vanderburgh County to require that erosion and sediment control measures be employed prior to any land disturbing activities to prevent off-site damage due to erosion and sedimentation of drainage ditches, storm sewers, ponds, lakes, streets or other property, public and private, due to the change in land use or rerouting of surface water.

Based on the policy, the responsibility of the Board of Commissioners to require compliance to this ordinance. So if a developer is in violation of this ordinance, what are the required actions to be taken by the Board of Commissioners? The following is paragraph 6 of the ordinance dealing with enforcement.

15.44.060 Enforcement, violations, penalties.

6.    If, after the second site inspection continued non-compliance is determined, the Vanderburgh County Building Commissioner will issue a non-compliance citation to the property owner. The civil penalty for the first citation will be no less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and no more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00).

The obvious question to the Board of Commissioners is, if the developer has been in violation since October of 2013 and has been sited at least six times between October 2013 and April 2014, why has the County not followed the required enforcement procedures in the ordinance and issued a fine to the developer? This is a question not only for the current president of the Board of Commissioners Joe Kiefer,  but more importantly to the 2013 president of the board of Commissioners Marsha Abell who was president when these violations first occurred in October of 2013.

In the interest of open government and the rule of law in the county, the citizens of Vanderburgh County deserve answers as to why this ordinance was not enforced. The people are waiting for an answer.


  1. Indeed. I suggest find out the contractor/developers name, and then follow the money and political affiliations.

    • Dan Buck never finishes a sub-division, yet keeps getting permits to open more. Why expect a different end to the same old story.

  2. I used to know some sub contractors who worked for Buck and when asked how it was going, the joke was, “It’s all Bucked up!”

  3. ‘The people are waiting for an answer.’ ~~ Ungethiem Letter

    If honest with themselves, the people already know the answer. Some people do not have to comply with local building ordinances and their toothless penalties. Others do. Not quite that simple but almost is.

  4. Bandana is correct. A big problem is the ordinances themselves. $100.00? $250.00? This is a slap on the wrist with a pillow. Our ordinances need to be systematically examined and rewritten as necessary — a huge undertaking but one that should be handled as an ongoing process. In the meantime, minimally enforcing what ordinances we should be a no brainer.

    Another question I have is why aren’t the complainers more insistent. You can not sit by around here Evansville and wait for action. You have to make it happen.

  5. The zoning approval for this gridlocked quagmire was flawed from the get-go. Ludicrous!

    What’s next? Another stoplight at Felstead and the Lloyd Expressway?

    • I have been to a lot of cities of varying sizes over the years but no matter where I go Evansville seems to annoy me the most with their damn stop lights. IMO there are far far to many. Has anyone ever done a count to see how many there are?

      Just for gee whiz purposes, depending on the source link you want to use, on average its costs around $80,000 to $100,000 to install a stop light and around $1400 per year for electricity.

      • Evansville is often called Stoplight City for a reason. I don’t doubt your figures but I would have guessed less than half that, all the way around.

        I’ve heard rumors of a crew of gnomes in the employ of a public/private partnership that includes valued citizen Vectren. They toil in a sub-sub-basement of the Civic Center cranking them out at $175 each. The industrious gnomes always have ample stock, ready to be put on the dumb waiter and hoisted up to the Civic Center proper for inclusion at a high rate into some budget. Any color you want but yellow is an extra $15,000.

      • The Carbon Sequestration Impacts of all the traffic lights is incrementally proven to be last century garbage can traffic management,as well as,completely ongoing in commerce throughput restrictions forward without intersection revisions.
        The region should work on that aspect with an overall commerce accessibility plan with evolving 21st century commerce viability as a mindset. INDOT should stomp they’re feet on that,and nationally any support for a viable Interstate corridor must be inspected for provisional needs due that system moved forward as viable infrastructure built for a changing climate.

        Face it evansville is throughput “plugger” type roadway infrastructure as it stands today,and,they know it.

  6. Bruce, THANK YOU very much for calling out Marsha on Felstead. Hopefully GROUP comes out in support of you. I don’t know why they haven’t, every single person in the group didn’t appreciate the way Marsha treated them.

    You’re running a good campaign. Please send your yard sign guy my way. I’m trying to get ahold of him for more signs.

  7. Also I hope Bruce tells the story of Marsha and the ball fields as well . I’ve explained a thousand times on here why the ball fields are on the wrong lot costing us extra while wasting a countless amount of opportunities that will no doubt set Evansville back. But also think of all those in and around the keystone subdivision who didn’t want this. Why didn’t Marsha listen to anyone outside of the ECVB on this? Why was this snuck through on the same night as another controversial project near it?

    People throw a fit about fire fighters like al Lindsey being in government, but what about all the Realtors and developers?

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