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Commissioners Turn Down Proposed Sewage Disposal Ordinance

December 17, 2012

  12/18/12 A public hearing on an ordinance that would require all property owners with septic systems to have their systems checked by a registered provider did not even get a motion during Monday’s County Commissioner meeting.

Wes Burden from the County Health Department presented information on the proposed ordinance to the commissioners at a meeting earlier in December.  Not only does the ordinance require septic system checks, it also would require providers to be tested and registered with the county.

During the public hearing Dick Flosenzier from Cook Lake Trail said he felt the ordinance was “unconstitutional” stating that even police can’t force themselves on your property without a warrant or probable cause.  He didn’t like the fact that the ordinance does not allow for grandfathering in systems.  Flosenzier suggested, “Why don’t you educate the people rather than going through this.”  His other concern was the penalties included in the proposed ordinance.  He asked, “What if there is a violation of capacity code and they can’t afford to put a new one in?”  Mr. Flosenzier closed by saying, “I resent the intrusion of my privacy.”

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer asked about the evaluation form that providers would have to fill out prior to the sale of the property.  Burden did mention that the providers would charge between $30 and $50 to have the paperwork completed.

Commissioner Jack Roose asked how the county would determine if someone was selling their property.  He also wanted to know if the property owner would come to the county first prior to listing their property.   Roose also said, “It’s quite an intrusion.”

Commissioner Greg Compton asked Burden, “What brought this to this point?”  He also wanted to know, “What motivated you to get to this point.”  Burden said that several contractors suggested the idea after having to meet requirements in other counties.  He said the staff developed the ordinance off of the state codes and the Board of Health approved it.

Overmyer noted that the ordinance must be passes by the commissioners and that the health board isn’t held responsible for its content.  He then suggested a work session to discuss the proposed ordinance with members of the Health Board.