County Attorney Jim Clevenger told the Marshall County Commissioners during their meeting Monday that he talked with Ken Jones from Jones from Petrie, Jones, Rafinski, the engineering firm that was hired by the County Health Department to study areas in the county that would benefit from the creation of a Regional Sewer District last week. He also spoke with Kimberly Blanchet from Barnes & Thornburg and found there was some progress being made towards initiating the process to establish a regional sewer district.
Clevenger said he also received a call from a landowner at Lake Latonka who is interested in the formation of a Regional Sewer District. The resident wants to promote Lake Latonka as a high priority area for the sewer projects.
Related to the Regional Sewer District, a couple of people from Tyner spoke during the Public Comment position of the Commissioners meeting. Tim Kazanecki who lives on Walnut Street in Tyner said speaking to the County Attorney, “You just said there’s progress on the sewers. So where are we at? Are they taking boring samples?”
The County Attorney said, “They are making progress in initiating the process. They are no way near that. You have to establish a district before that kind of work can be done.”
Kazanecki then asked how you establish a district and was told the process is designated through state statute.
Julie Spitznagle who lives on Sage Road near Tyner said the County Health Department has a map and a listing on their website showing the areas that are being looked at for the Regional Sewer District. Her question was where did that information come from?
Clevenger said that information came from the study Jones, Petrie, Rafinski completed for the Health Department. She asked what they based their recommendations on and the County Attorney said it is detailed in the report but part of it was a larger number of landowners in a particular area on septic and existing issues with current septic systems. Spitznagle asked where she could get a copy of the report and the attorney said he wasn’t sure it was available yet. She then said, “I thank you for allowing me to speak today but I think you may be as tired as we as citizens are tired of asking questions and not getting any answers.” She continued, “If there could be a little more information provided and communication with the people, I think it would behoove all of us.”
The Tyner lady asked if there would be a waste treatment facility that would need to be built. The attorney said the plan is to try and connect, where it is feasible, to existing wastewater facilities.
Spitznagle said the Town of LaPaz has already discussed bringing in the sewage from Teagarden in their meetings. He said Mr. Jones has met with municipalities in the county to discuss the Regional Sewer District but no one has actually been officially asked. She said, “The more information you can provide at this point, the better off we will be. I want to know if there is going to be a big shit hole on the property next to me and the way that the county is putting forth these variances and special use permits. I don’t know what to expect from that anymore.”
The Tyner lady then said, “In your Economic Development Plan for the county, there is a goal set to develop the west part of the county. The west part of the county is Polk township. So, what are your plans for economic development of Polk Twp. and does that tie into this supposed, proposed need for the sewer district.”
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said that is something from the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation board of directors. He said they do their own thing; have their own budget and their own executive director. He said the commissioners don’t have any say on what they do.
Commissioner Stan Klotz sits on the MCEDC board and has never heard any discussion about economic development in Polk Township.
County Attorney Jim Clevenger told Mrs. Spitznagle the Health Department is the agency that started this issue with concerns about water and private sewer systems that were failing throughout the county. The engineering firm was hired by the Health Department to assist in looking into those needs and determining if they should be addressed. He also said the County Commissioners are more interested in looking at the property surrounding the lakes in the county.
The County Attorney said he would be willing to meet with Spitznagle and assist her in getting a copy of the report from Jones, Petrie Rafinski.