The work toward making a Marshall County Regional Sewer District is one step closer following the actions of the Marshall County Commissioners.
The commissioners signed a joint resolution between the commissioners and the council authorizing a petition to IDEM to establish a Marshall County Regional Sewer District with 13 service priority areas.
A public hearing was held February 21st with over 100 people in attendance.
Attorney Jim Clevenger said, “The resolution is sort of a second step. The matter gets referred to IDEM. They go through a process and another hearing takes place. There is some determination then by them as to whether or not the district should be established. After they make a determination there is some opportunity for additional process and procedure.”
The County Attorney said the Health Department continues to deal with properties in the high-density area within the county that are running into private septic problems. He said the Regional Sewer District will deal with those 13 areas pointed out in the petition.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer asked for some clarification between a Sewer Districts and a Conservancy Districts. Conservancy District have an elected board while sewer districts have an appointed board. The sewer district is focused solely on sewer issues while conservancy districts work on a whole number of different things.
Overmyer also asked for the County Attorney to clarify who will be making the decisions. The commissioners, council and city mayor will make appointments to the 7-member board. Those trustees will make the determination on projects that will be undertaken. The plan is to appoint members from the service priority areas that are currently being completed. As member’s terms expire new members from additional projects would come on board.
Commissioners Stan Klotz said the difference between a sewer district and a conservancy district is cost. He said there are a lot of initial costs and in the conservancy district the costs can be repeated up to how many times. The sewer district has the one-time initial administrative cost, such as lawyers and financial people, and all the other projects fall under that umbrella.
The commissioners also clarified again that the only citizens paying for the sewer projects are those who are benefitting. There is no countywide tax for the Regional Sewer District. While there are 13 service priority areas, only the areas currently being serviced will be paying, the other 12 won’t pay until their projects are moving forward.
It was also pointed out that anyone along the route of the regional sewer lines that have interest in jumping on board can petition the commissioners. They would then submit that request to the Regional Sewer Board trustees for final consideration.
The resolution to send a petition to IDEM to create the Marshall County Regional Sewer District will be considered by the County Council at their meeting on March 14th.