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Commissioners table proposed septic ordinance

by Tim Tedeschi - ttedeschi@chronicle-tribune.com

Grant County Commissioners will take a closer look at a proposed septic system ordinance introduced at their Monday meeting.

Grant County Health Officer William David Moore, M.D., detailed the updates to the proposed on-site septic system ordinance.

He noted the commissioners charged the health department with reworking the ordinance after previously declining a proposal that all septic installers be certified by the Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association (IOWPA), which requires an annual membership and 20 hours of continuing education every three years.

Moore said the new ordinance would allow installers to choose to be certified either through IOWPA or by taking a proficiency exam every two years that would be administered by the health department.

In addition to being certified, installers would also be required to register with the health department each year and provide proof they are bonded, Moore said.

Installers would also be required to submit more detailed drawings of the property of a planned installation.

“Sometimes the drawings the installer brings in will be on a piece of paper and they’ll just pencil out some things and they left out details that we need for elevation of the property, property lines, trees, other structures on there that we sometimes see when we go out there,” Moore said. “We’re asking that they put them on their submittal to us detailing what the property looks like that they’re going to be working on.”

The updated ordinance also states installers need to notify the health department two days before installation so that a representative from the department can be on site for “critical stages of installation,” Moore said.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Lois Jones, chairwoman of the county board of zoning appeals, told commissioners she would like to make sure the health department representative overseeing installation projects also has the necessary certifications. The commissioners said they would take that into consideration.

The certified installer who is registered with the county must also be on site during critical installation times according to the updated ordinance, Moore said.

Moore asked commissioners to approve the ordinance Monday with an effective date of Nov. 1, but Commissioner Ron Mowery said he wanted more time to review the changes.

“I have a couple of concerns,” he said. “I haven’t really had a chance to look at this. I’d like to have an opportunity to study this and ask some questions once I’ve looked through it.”

The commissioners took no action on the proposed ordinance, tabling the matter until the next regular meeting. Moore noted the current ordinance on the books does not include any installer requirements.

In other business, commissioners approved an interlocal agreement between the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Gas City, Jonesboro and Upland for radio dispatch services.

Capt. Randy Albertson explained the sheriff’s department had lost two dispatchers in a matter of weeks and decided to bring two dispatchers from Gas City to fill the vacancies. In turn, the sheriff’s department dispatch will now dispatch for Gas City, Jonesboro and Upland police departments and Gas City and Upland fire departments.

“We’re already going to be put together anyway,” Albertson said of the pending central dispatch plan. “It’s not going to cost the county anything. This will be like a trial for the central dispatch.”

Commissioner Mark Bardsley applauded the ingenuity of the agreement.

“This is just another step toward that consolidating of all of our service,” he said. “It’s marvelous and it continues to move this momentum.”