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County cancels fine in septic ordinance

January 19, 2019

The Allen County commissioners Friday unanimously passed a revised version of an ordinance upgrading regulation of on-site septic systems.

Mindy Waldron, Department of Health administrator, told commissioners the only change to a previously introduced version was eliminating a $25 fine for failure to file a consumer notification record in a timely manner.

For several years, sellers have been required to tell prospective buyers that a residential property is not served by a public sewer system and that buyers have the right to have the system inspected by a certified septic evaluator, Waldron said.

The forms are usually handled by real estate professionals as part of a sale. But some agents and brokers have not filed the disclosure within 30 days of closing as required, she said after the meeting.

The fine was seen as a way to enforce the filing, she said, because the form can be useful in documenting the existence of on-site systems and coping with a large number of failing septic systems.

But the fine was seen as overly punitive and officials agreed to drop it after getting public comment, Waldron said.

The new septic ordinance will take effect Feb. 4.

In other business, county commissioners unanimously approved spending $207,927 for preliminary engineering for repairs of the South County Line Road Bridge No. 271 over the St. Marys River.

Bill Hartman, director of the county highway department, said a new concrete deck would be installed to aid traffic, including agricultural vehicles. The bridge has had traffic counts of 150 vehicles per day.

The engineering contract went to USI Consultants, Indianapolis. The total cost of the project will likely be $1.5 million, with the project put out for bids in 2022, Hartman said.

The state will reimburse 80 percent of the project cost with a federal pass-through, he said.

rsalter@jg.net

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