WARSAW — The battle over sewers around Tippecanoe has just gotten bigger. Scott Reust, attorney for Friends of Tippy, asked the Kosciusko County Commissioners this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 12, to implement a study to determine the necessity and feasibility of a regional sewer district at Tippecanoe Lake.
The commissioners tabled any action until further information could be generated by the county attorney, Chad Miner. No mention was made of efforts by the Tippecanoe Lake Initiative, to establish a sewer conservancy district in that same area, is in the process.
Reust noted studies by the health department have come back showing great water quality. “However there has been a recent push for sewers. On Tippecanoe, many of the homeowners feel (sewers) probably are not necessary. They would like to have a study done to see if it is necessary and if it is feasible to have a regional sewer district.”
Reust noted it is felt a regional sewer district is the best option if there were to be sewers on the lake. Additionally, he noted the county’s experience with other options, including a conservancy group, has not been good. It was noted there were more than 100 regional sewer districts in the state that work closely with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as does the health department. “Supervision by IDEM is the best way to have the sewer implemented if necessary.”
Miner questioned if this would be a new regional sewer district or if there were plans to align with Lakeland Regional Sewer District. He also explained his understanding was that after a petition process began, the county would then decide how to proceed based on what the study results were from IDEM. He asked if the commissioners would like for him to do research on the process and come back with recommendations.
Reust noted due to the geography and other areas affected by a regional sewer district, a new sewer district would be best. “The additional number of homes in the Tippy area could be substantial and be a big impact wherever the sewage flow would go to.”
During the discussion no one was clear whether an engineering study would be needed prior to the petition process, who would pay for the study, or if the study would be done by IDEM after a request was made. Brad Jackson, president, stated it would be appropriate to do the same for this group as was done for Lakeland Sewer.
Reust noted it was his understanding the initial study cost would be from the county, as those preliminary engineering reports and studies would need to be included in the petition. It was also noted people at IDEM want to have interest shown by the government entity to create the regional sewer district.
With the next commissioner’s meeting Tuesday, Dec. 19, a week away, Miner stated he may have initial thoughts ready, but was not sure he would have all the information necessary. Miner was asked to work with Reust to get information on cost analysis.
“It’s an issue that’s out there we really need to deal with it to the best extent we can,” stated Bob Conley, commissioner.