(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the eighth in a series continuing to look at proposed sewers around Tippecanoe Lakes.)
LEESBURG — This is not the first time attempts have been made to get a sewer around Tippy Lake.
According to Jon Tyler, a member of Tippecanoe Lake Sewer Initiative, this is the first time a conservancy district is being sought for the lakes. “There have been other efforts to establish a sewer system over the past 20 years, but the proverbial can kept getting kicked down the road,” he said.
He noted there was an effort in the 1997, however it wasn’t defeated due to remonstrators “in the formal sense of a majority vote or circulated petition. It was defeated when there was a threat, by a small anti-sewer minority group of a costly court battle that the organizers were not ready to fight. So they shelved the attempts.”
Information has been flowing between the desire of the TLSI for a conservancy sewer district and the Friends of Tippy, who initially was against sewers around the lake to now asking the Kosciusko County Commissioners to look into the formation of a regional sewer district.
Both sides have mailed information to people and made websites available with information. The biggest disagreements appears to be: a conservancy sewer district formed by its residents and a regional sewer district formed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management; and paying for the service through a property tax assessment vs. a flat across the board rate for every resident. A few questions have been raised as to how a board would be elected if a sewer conservancy is established and concern such a conservancy could expand its scope to other areas.
Tom VanMeter, with the Friends of Tippy, noted a conservancy district proposal is overkill. “A regional sewer district is a much more reasonable approach,” he said. He noted a conservancy district has broad powers and it only would take 10 percent of the freeholders to expand the purpose.
However, those with TLSI are adamant the sole purpose of the conservancy district is for sewers and nothing else. “I do not see anyone wanting to expand the district responsibility,” said Joe Tynan, with TLSI, adding “I personally would oppose any expansion.”
Shelley Moore, spokeswoman for the group, stated a conservancy district board would be elected by the property owners and the board can be changed by the property owners if the powers are abused. “Any member of the TLSI would not support, and would fight, any change of scope beyond the sewer.”
Moore also stated “the opposition should consider that they are proposing to guarantee that they will have no say on the sewer project and its likely higher costs, if they wait for the government to establish a regional sewer district.”
- Confusion and Questions About Sewer Conservancy District
- Why Tippy Initiative Went With A Conservancy
- Is There Really A Septic Problem At Tippy Lake?
- Auditor’s Office Working To Verify Petition Signatures
- Health Department Finds Solutions To Septic Issues
- Friends Of Tippy Has Three Different Camps On Sewer Issue
- E.coli, Nutrients, Water Clarity And Oxygen