(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the ninth in a series continuing to look at proposed sewers around Tippecanoe Lakes.)
LEESBURG — “I’m not opposed to sewer in any way,” said Bob Weaver, a resident of Tippecanoe Lake and county health administrator. “I would hope at the time we got sewers we also have the correct zoning ordinances in the county to prevent rapid over development.”
Weaver is one of many who are not opposed to sewers, but he has his reservations and some concerns. He noted he is not being selfish about over development in itself, it is the environmental impact that comes with development in regards to the health of the lake and public health.
He also has other concerns, with a main concern of the powers available to a conservancy district. “They are not bound to putting in sewers. They have a good deal of control of the lake,” he said, adding the conservancy district can exert control of the lake. “It’s a public fresh water lake. It’s a public body of water … hinder the public from using that body of water.”
“A big one (concern) for me with a (regional) sewer district, is the board is appointed by the commissioners for a term. A conservancy is not appointed, it is voted on by the shareholders, those who own property. A vast majority of the residents on the lake, this is not their home base, it is not where they vote … a majority of the people affected are not able to vote. It would be taxation without representation.”
Based on a study related to lake residents and property values in 2013 by the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, it is estimated 42 percent of the homes on Tippecanoe Lake are primary lake residences and have the potential to be used year round.
Members of the Tippecanoe Lake Sewer Initiative were contacted about the election of conservancy board members.
The election of a sewer conservancy board would not take place during a political election. Instead elections would be held at a public meeting of freeholders and potentially include means for submitting absentee ballots for those unable to attend this public meeting. This type of election would allow all those with a stake in the conservancy to cast votes not only on the election but potentially other matters.
Officials with TLSI noted the sewer conservancy district, formed directly by its citizens, is the avenue to a sewer system giving the freeholders the most direct control in design, implementation, operation, maintenance and cost to the user or customer. Only freeholders can serve on the board and are directly responsible to the other freeholders to carry out the mission. It is also noted only the freeholders of the CD bear the cost of the infrastructure and the operation.
Jon Tyler, TLSI member, noted a regional sewer district is formed by a government entity and IDEM, its board is appointed who may or may not have to use or pay for the system that is established. He also pointed out even with an regional district costs of the infrastructure and operation are shared by the users based on rules set out by the regional sewer district board. He noted those in the sewer district would be paying a higher monthly cost than what is proposed with the conservancy district, due to the numbers involved.
- 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
- Not The First Attempt To Sewer Tippy Lakes