I have just come from a meeting of Stop The Sewer for Tippy and Chapman Lakes. The following are things I have learned at this meeting and other meetings I have attended.
This proposed sewer system has nothing to do with the quality of the lakes. Chapman is consistently rated one of the cleanest in the state. Compared to Center and Pike lakes, where they have had sewers for years, they face regular beach closings due to E Coli levels.
Many people around the lakes are on fixed incomes and cannot afford this.
Costs: There are many that most people are not even aware of. Many people just think they will have to start paying a sewer bill, but you also have:
- Cost of hook up (could be anywhere from $1,800 up to several thousand dollars)
- Monthly bill forever, and they can raise it on you whenever they want (as witnessed by the articles in the paper recently about Warsaw’s sewer bills being raised). We have heard many numbers floating around, but they say they don’t know yet what it will be (possibly $75 to $85 a month).
- Cost to “decommission” your current septic tank. This could involve having it removed from your yard completely, or having it crushed and filled with “acceptable” dirt. If you currently have a mound system and want it removed, you also have to have all the dirt removed as it is considered “contaminated” and new dirt hauled in.
- Cost of having your current septic tank cleaned out.
They put a little box on the side of your house which has a red light on it. This is the “grinder.” If that red light goes out, you must immediately call to have someone come work on it (and you hope it won’t be a long wait as you won’t be able to use much water while it is out.)
What happens if you are out of electricity for an extended period of time? Currently, you can use lake water to flush your stools, but that won’t be possible with this grinder system.
If the “warranty” on your grinder has gone out, then you will be charged for the repairs on it. How long is the warranty good for and will you have to pay for a new one when the old one wears out? I have heard costs of up to $10,000 for a grinder.
There are supposedly two homes hooked up to one grinder. The grinders have to be hooked up to electricity. Where does the electricity come from? From one of the two houses hooked up to it or directly from the pole? You will have to pay for an electrician to hook up the electricity to your home or pole. Who is paying for the electricity to run this grinder? One of the homeowners but not the other?
What if the houses hooked to the grinder are not year-round homes? What happens if they turn their elecrticity off when they are not there? What happens if a homeowner comes to the lake for the weekend, but the electricity to the grinder is shut off in the other, connected house?
Do you have an empty lot? You will also be charged for septic on that lot.
They will start charging you a fee as soon as they start building the system, even if they don’t get the sewer system to you for maybe two or three years.
House newer than ten years old? You can get a temporary exemption from hooking up once you prove that your septic is in good order, but you will still be charged a portion of the sewer bill even if you aren’t hooked up. All you will be doing is putting off tearing up your yeard.
Have an underground sprinkler system? Chances are it will get torn up when they put the sewer line in, then you get to pay to have it repaired.
Can’t afford it? No problem. You can either get a loan or they will just put a lien on your house.
You aren’t currently on the map? Don’t worry, you most likely soon will be. The state of Indiana can change the lines of the sewer system.
While there are areas that I am certain could benefit from the sewer, most of the lakes don’t. We don’t need our “lake experience enhanced.” While they claim that there are only a couple areas that condos could possibly be built on, from what I have seen in the past, someone will figure out a way. We don’t need more boats on Chapman Lake. The lake is already being torn up with these new boats they are buying so people can “surf” behind them. There are cut-up “grasses” floating all over the lake now from these boats.
I believe the main purpose of this is so we can have more housing additions out here. We don’t need more. Our road, CR 450N, is already a bumpy mess from all the traffic we have on it now. If you are opposed to the sewer system, send a letter to County Council at 100W. Center Street, Warsaw, IN 46580. Let them know that you don’t like it. They are currently operating under the assumption that everyone wants this. I don’t. Do you?