INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has approved the creation of the Tippecanoe and Chapman Regional Sewer District. The order was signed by Commissioner Bruno L. Pigott Thursday, Dec. 5.
The order adopting the findings of fact and recommended order of the hearing officer for the establishment of the sewer district consists of a nine-page document, including the findings of fact and recommended order of the hearing officer.
The document includes a notice of decision and that the documents will be on file at the principle office of the Kosciusko County Commissioners, 100 W. Center St., Warsaw. The document is also available here.
The order states Pigott reviewed the findings of fact and determined that the establishment of the sewer district complies with the conditions of IC 14-26 and appears capable of accomplishing the purposes of the district in an economically feasible manner. The order also states that the district be established as an independent municipal corporation in the county according to the findings and recommendations of the hearing officer.
The order does not state that it is subject to judicial review as provided by state statue, and according to that statue a petition for judicial review of the order is timely only if filed with a civil court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days after the date notice of the order is served.
The recommended order by hearing officer Angela M. Bottom states:
“Based on the findings and the contents of the petition submitted to IDEM by the authorized representative of the Kosciusko County Board of Commissioners and Council, the hearing officer recommends that the commissioner issue the following order:
“A regional sewer district, to be named the Tippecanoe and Chapman Regional Sewer district, is hereby organized under IC 13-26 as an independent municipal corporation in Kosciusko County.
The boundaries of the Tippecanoe and Chapman RSC shall be the boundaries set forth in section “7” of the Findings of Fact.
“The district Board of Trustees of the Tippecanoe and Chapman RSD shall be created according to the provisions set forth in section “10” of the Findings of Fact.
“The Tippecanoe and Chapman RSD shall provide sufficient bond for all officers, trustees and employees who have the power to disburse Tippecanoe and Chapman RSD funds.
“Within nine months from the date of this order, the Tippecanoe and Chapman RSD shall file a detailed plan for the district’s initial project with the Commissioner of DEM according to the requirements of IC 13-26-6-1.”
The findings of fact note when the petition was filed, proposed name of the district, notice of the public hearing and date of the actual hearing, on June 26. Additionally, it notes that the proposed sewer district territory is situation so that the public health, safety, convenience and welfare will be promoted by the establishment of the territory as single district. The document notes the proposed boundary for the sewer district.
Other notations in the findings of fact include:
The sanitary sewage needs of those residents residing within the proposed territory are being met with septic systems, creating environmental concerns regarding long-term water quality in Tippecanoe and Chapman lakes, contamination of aquafers and contamination of residents’ individual water wells.
The purpose to be accomplished by the establishment of the sewer district is the improvement of the public health, safety, convenience and welfare of the area by providing for the collection, disposal and treatment of wastewater within the proposed district.
The findings of facts spells out that the sewer district be governed by a district board of trustees. Those requirements are: a board of seven having a term of four years each, however, the initial terms will be staggered. The members of the board will be appointed in the following manner: two appointments for four years by the county council; two appointments for three years initially by the county commissioners; Tippecanoe Township trustee will make one appointment with an initial term of two years and the Plain Township Trustee will make one appointment with an initial term of two years. Additionally the Mayor of Warsaw, if the city provides treatment to the district, or the county commissioners by a majority vote, if the Lakeland Regional Sewer Distict provides treatment to the district, will make one appointment with an initial term of two years. These appointing entities will retain their appointment power for the board and be responsible for appointments to fill vacancies.