The Washington Times-Herald

May 14, 2013

County looks at septic ordinance

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — For the first time in over 40 years, the Daviess County Commissioners are looking into changing septic system laws.

County Environmental Health Specialist Geoff Stoner presented the commissioners with a wide-ranging ordinance on septic systems. This is the first ordinance on septic systems in Daviess County since 1972.

Stoner, along with County Attorney Grant Swartzentruber, have been working on the ordinance for over six months.

“This took time, but it combines two old ordinances,” Swartzentruber said.

Stoner said the ordinance updates the 1972 ordinance and a 2008 ordinance placing requirements of installers of septic systems. The ordinance requires a permit with applicable fees from the county Health Department each time a homeowner wants to install, repair or alter a septic system. Current systems are not subject to the permit, but if they need repair or reconstruction, they would have to get a permit.

Installers who would put in or repair septic systems have to receive certification from the county. The certification comes from a knowledge of environmental laws and insurance requirements. If an installer does not have certification, they can be fined up to $1,000 for repeat offenses.

If a homeowner is found violating the ordinance and does not repair the septic system within a unspecified time limit, the homeowner can receive a first-time fine of $1,000 and subsequent fees of $500 per day. Also, there is a $500 fine if a homeowner does not get a permit for a septic system.

The ordinance will be up for adoption at the commissioners’ next full meeting on June 10. Following the ordinance presentation, there was discussion on several salvage yards that are causing eyesores north of Farlen.

Commissioner Mike Taylor said he has received calls about three operations in that area that were termed eyesores and are visible from county roads. Current ordinances said a junkyard or a salvage yard cannot be seen within 1,000 feet of a county road.

Stoner informed Taylor the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is investigating issues at two of the sites.

Taylor also said work on county zoning and planning is finishing and public hearings will be held later this summer.

I-69 Excess property

Daviess County Economic Development Corporation Director Ron Arnold told the commissioners the Indiana Department of Transportation has excess property from I-69 construction available.

Arnold said most of the property is available for governments as a transfer or purchase at low prices. A letter to the commissioners from INDOT indicates there are four large parcels currently available.

“I think there is a total of 180 to 200 acres throughout the county,” Arnold said.

He advised the commissioners to write INDOT a letter of interest. He said the city of Washington has also been advised to show interest.

The commissioners voted to make their interests known to INDOT.


Highway Superintendent Phil Cornelius asked for a road change near Maysville. The owners of a trailer court near Maysville are changing the name from Maysville Mobile Manor to Country Circle Court. The request was granted. The same owners are also changing the name of Park East Mobile Court in Washington to Trail Breeze Kourt.

Cornelius said paving on several county roads has begun near Odon. County road crews are paving earlier this year due to low prices on asphalt that will only be in place until June. Motorists are advised to use caution around county work crews.