EATON — Preble County resident Jerry Wick spoke to commissioners during their meeting held Monday, Feb. 1, providing more information regarding his ongoing sewage debate surrounding the Glenwood area also known as Sewer District 6.
According to Wick, the trailer park located there has been demolished and the debris has been hauled away. He also shared photos of the area taken over a course of two weeks, and an email he had received from the Preble County Health District denying a public records request he had made for copies of sewer complaints, as well as Wick’s response to the denial questioning, “who was the Preble County Health Department protecting when it comes to the trailer park, Sewer District 6 and sewage plants in the county.”
According to Wick, former Commissioner Rodney Creech said Wick was, “being paranoid with some of [his] accusations.”
“Just to update Commissioner [David] Haber, one of the charges in the orders and findings was that the EPA said there were four sewage complaints in the Glenwood area that was part of the charges. I asked [for] a public records request. The EPA said they had no copies.”
“Let that sink in,” he continued. “They’ve got charges in a legal document they don’t have copies of, so I filed the records requests at the health department. They refused to give them to me because they said I had to give addresses. So, our homeowners’ attorney, he got them. And lo and behold, two of the four complaints were filed by Twin Township, Rodney Creech. Rodney Creech, the commissioner, makes decisions and votes on things. It puts a sewer line on both sides of 42 acres of his property. I’m not being paranoid here.
“And the last thing is my wife and I’s personal problem with the health department concerning our neighbor,” Wick continued. “[Preble County Public Health Commissioner] Erik Balster, [Environmental Director] Josh Lucas and Gary Walker, the leadership of the health department, stood in my yard, watched raw sewage flow through my yard and Erik Balster sends me an email telling me to get my property surveyed. That’s the health department’s answer to sewage problems. And I told him, I sent an email back to him and said, ‘I’ll tell you what, Erik, you survey that trailer park. And if that stops 1,000 gallons of sewage a day coming out of there, then I’ll also survey my property,’ and he’s never responded.”
Wick provided a copy of a public records request he mailed out on Monday, addressed to the current commissioners, seeking lab test results on the water in the area.
“Gary Walker told me he was with the EPA in , when they took the samples in Glenwood, and the commissioners didn’t find out about it until 2013. So, the health department sat out there on that for four years and never told the former board of commissioners, and they’ll do the same thing to you,” he accused Preble County Public Health.
Wick claimed the email response from Lucas, “just proves it. There are sewage complaints from all over this county they sent to the EPA, and they refused to give me copies of them. And this is the same bunch that wants to add a tax on the levy this spring. It’s unacceptable.”
Commissioners made no comments and took no action on Wick’s presentation.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr