Writer: ‘sad commentary for Preble County if vote to fight’ EPA ‘isn’t 3-0’


Editor:

The Preble County Commissioners,the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio EPA, and the Preble County District Attorney are meeting in executive sessions to decide the fate of Sewer District 6. The concerns of the homeowners of Preble County won’t be one of the topics. If this sewer district is such a great benefit for Preble County, why is it being done in secret. Three things die in executive sessions: the truth, the facts, and the rights of the citizens.

Author Greg Jarrett said it best, “In any democracy, the principles of transparency and accountability demand that the actions and decisions of elected officials be open to public scrutiny.” This is not the case in Preble County.

There are so many constitutional violations going on with this sewer district that it will take another letter to explain.

The Commissioners vote should be 3-0 against these unconstitutional actions by the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Attorney General. Sadly, I predict the vote 2-1 in favor of falling at the feet of the Ohio EPA and sacrifice the rights and the money of the citizens of Preble County. Denise Robertson is the only Commissioner who wants to get in the fight. Commissioner Creech says no one has ever beaten the Ohio EPA. The Preble County Commissioners could be the first.

Presently, the Ohio EPA is threatening the Commissioners with a 15 million dollar fine if the refuse to sign an agreement to build a sewer system for the Glenwood area. What no one wants to tell the public is the the agreement is pretty much a blank sheet of paper. No known cost for the system. No known cost to operate it or maintain it. When this sewer district 6 started it was 6.1 million. Then it was 6.3. That’s 2015 dollars. Commissioner Day says that a treatment plant cost was included in those estimates. Presently, the new treatment plant being built in West Alexandria is priced at $7.5 million. You can do the math. My guess is $15 million.

The Ohio EPA is coming after the homeowners in the Glenwood area first, sadly, we won’t be the last. If the Commissioners refuse to stand and fight the Ohio EPA, New Hope will be a target. Enterprise will be a target. All the great farmers in the county. You have a large cattle or hog operation, you’ll be a target. The Ohio EPA will not rest until every home in the state is on a sewer system and municipal water. Do not doubt this.

I find it odd that the Preble County District Attorney is involved in these discussions. Where was the District Attorney at the last 10 years when sewage was and is pouring into our ditches and streams. The district attorney has the responsibility to enforce health and sanitation violations in the county. Using public records requests, I can find no examples where any legal actions were taken against anyone.

The trailer park east of West Alexandria has been dumping sewage in Twin Creek since 1997 according to Ohio EPA documents. The trailer park at 32 Quaker Trace road has been dumping sewage in Bantas Fork since 2009 according to Ohio EPA documents. The Preble County Health Department and the Preble County District Attorney has done nothing to stop this pollution.

In a report by CDM Smith dated June 20, sample site #11 showed an E.coli level of >48,380. Sample site Number 11 is a ditch east of the Quaker Trace trailer park. This is the ditch the trailer park uses as an open sewer with the blessing of the Ohio EPA, the Preble County Health Department, and the Preble County District Attorney. Guess what, the Ohio EPA has determined what is causing all the sewage problems — failing septic systems in the Glenwood area. Give me a break.

It will be a sad commentary for Preble County if the commissioners vote to fight this isn’t 3-0.

Jerry L. Wick

West Alexandria