Sewer line controversy bubbles up in Mid-Mich. community
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -
A sewer line connection issue has some residents crying foul in a Mid-Michigan community.
Hampton Township residents Russell Gunther and Louis Czuba claim there is a very serious health issue going on in the Bay County community because dozens of residents aren't being required to hook up their homes to the township sewer system.
"I'd like to see some action taken in the right way, to correct this so we can safeguard the health of the township people, that's the number one concern" said Czuba.
The two men have taken their concerns to Hampton Township officials. Township supervisor Tom Foret says it's been on the books since 1965. But he says the township never enforced the law by sending out letters informing residents they need to hook up to the sewer system if they live within two hundred feet of the line because officials felt it would put a hardship on residents of a twelve to 15-thousand dollar expense. "We feel if there's no health issue, we don't feel it's right or fair" says Foret.
Foret says township officials have contacted Bay County Health officials about the issue, who say there are no health concerns in relation to septic tanks in the township. He says if a septic tank system fails residents are then required to hook up to the sewer system.
But Gunther disagrees, saying "It boils down to health issues, as far as I'm concerned. Gunther says sewage from septic tanks could seep into the soil and it's not clear where it could go. He concerned that septic tanks in his neighborhood could rupture or cause problems. "We're trying to clean up our environment" Gunther said.
One thing Gunther and Foret agree on. Gunther says the township fears lawsuits from residents who would be forced to hook onto the sewer system. Foret says that's true.
"For a $15,000 expense they'll hire an attorney and fight it and I don't want to use tax dollars to throw away for not a just cause" said Foret.
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