Monday, February 23, 2004

A Response to Many Questions - Many Answers To Be Sought

Mr. Thompson:

We will take the time to do our best. Hopefully that will mean we do it correctly. I have not seen the 1994 study for the proposed sewers. I would like to. I did not see your guest column in the Register. I would like to. I am not aware of the petition of the citizens within the proposed Sewer District. I would like to and they were not presented. I have read the Indiana Code IC 13-26, and I have questions about it as it applies to me and the Sewer District. I sat next to Brett Fehrman but did not have a chance to discuss his solution, nor know to ask him for one. My letter as to my Conflict of Interest was on file at the Commissioners office prior to my appointment. The official document required will be on file with the County Clerk before the next meeting. Your concern about Ms. Vera Benning may be founded, I don't know, but she is an advisor to this board with no vote. Her input, as well as yours, will be considered, and I intend to not be influenced more by one than the other.

I know more about wastewater treatment than 99.9% of the people in Dearborn County. I have 50 years experience in the business. I try to keep up with the current issues in the County. I am aware of the limitations of small treatment plants and how to remedy those issues. I am familiar with the surrounding counties and states position on package sewage plants. I know nothing of the Gabbard development. I will inquire.

As for the retired residents, who you say cannot afford to pay for the monthly fee, I don't have an answer for that. It is obvious that the Federal Government, the USEPA, and the State of Indiana, as well as the Sierra Club, Ducks Unlimited and all the other concerned environmental advocates feel that EVERYONE needs to pay their fair share to protect our environment from degradation by the viruses, nutrients and bacteria that are discharged from untreated sewage. We did not make the laws, although we agree with them, and choose to abide by them, they are for the betterment of all.

It is my intention to explore expanding this Sewer District to a County wide organization so as to serve the whole County. There are many complicated issue that must be addressed. I am not aware of your proposed countywide sewer district plan. I would like to see it. I am also not aware of the Planning Advisory Committee activity, but I will be soon.

You ask a lot of questions, good questions. How about some solutions to the REAL issue, how do we keep from degrading the environment and keep everyone happy? Septic tanks are reasonable, if they are maintained, but therein lies the problem. Everyone wants to flush their john and forget about it, especially if it is going to cost more money. I am, also, aware that everyone, EVERYONE has an agenda in this issue.

Please be aware, I am not commenting as a spokesman of or as the official position of the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District.

Pat Hanlon
Member of the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District

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