Plan for Richmond in state’s hands
On the same day that Washington County Board of Supervisors approved the new plan for the Richmond and Rubio sanitary sewer projects, as requested by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), area DNR staffer Dennis Ostwinkle was in Des Moines talking to state DNR about the new plan.
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. told the supervisors during their weekly meeting Tuesday morning that he had completed the new plan and delivered draft copies to the Washington DNR office on Friday, June 14. He said he turned it in as a draft plan because the board had not approved it by the June 14 deadline.
Seward said his plan just covers the likely contributors to the four samples that tested positive for sewage in the Richmond community last fall. However, he said the DNR wants all of the property owners who were slated for hookup to a public lagoon system to have private septic systems that meet state regulations.
In his plan, Seward states, “A survey of the homes in the Richmond area has led us to focus, at the highest priority, on the homes that would have contributed to the contamination found in the four most recent samples documented by the DNR.”
The homes in the area that did not contribute to the contaminated samples, Seward states, are “positioned next on the priority scale for this proposal.”
The plan states, “The homes in this situation in the surrounding area will be dealt with in the usual manner that normally triggers enforcement action — a system failure requiring maintenance and repair, a documented complaint or when the property changes ownership.”
According to the plan, the homes in the Rubio area defined by the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) project are unchanged.
Built into the plan is enforcement. A timetable provided indicates that the time between an official notice of violation and a court decision or order of compliance would be approximately six and one-half months. The plan also states that Washington County could complete the plan by June 1, 2014, which is the deadline established by the DNR.
The plan and supporting documents are available at county courthouse.
In other business, the board approved a federal aid agreement for an overlay project on W64. County engineer Jacob Thorius said this project involves putting a concrete overlay on county road W64, also known as Vine Avenue and old 218, from G36 north to just south of Highland High School. He said the project will likely be let in December or January with work beginning next May. The project is estimated to cost $2 million, with 80 percent coming from federal funding and 20 percent from the state in the form of farm-to-market road funds.