BOC to continue discussions on inspection regulations

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The debate, and resulting controversy, over a potential decision by the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners to rescind a point-of-sale septic and water well inspection regulation is unlikely to end anytime soon, despite commissioners putting the issue back on the agenda for a special meeting Wednesday, May 29.

That follows a previous special meeting May 17 that lasted four hours, as residents from various lakefront areas in the county expressed their concern over the board’s potential decision to withdrawal from the inspection program run through District Health Department No. 10.

According to District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, the county board’s chairman, the program was originally intended to be used by all 10 counties within District No. 10. However, only two – Kalkaska and Manistee counties – have used the service.

That led commissioners to discuss withdrawing from the program and having townships establishing their own inspection regulations.

Fisher said cost was also an issue, with inspections through the area health department costing upwards of $1,000.

“We thought residents would be better served if it was done locally,” he said. “Right now, we’re not getting much for our money.

“We’re trying to get it to a more local level.”

But, at the May 17 meeting, several residents said such a program was needed to catch inadequate septic and water systems, thus protecting an area’s water quality and that of local lakes.

Fisher repeated that the intent of the board was not to eliminate the protections of such inspection programs, but to put them under more local control.

“That is our intent,” he said. “We have a few more things to iron out.

“But, we feel there has to be a better system.”

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