Carroll County citizens hope Governor will stop sewer district

Full story: WLFI Lafayette

A group of Carroll County residents hopes the governor will step in and stop a sewer district from including more than 1,000 homes around Lake Freeman.
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1 - 20 of 43 Comments Last updated Jun 24, 2012
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Pat Robertson

Monticello, IN

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#1
Sep 18, 2008
 
There were approx. approx. 90 citizens with sewer liens placed on their Real Estate taxes for 2007 - many of them are veterans. Many more liens are being recorded for 2008/payable in 2009. I was told if the 2007 liens were not paid with the 2007 real estate taxes, their homes would go to sheriff sale as early as spring 2009.

Mr. Darter stated that the folks had since 2000 to prepare for this, 95% of the citizens involved did not even know that they were in the TLRSD until a packet was tossed onto their lawns, not addressed to anyone, but stating they were on the TLRSD - they would hook up to the system, they would give easement to the TLRSd, they would abandon and fill in their working systems. More later
Pat Robertson

Delphi, IN

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#2
Sep 19, 2008
 
A county gov. has territorial rights over their county, it's citizens have a voice in their government, by way of the American privledge of voting on the issues.

Without public notice in 2000, and with no input into the process, the citizens of Jefferson township had their territorial rights stripped away - given to an entity of another county, the TLRSD now has territorial rights to this area and the citizens rights to govern themselves has been stripped away.

These citizens have no voice in their future - they are controlled by an "Goverment entity" with an appointed board, called the TLRSD, that dictates to them what they can and can not do with their property.

Bill Brown,(Carroll Co. Commissioner's president in 2005) publically appeared before the board of the TLRSD with a Resolution passed by the Commissioners, in an attempt to correct this situation and was ignored.

IDEM has oversight of RSD's in Indiana - prior to any construction in our county, we (the citizens) and our county officials wrote to IDEM and Gov. Daniels, asking that they enforce IC 13-26-6-4 and dissolve the TLRSD in our county as it was determined by our county officials that the project was not economically feasible, fair or reasonable - we have been ignored.

I will quote Commissioner Brown: "No citizen of Indiana should be treated by their government as these people have been treated by the Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District."
Pat Robertson

Delphi, IN

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#3
Sep 19, 2008
 
As I mentioned previously, approx. 90 homes had sewer liens placed on them by the TLRSD - for a service that is non-existent. IC 13-26 allow this but is it right?

I have a letter from a decorated Vietnam vet that I want to quote:

"This is a much bigger issue than a frw disgruntled persons resisting change and additional expenses. As a decorated Vietnam Veteran, I must say the lack of understanding of the injustice of this event is dismaying to me. If government fails to protect the rights of a citizen's property, then I am of the opinion that government has failed in its most prominent duty.

....I recall the faces of my compadres in Vietnam - bright young men, hating their plight yet proud to serve their country...

I believe we have a duty to these men. I believe that freedom, for which they risk their lives, must be guarded. the defense of freedom must be kept pure and not muddied with economic considerations, nor special interests, nor apathy.(end quote)

We (Free Jefferson Township Citizens) are asking that IDEM use the power they have under IC 13-26-6-4 to dissolve the TLRSD in Carroll County - on the basis that it is not economically feasible, fair, or reasonable!
Pat Robertson

Delphi, IN

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#4
Sep 19, 2008
 
I feel it is my duty to say to everyone - the rule that a Regional Sewer District has (in my opinion)is unconstitutional - an appointed board has the power to place a sewer lien on your real estate taxes for a service that you are not even receiving and if it is not paid, that sewer lien will be the basis of a sheriff sale of your property.

A Regional Sewer District (with it's appointed board) has power of Eminent domain...

A Regional Sewer District can proceed with no restraints - because of the permissive language of IC 13-26

The TLRSD has used IC 13-26 to force connections - bulldozing over our citizen's rights and the office of IDEM has used IC 13-26 as an excuse to look the other way!

Legislators are working on revising the Code but that takes time and the citizens of Carroll Co. do not have that luxury

Citizens of Carroll Co. have appeared at the TLRSD board meetings and have been shouted at and told that they are not welcome - our county officials have been ignored - WE ARE APPEALING TO THE GOVERNOR TO STOP THIS ABUSE OF THE CITIZENS RIGHTS!
Pat Robertson

Delphi, IN

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#5
Sep 19, 2008
 
One very powerful statement that Mrs. Alford made in her presentation was not aired but I feel it worthy to add here.
I will put it in my words as the petition I am circulating now states:
"We support the efforts of the group "Free Jefferson Township Citizens". This group has banned together to restore freedom to their citizens who are within the boundaries of the Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District. Our Carroll Co. Commissioners are helpless to aid their citizens and IDEM is not requireing the Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District to adhere to IC 13-26. WE ARE CONCERNED THAT IF THIS GROUP IS UNABLE TO STOP THE TLRSD, THAT IT WILL PROGRESS FURTHER AND WE, TOO, WILL BECOME VICTIMS WITH NO RECOURSE - our rights will be stripped away from us and we will become burdened to pay for a system that we do not need as those in Jefferson Township are being forced to do.
I will add this footnote - don't ever think it won't happen to you - I have sat in the TLRSD board meetings and heard them declare that they intend to go all the way to the Tippecanoe County line - you can have acres of land, a properly installed and maintained septic system according to your county health department regulations - but IF you are within their boundary, you will be required to destroy your septic and connect! For the same reason that Jefferson Township Citizens are forced to -(as we were told) FOR MONETARY REASONS ONLY!
MONETARY REASONS ONLY - ONE very truthful statement coming out of the mouth of the TLRSD - especially in light of the fact that on two documented instances, they have been photographed pumping septic tank contents into Lake Freeman!
Contact me - I have written and called the Governor's office the last 2- 2 1/2 years requesting an opportunity to speak with him to explain the concerns of the citizen's in Carroll Co. Our group has written numberous letters to him, appealing for help - I ask that anyone who reads of this effort (FJTC) to please contact him - it is in his hands to require IDEM to "do their job" and if he doesn't require it - who can we turn to?
Pat Robertson

Delphi, IN

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#6
Sep 19, 2008
 
I apologize for a few mis-spelled words - but I am passionate about this effort - the people's voices must be heard.
Cristie Burtz

Circleville, OH

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#7
Sep 19, 2008
 
I would really like everyone out there to know that we have been trying to get the governors office to listen to us. I personally called as was on the phone with someone for about an hour. All she kept saying is that is sympathizes with us and thinks it is wrong, but there is nothing that the governor’s office can do. I find that hard to believe! Even if he cannot personally do anything, he knows of someone who can and can talk on our behalf. Where would we be today if our forefathers had said there hands are tied and there is nothing they can do? We would still be owned by England! Just the same, if I saw a women being raped somewhere I would not turn my back because I am not a cop. I would do everything to help her. I just think more people need to know how the Governor is turning his back on us. In this country where we are supposed to be free, it is not right for the TLRSD to force you to give them money. It is robbery! For those of you who do not know, they are also forcing people to sell them a small portion of their land for a mere $1! I don't care how small, in this country you should not be forced to sell you property if you do not choose. And to put $1 on it is just a slap in the face! We the people of this great country need to stand up for our freedoms. Everyone needs to stand up and stay that being legally robbed is not going to happen. For those of you who think you should do nothing because it does not affect you, think about this. If the TLRSD gets away with this here, what is to come next? Your neighborhood could be the next one that these bullies or ones just like it come in and force you into paying and getting something you do not want or need!
John Shellcrosslee

Monticello, IN

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#8
Sep 19, 2008
 
We too have a working septic system that is approx 12 yrs old. We do not leech towards the lake as we have property across the road where our leech bed is located. It is just not fair that we be forced to hook up when our home does not pose a problem.
John Van Cleve

Monticello, IN

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#9
Sep 19, 2008
 
It's just unimaginable that this can happen to Citizens of the United States. Maybe Russia or Communist China, but not in the Land of the Free.
Charles Thomas

Martinsburg, OH

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#10
Sep 19, 2008
 
I think that the Twin Lakes Sewer Board is pulling someones leg when they state that there are other options if people would go to their web site. I am one of the people being FORCED to hook up to the system and I am being told that there are no other options. If I do not hook up I have been told my property will be CONDEMED. I do not even live on the lake and have a working sewer system. Their web site says nothing but all people within the district must hook up and that they are going to enforce the mandatory hook up.
sam colt

Mishawaka, IN

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#11
Sep 19, 2008
 
How does a septic system that is one mile or more from the lakes polute the lake? This is one more example of a government sponsered group running out of control. It appears these people answer to no one. Had area planners and the board of health inspectors done their jobs in the first place, this group of thieves would not exist. So much for a free country and protecting citizens. How about a little help Mitch?
randy wagner

Warren, NJ

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#12
Sep 19, 2008
 
The Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District has used gastapo tactics to force citizens to hook up at a cost of thousands of dollars that do not need a sewer system because they have a perfectly working septic system. They are just after money and building another bureuacratic monstrosity that will feed off of the taxpayers of Jefferson township and surrounding areas.
Deb Pearson

Avon, IN

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#13
Sep 19, 2008
 
I bought my place at Lake Freeman a about 3 years ago. It was not disclosed to me at the time of the sell of the septic conversion plans. I am not on the lake front and have a working septic. I have to hook up to this system. They have been putting grinder systems in my yard and running piping. I too have to pay 3o dollars for a service that we don't get. We are being made to pay for the upfront costs, as well as after the project is done we have to pay to have the septic filled in and hooked up. I only use my place 3 months a year and then only about 3 weekends of the month. I will have to pay 12 months a year for a system that I do not use. I believe that there is something wrong with the planning and the thought process that goes with this plan.
richard ray

Delphi, IN

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#14
Sep 19, 2008
 
how about it governor mitch! i owen 10 acers and i have a perfectly good sewage system. my sewage system has not been condimed by carroll county health department, so why has the tlrsd putt a lein on my property. i have not sign over or given easements, to my property. so, is this the way the citizens goverment works, in this country, now? "communistism"!
Terry Dill

Monticello, IN

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#15
Sep 19, 2008
 
Most of us understand how lobbyists ply their trade. The state law accommodating sewer entrepreneurs is the result of successful lobbying in the last quarter of the last century. We follow the law, the TLRSD says. This has been repeated many times. State law accommodates regional sewer districts at the express expense of citizen civil liberties.

Were it true that they followed the law, likely we would not be in this mess. The reformation of the Twin Lakes Sewer District in 1994 was not done in compliance with law. No citizen, no township trustee had any input into the selection and subsequent appointment of the reformed TLRSD board. Had these early members been properly selected, affected citizens would have had a say in the direction, structure and demeanor of the TLRSD board. They did not. Monon and Liberty Townships were first impacted by the TLRSD. A million dollars had been borrowed and spent prior to any township trustee being involved. Citizens of Monon and Liberty Townships in White County were left out – no due process. The TLRSD knows this yet they will state that they comply with the law.

After the selection of the TLRSD board, they undertook to develop a sewer system involving a wetland. At that time, the TLRSD was apprised by opposing counsel to the fact that the Monon and Liberty Township citizens failed to receive due process, that in fact the TLRSD had an illegal board. The TLRSD proceeded to correct this situation, with Art Anderson being referred to the board by the Union Township trustee. Art Anderson was the first legally appointed board member.

One would think the TLRSD would do better as they progress into other areas. Nope. Again, when they moved into Jefferson Township, Carroll County, citizens were not involved. Again, no due process.

Had citizens been apprised of this direction, we could have participated it the design of this district. The alleged invitation by the Carroll County Commissioners was to come into the edge of the county and attach only a few hundred homes. The TLRSD, once their foot was in the door, proceeded to attach each and every home along their path, running from Oakdale Dam to Buffalo.

As a decorated Vietnam veteran myself, it sickens me to see how this TLRSD and others tell half-truths in order to promulgate their cause. They abide by law? What law? How do they reconcile the failure of their victims to receive due process? Again, in the case of Monon and Liberty Townships, citizen involvement, required in our form of government did not happen. Several years later, the same thing happened again – no citizen input as the TLRSD moved into Jefferson Township. While this is a failure on behalf of the then Carroll County Commissioners, and their lawyer, they are not fully at fault. Certain representations as to the scope and the need of a sewer project were made to them by the TLRSD. Once the ink dried however, the Carroll County Commissioners discovered they had turned loose an autonomous quasi-governmental entity in the county. Ultimately, after becoming enlightened as to the reality of the TLRSD, the Carroll County Commissioners made a number of attempts to right the wrong. They have had no influence on the TLRSD, or IDEM. We citizens, nor our leaders have any input into what they will do. This must be rectified.
Terry Dill

Monticello, IN

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#16
Sep 19, 2008
 
Most of us understand how lobbyists ply their trade. The state law accommodating sewer entrepreneurs is the result of successful lobbying in the last quarter of the last century. We follow the law, the TLRSD says. This has been repeated many times. State law accommodates regional sewer districts at the express expense of citizen civil liberties.

Were it true that they followed the law, likely we would not be in this mess. The undertaking of the reformation of the Twin Lakes Sewer District was not done in compliance with law. No citizen, no township trustee had any input into the selection and subsequent appointment of the reformed TLRSD board. This was done out of compliance with law. Had these early members been properly selected, affected citizens would have had a say in the direction, structure and demeanor of the TLRSD board. They did not. Monon and Liberty Townships were first impacted by the TLRSD. A million dollars had been borrowed and spent prior to any township trustee being involved. Citizens of Monon and Liberty Townships in White County were left out – no due process. The TLRSD knows this yet they will state that they comply with the law.

After the selection of the TLRSD board, they undertook to develop a sewer system involving a wetland. At that time, the TLRSD was apprised by opposing counsel to the fact that the Monon and Liberty Township citizens failed to receive due process, that in fact the TLRSD had an illegal board. The TLRSD proceeded to correct this situation, with Art Anderson being referred to the board by the Union Township trustee. Art Anderson was the first legally appointed board member.

One would think the TLRSD would do better as they progress into other areas. Nope. Again, when they moved into Jefferson Township, Carroll County, citizens were not involved. Again, no due process.

Had citizens been appraised of this direction, we could have participated it the design of this district. The alleged invitation by the Carroll County Commissioners was to come into the edge of the county and attach only a few hundred homes. The TLRSD, once their foot was in the door, proceeded to attach each and every home along their path, running from Oakdale Dam to Buffalo.

As a decorated Vietnam veteran myself, it sickens me to see how this TLRSD and others tell half truths in order to promulgate their cause. They abide by law? What law? How do they reconcile the failure of their victims to receive due process? Again, in the case of Monon and Liberty Townships, citizen involvement, required in our form of government did not happen. Several years later, the same thing happened again – no citizen input as the TLRSD moved into Jefferson Township. While this is a failure on behalf of the then Carroll County Commissioners, and their lawyer, they are not fully at fault. Certain representations as to the scope and the need of a sewer project were made to them by the TLRSD. Once the ink dried however, the Carroll County Commissioners discovered they had turned loose an autonomous quasi-governmental entity in the county. Ultimately, after becoming enlightened as to the reality of the TLRSD, the Carroll County Commissioners made a number of attempts to right the wrong. They have had no influence on the TLRSD, nor IDEM. We citizens, nor our leaders have any input into what they will do. This must be rectified.
June

Monticello, IN

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#17
Sep 19, 2008
 
A lot of the citizens of Jefferson Twp. are on fixed incomes and live in the rural areas of the sewer district and they don't live near a creek or water way and are still being forced to go on TLRSD. We have rights and pay our taxes the same as everyone else and are still treated as 3rd rate citizens. TLRSD wants the almight dollar and we have no feelings or sayso in our future with them
Donald Huffman

Monticello, IN

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#18
Sep 19, 2008
 
Comminication is the name of the game, or it should have been, when in 2000 the Carroll county comissioners apparantly took it upon themselves to include Jefferson Township in what we all have since come to know as the TLRSD.
This farreaching decision by the comissioners has placed an unnessary financial burden to many of the citizens of the county who have no need of the services of TLRSD.
Now to whom do we turn when we feel "our backs are up against a wall"?
I say take our plea to "My Man Mitch"! Its a busy time for him, but it is a critical time for us..
Donald Huffman

Monticello, IN

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#19
Sep 19, 2008
 
Oops, meant to type communication!!
Norbert Fisher

Fishers, IN

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#20
Sep 19, 2008
 
I too own property along Lake Freeman in Jefferson Township in Carroll County. It is a Summer Place that used to be fun to go to and is used only 3 months out of every year. I have a perfectly good working septic system that was installed in the early 60's. The cottage is located approximately 100 yards from the lake with the septic mains located at the rear so the sewage travels away from the lake. The sandy soil that the sewage water must travel through if it should migrate toward the lake is a perfect filter so any sewage water reaching the lake would be pure. The drinking water well is located between the lake and the septic system and the water has been tested and is free of any polutants.
I am paying my sewer bills under protest. I have paid 12 payments of $32.50 to the Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District and have received no services from them plus the fact that they have torn up my property in 6 places by using heavy equipment to install the grinder pumps and make the piping hookups. When we are forced to hook up to their Sewer System next year, the cost will be $65 per month plus we must pay a tap in fee of $1000 and pay the cost of installing a latteral drain from our cottages to the grinder pumps. There has been no effort on behalf of the Sewer District to come in and repair the damage to my yard. Also there needs to be some kind of relief from payments given to the property owners who only use their places 3 months out of each year. Every time that I flush my toilet and wash my hands, after I am forced to hook into their sewer system, it will cost me approximately $25. Pretty darn salty, I'd say.

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