Lee County officials want to eliminate pollution in Lake Chatfield
By Andy Devine, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LEE COUNTY, Ia. (WGEM) -
A Lee County lake is polluted and there's a push to fix the problem, but not everyone likes the proposed solution.
Lee County Board Supervisor Ernie Schiller says an aging sewer system is the reason for the pollution in Lake Chatfield.
County officials are trying to build a new sewer system, but some of the funding for the project will come from residents in the unincorporated Powder Town/Mooar area.
"It's kind of polluted with human waste that is entering there that is not being treated effectively," Schiller said. "If the sewer system isn't being effectively treated than of course you have some possibility with transmission of diseases."
That's why the board approved a project to build a new sewer system with the help of RUSS or Regional Utilities Service System.
"RUSS is a 10 County Consortium," Schiller said. "It's its own individual, stand alone organization and what they do is apply for grant funds for things like this and they manage the 40-year loan."
Ballpark figures put the new sewer at about $1 million and residents in the Powder Town/Mooar area will have to start paying a monthly sewer bill to help pay back those loans. It's something that not all residents are on board with.
"I don't want to pay that," George Thomas said. "I don't have the money. It's hard to get money when you're retired you know."
Other residents say the problem needs to be resolved because if not they could also have a hard time selling their homes in the area.
"How can they sell their home because they have to have the sewer system pass inspection with our county board of health and if it doesn't pass they have to put a new one in and there's not enough space," Schiller said.
Schiller says now that they have approved the project they have to wait for the other 9 counties to approve the project as well before they can move forward.
He says they don't know how much the sewer bills would be for residents yet if the project gets the green light.
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