BRADFORD — Bradford Council discussed a grouping of nine properties outside of the village where the properties’ septic systems have failed, causing the creation of a cesspool, during their meeting Thursday evening.
Village Administrator Rick Looker updated the council at a meeting held the night prior to the council’s meeting that included himself, Bradford Mayor Don Stump, the Darke County Commissioners, Adams Township trustees, the Darke County Health Department, a representative from the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office, a representative from Gettysburg, and a representative from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency about the nine properties and the cesspool forming on Zerber Road.
“They are trying to put together somewhat of a plan,” Looker said.
Looker said that the Darke County commissioners are asking if Gettysburg and the village of Bradford would consider taking in the sewage of those properties for treatment at the village’s wastewater facilities. Darke County would have to pay the upfront cost of installing the infrastructure to connect those properties to wastewater lines. The only cost to the village would be treating the wastewater.
Council member Sandra Miller asked what would happen if the village decided against taking in the wastewater of those properties, which include seven trailers and two houses.
Looker said the properties would be condemned and the occupants of the residences would be evicted.
“Do we have the capabilities to take them in?” council member Bob Daugherty asked.
Looker said that they do. The county would establish a sewer district for those properties, and the village would have to put in a rate structure for that sewer district. The village would then bill that sewer district, which the county would pay. The county would then bill those property owners for the infrastructure to connect those properties to the sewer lines as well as for the cost of treating the sewage.
“If you say you’re not willing to consider it, then that stops the process right there, but if you’re willing to consider it, at least it’s still on the table,” Looker said.
Looker mentioned there was a concern that the property owners might not pay those costs back, so the county commissioners may decide not to go through with that possible plan even if the village agreed to take in those properties.
“They’re still questioning on whether they want to take on that liability of funding that project without guaranteeing that money will come back to them,” Looker said.
Council member Deb Warner and Stump agreed that they would be willing to consider taking in those properties, although they were not committing to the idea. Council member Jeff Wirrig disagreed, saying that they should not consider it.
“It’s clear out of the jurisdiction,” Wirrig said. “Anything that comes in now should be annexed to this village.” Wirrig added that, in his opinion, most of the trailers there should have already been condemned. “The health department should have done their job a long time ago and gotten rid of them.”
Council member Galen Balmert said he agreed with Wirrig.
The council did not take any action on the measure. They agreed to continue the conversation during their next meeting before telling the county commissioners their decision.
The council approved one item of legislation during the meeting, a resolution allowing Village Clerk Brenda Selanders to transfer funds. This resolution included transferring $7,000 from the street fund for pot hole repairs and crack filling.