POLAND Residents fume over septic mess

Unhappy residents want to talk with more county officials.
POLAND -- Storm flooding, overflowing septic tanks, foul odors and costly solutions have Spitler Road residents seeing red.
About 25 people living in the area fired questions Wednesday at township administrator James Scharville and John Warino of the Mahoning County Sanitary Engineer's Office about too much storm water for their septic tanks to handle.
They say the problem is being caused by a nearby housing development built some 25 years ago without a proper retention pond.
"My main problem with this is that the township and county did not do their job 20 or 25 years ago when that development was put into place," said Spitler Road resident Jerry Kotch.
"They did not reroute the water the way it was suppose to be. Now runoff water is coming down on us."
Insufficient systems: The county board of health has deemed two septic systems insufficient and has ordered the homeowners tie into the county's sewer system. Peggy Moore and Charles Craig got the letters in April, telling them they have 180 days to get the work done.
Other Spitler Road residents say their septic tanks are working fine, but they fear being forced to tie into the county's main sewer line.
Moore and Craig said homeowners are apprehensive about tying into the system because of the cost associated with buying and maintaining a pump needed to grind and send waste on its way. They also say the pump would have to sit in the front of each home, potentially lowering property value and causing a stench.
Costs: Scharville said the estimated cost can run as high as $11,000. That's not counting the required $1,200 tie-in fee.
Residents say that also doesn't include routine maintenance expenses and an increase in the home's electric bill.
Warino said residents could opt to put in a gravity line, but once that's installed, all residents within 200 feet of the line would be required to tie in and divide the cost.
Those options did not satisfy the residents, who have requested another meeting with representatives of the prosecutor's office, sanitary engineer, county engineer, health department and township trustees.
Warino said he isn't certain if the storm water problem is being caused by design flaws in a neighboring development, but water retention laws have changed since that area was developed in the 1970s.

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