OTTAWA — Putnam County officials are in the preliminary stages of a feasibility study to consider a regional water and sewer district for the county.
Nearly a year ago, the Putnam County commissioners approved a resolution in support of a partnership agreement between the village of Ottawa and the commissioners for a regional water and sanitary sewer.
“We know that EPA regulations for water and sanitary sewer systems are becoming more stringent and costly for villages,” said Putnam County Commissioner Travis Jerwers. “This is why we agreed to do a feasibility study.”
Commissioner John Love said the county has the power to establish sewer districts outside an incorporated village.
“This was passed in the 1990s to allow service outside an incorporated area,” he said.
The county is in charge of sewer service for properties outside the village of Ottawa’s corporation. The sewer services are provided by the village of Ottawa.
Poggemeyer Design Groups has proposed the county consider establishing a countywide regional water and sewer district.
Love said it requires several steps before this is done including filing a petition in Putnam County Common Pleas Court. Once a district is established, it is run by a board of trustees that cannot include a majority of elected officials from the district. Public hearings are also required before a regional water and sewer district can be established.
“We’re a long way from doing any of these steps,” Love said.
He said the commissioners right now are only having discussions with Miller City officials about providing sewer services for their town.
“We already provide water for them,” Love said. “That is a done deal.”
Love said Miller City residents have private sewer systems. The study for this project includes the costs for residents and whether it is an economical plan.
“We can see the need for a regional district because of increasing [Environmental Protection Agency] guidelines for villages and rural subdivisions, but this requires a lot of study and discussion before anything is done,” Love said.