Some residents in Steuben County are angry with the County's Lakes Regional Waste District.
They say the waste district is looking to making them connect to a new sewer system. It could cost thousands of dollars for residents to hook up. The district says the proposal is still in the research stage.
Jim Salway is a part of that core group of Steuben County residents who are mad at the County Lakes Regional Waste District. He says "I want clean water. I don't want any sewage out there. I don't want any bad septic tanks. I just don't want to be told I have to do it when mine is working and when the people next to me is working."
The Waste District heard proposals from companies bidding on the preliminary engineering and environmental reports. District officials say they understand residents are mad, but they're just doing their job. Tim Fredrick, the Superintendent of the Steuben Lakes Waste District says "The Indiana codes are set up that we regulate sewage that's in our district. That was established back in 1975."
Slaway says there are no grounds for the sewer. He said "Under law they are entitled to expand there. We through as citizens say they haven't shown a good reason to expand. I have water quality reports that show that the water will not improve."
The Waste district has already set up a sewer system in two other sections of the district. Depending on who you talk to, hooking up to the sewer will cost between $900 to $10,000 and there's a monthly service fee. Salway says some people will lose their homes due to the cost to hook up. Fredrick responded to the cost concerns saying "I understand where they are coming from. You would go from not paying a monthly bill to paying something that's $75 to $100. I didn't like it. I adjusted."
The Waste District says this must be done to preserve the lake environment. Fredrick said "The other big thing about this is it's a lake area. We have 101 plus lakes here in Steuben County. That's our most precious resource for life. How would you live without water? You wouldn't." But Salway claims they are motivated by money.
If the district decided to move forward with the project construction wouldn't start for anther five years.