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Camp issues brought before sewer district


An issue of another camp in the LaGrange County Regional Utility District’s Region B was brought before the board Wednesday night by Region B resident Tom Mason. Mason told the board that when the system was put in back in the late 1990s, Camp Lakewood was not hooked up, allowed to install a private system instead.

Mason noted that the camp, located on Lake of the Woods, has five septic systems installed between 1980 and 1996. The camp falls just outside the district’s 300 ft. rule to be required to hook into the Region B system. It would, though, fall within the county’s 500 ft. regulation to hook into an available sewer system, Mason noted.

In January 2013, Mason wrote to the county health department to request action to bring the camp into compliance with the county’s ordinance. The department’s response indicated that the county did not plan to pursue forcing the camp to hook into the system. Mason asked the utility district board what the process is to have the 500 ft. requirement followed by the county.

Board President Ron Kantorak told Mason that the health board and utility district are “two separate entities. Each can’t tell the other what to do.” As the camp lies just beyond the 300 ft. requirement for the utility district, the district cannot require the camp to hook into the system. “If the health department chooses to tell them to connect, that’s their decision,” Kantorak noted. Kontorak added that if the camp is required to hook into the system by the county, the district can facilitate that.

Utility district attorney John Gastineau noted that it did not seem that the board had any cause to act on the issue “until approached by the property owner to connect.” Until then, he added, the district could not make any decisions on how to proceed.

Mason asked that the district note in writing that they would work with the county to connect the camp. Gastineau advised that no action or written communication be taken at this time on the issue.

In other business:

Don Chesher of the Michiana Baptist Camp at Shipshewana Lake discussed billing for a home connection at the camp that then ran through a meter for the camp. The camp is being billed a flat rate for the home and a metered use rate for the camp. Chesher asked if there was a way to separate the house flow from the metered billing. “The fact is, we’re paying $68 per month for the house, then that goes through the meter. We get charged twice for the house,” Chesher said.

Gastineau told Chesher that under state law and the district’s billing ordinance, they bill for each use, which accounts for the bill for the home and the bill for the camp.

Board member Pat Wiltshire noted that it did not look like it was possible to split the flow from the house so it did not go through the meter.


The board approved a change in their meeting dates. Beginning with the April meeting, district board meetings will be held on the third Thursday of the month, moving the April meeting to the 18.