After much discussion by Ellis County commissioners, no action was taken to discontinue continuous maintenance contract requirements for septic systems.
The proposed change would have removed the continuous maintenance requirement of septic systems after the initial two-year period. A homeowner then can either maintain their system or obtain a new maintenance contract. If a homeowner had chosen to maintain their system, then no reporting to the county would be required.
Several residents voiced their opposition to the proposed change and the effect it would have on the county as a whole.
Randy Chellette, who is with the Texas Wastewater Association, told the court that this change would be a danger to public health and safety.
“These systems are mechanical and electrical components. Requiring maintenance of these systems in a pro-active manner is a matter of public health,” Chellette said. “This county alone has 27,000 on-site systems. That is a public health threat if they are not maintained properly. Without perpetual maintenance, you are taking a step back.”
Chellette encouraged the court to take the matter seriously and not to undo the work done by others.
Brian Wakefield shared Chellette’s thoughts about the proposed change. He noted regular maintenance on these systems prevents problems.
“A lot of counties have reinstituted this regulation. There are a lot of failure rates of systems with no regulations,” Wakefield said. “By having maintenance, we catch a lot of potential issues that they might not know about. We catch those (problems) before they become an issue.”
Wakefield added that maintenance contract is cheaper than a person yearly cable bill.
Resident Amy Hedtke spoke in favor of the proposed changes, sighting the removal of fees connected with the proposed change is a positive move by county officials.
Commissioner took no action on the item with a desire to review it further. The item will be brought back up to the court at a future date.
In other business commissioners,
• Approved a proposed amendment to the master fee schedule for the department of development.
• Approved to grant a one-time variance from section 8-A for residential lots of the adopted rules and regulations to allow a single-family residence on Alton Lane in Ennis without meeting the road frontage requirement
• Approved a request to grant a one-time variance from section eight to allow three driveway cuts onto old Buena Vista Road to serve three lots. The properties are located north of Old Buena Vista Road and east of Farm-to-Market Road in Maypearl.
• Approved to accept the renewal agreement for hot mix asphalt types B, C, D, and oil sand from Old Castle Materials Texas.
• Approved to reject miscellaneous construction due to no bids being received.
• Approved to place in effect the procedure when no bid submissions are received.
• Approved the purchase of a 2017 Ford 750 dump truck from Rush Truck Centers.
• Approved to purchase an RTAC compressor from American Mechanical with a five-year extended warranty.
• No action to enact a burn ban
• Approved a work order for the City of Garret for street repair work. The streets that are apart of this work are Boyce Drive, Hart Drive intersection, and the first blocks of Patrick, Conner, Merritt, and Williams Streets.
• Approved the submission of the comprehensive annual report.
• Took no action to change the court’s meeting time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Heard a report on the Innoprise project.
• Approved to allow SAGU students to film a sentencing scene in the commissioners’ courtroom in the Historic Ellis County Courthouse on May 7 as a requirement of a cinematic pre-production class.
• Approved the county attorney’s office to settle a claim on behalf of the county involving Kirk Ingram for damages resulting from the death of his dog.