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Letter to the Editor | Objections to Washington Co. special assessment for Private On-Site Treatment Systems | By David L. and Lynn S. Williams

July 18, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – I choose to present my strong objection to the Special Assessment for properties with Private On-Site Treatment Systems in written form and trust that as the letter to residents states, “Written comments will be read at the public hearing and will be given the same weight as oral testimony.”

My comments follow relevant sections of the synopsis…..

EXCERPTS FROM: Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) Maintenance Program Special Charge Tax Assessment Report June 2019

(1) ” …..because the cost of this program makes sense to be borne by users rather than taxpayers at large.”

“Program Benefits
Land Resources programming in Washington County has a vision for “protected and improved land & water resources.” One of the primary reasons for POWTS regulations and properly maintaining POWTS is the health of families, communities and the environment. When septic systems fail, inadequately treated household wastewater is released into the environment and human contact can pose a significant risk to public health. Failing systems can contaminate nearby wells, groundwater, and drinking water sources. (EMPHASIS ADDED) …”

RESPONSE: The benefit of POWTS monitoring DOES benefit ALL taxpayers. As stated, failing systems can contaminate groundwater and drinking water sources. All homeowners , including those on on city sewers, DO realize a benefit from the program.

CONCLUSION: The cost for monitoring POWTS should be borne by all taxpayers and be part of the county budget, as it has been ever since monitoring became required.

(2) The allocation of 40% of “Salary & Wages” (and similarly in all the line items) in the proposed 2020 Budget to the POWTS program is excessive.

RATIONALE: Proof of compliance is only required every third year. Therefore, in any year only one-third of the 20,000 POWTS owner need to be contacted, i.e. 6,666. Suppose that 80% of the owners comply after the first post card mailing, then only 1,333 require further follow-up.

CONCLUSION: If there is to be Special Assessment the Board should require the Department to evaluate and justify how it could possibly require $227,527 to monitor the program.

Respectfully submitted,

David L. and Lynn S. Williams



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  1. Posted by Diane Rehm

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