County alters septic ordinance

Following an increasing number of complaints from citizens, the Copiah County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to amend the county’s ordinance regulating the disposal of wastewater and sewage.

Under the county’s 1991 ordinance, all citizens were required to get an inspection and final approval for their septic systems from the Health Department before they could get electricity turned on at their residence. The ordinance was designed to make sure homes are equipped with proper sewage treatment.

The problem, Supervisor Terry Channell told the board, is that residents with established working septic systems, which had been approved by the Health Department in the past, were being required to make expensive upgrades before the Health Department would approve them now. This has resulted in a delay in getting utilities connected for weeks, sometimes months, for many citizens.

Under the amended ordinance, homeowners who have purchased property with an existing septic system will no longer be required to undergo the Health Department approval process again in order to get utilities connected.

“Everybody should have a septic system of some sort,” said Channell. “We want people to have systems but we’re tired of them being harassed.”

Under the amended ordinance the only people required to get final approval from the Health Department will be new systems. The final inspection process will not apply to existing working systems that are just changing ownership. The text of the amended ordinance will be published.

OTHER BUSINESS

The board authorized the county crew to dig a grave on a donated plot for an unclaimed body.

The coroner and deputies were authorized to attend a death scene investigation course in Jackson.

Installation of a security fence was authorized around the air conditioning units at the courthouse. A unit was vandalized and rendered inoperable.

Publication of a flood plain ordinance was authorized. Rick Stevens and Randle Drane were authorized to join the Mississippi Association of Floodplain Managers.

Kim Ward and Jim Bennett of ComSouth updated the board on plans for the statewide radio system expected to be operational in 2009.

The Hazlehurst Water Department was authorized to bore under County Farm Road to install water service.

The board was updated on a meeting with DEQ last week to discuss the need for better communications between departments regarding testing and paperwork at the industrial park treatment plant.

Claims were approved totaling $1,685,079.53 before the board recessed until 6:30 p.m. Monday for a public hearing on a proposed trash pit in Crystal Springs.

The board will meet again on Thursday, November 13, at 9 a.m.

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