TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — People in Romney are being forced to hook up to the town's future sewage system. This comes after some have had waste seeping into their yards from other homes.
The Tippecanoe County Health Department said the current sewage situation in Romney is putting the town at risk.
Some would really benefit from a new, collective sewage system but some feel Romney is making them pay for other people's problems.
"There was nothing but sewage coming up in our backyard," said Penny Finfrock. "Our grand-kids couldn't go out in it, we couldn't let our dogs out in it, you didn't want to be around it because it stunk."
It wasn't Finfrock's sewage in her backyard.
"We would get it from houses way down coming up in our yard and there was big puddles where it was coming up," said Finfrock. "You can't live like that."
The Finfrocks were one family of many in this town experiencing these problems. That's why the Regional Romney Sewage District stepped in 12 years ago. A new sewage system is just now becoming a reality.
"For quality of health in Romney, Indiana, it needs to be done," said Romney Sewage District President John Basham. "We have 142 homes and we have 96 letters already signed for easements."
Some who haven't signed said it's because they can't afford it.
"We run out of money each month now," said Nancy Cook. "And now we are going to have to struggle even more."
To hook up, you have to pay for installation and a monthly sewage fee.
"At least $80 a month," said Basham.
That's too much for Cook. Her father has Dementia and they're living off his retirement.
"'Cause I can't get out and work right now because of him, I have to take care of him," said Cook.
Basham said you either hook up and the pay the fee or get fined $100 per day.
Cook said she's probably going to have to move which makes her sad.
"I like the little town feel and we know all of our neighbors and everything," said Cook.
"Do I think it would be a good thing for the people in Romney?" asked Dan Anes. "Yes."
But Anes already invested a lot into in his own septic system and said it works perfectly. He doesn't want to have to pay for something he doesn't need.
"They're going to tear up the front of my yard out here and all that back here," said Anes. "There's no way they can avoid it. But I can't charge them $100 a day for all of this."
Anes doesn't think a fine for not hooking up is fair.
"I don't know what else to do other than torch it or something I guess," said Anes. "I think that's the most ridiculous thing. But I can guarantee one thing they're getting into one hell of a battle before they did."
"It's a positive thing for us, I understand others it's not and I feel bad about that," said Finfrock. "I'm sorry it has to be this way, if I was on their side I would understand and be fighting it just like they are. But thank you for doing it because it is extremely going to benefit us and several others."
The next public sewage meeting is Oct. 23.
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