Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sewer districts consolidated

“I wish we could back up a little bit and take a little bit more in-depth look at some of the alternatives that have proven they can work in other towns,” Jerry Howard, citizen

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Dawson County Commissioners unanimously approved consolidation of the separate West Glendive sewer districts last week.

The disparate sewer districts will now be consolidated into the Metropolitan Sewer District No. One.

The move was a foregone conclusion. Commissioners held a public meeting on May 22 to inform West Glendive residents that the number of system users who submitted written protests about the consolidation was insufficient to stop it.

A total of 184 protest letters were submitted from amongst the 717 users connected to the West Glendive sewer system.

Commissioners have said the move is necessary because the existing sewer districts were created as Rural Special Improvement Districts, which do not allow for construction of new sewage treatment facilities or infrastructure, whatever form that may take.

The county is under a mandate from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to find a solution for the issues plaguing the West Glendive sewage lagoons. 

The lagoons are out of compliance with a number of DEQ and Environmental Protection Agency regulations concerning sewage discharge and pollutant levels. 

Commissioners have also stated they are firmly convinced that connecting to the wastewater plant is the county’s best and most cost-effective option.

Some West Glendive residents disagree, however, and both the plan to consolidate the sewage districts and connecting to the city plant have drawn their ire over concerns about increased sewage fees and fears about being annexed into the city.

Commissioners have consistently rebuffed that argument, pointing out that the city’s own annexation policy requires landowners to first petition the city for annexation.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

 
Get the whole story in the Thursday, June 19, 2014 issue of the Ranger-Review.
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