Devola resident questions official motives of Devola sewer proposal

My wife and I have lived in Devola for over 30 years. When we first bought our home in this wonderful neighborhood we immediately found out we had a septic problem. We didn’t call our neighbors or petition our county commissioners to come up with a solution to our problem, or ask them for the funds to fix it……we called a local service and had it taken care of properly.

I am writing this letter after being silent for years about the issues concerning the sewering of Devola. I will stand my ground against any agency that forces people who already have an approved means of disposing of their sewage, into using a more costly, unnecessary system, derived from the City of Marietta expanding their waste water system, while requiring funds from the residents of Devola and Oak Grove to bail them out! What have we, as a society come to; there wasn’t any formal information given to the Devola or Oak Grove residents back when our prior county commissioners made an “inner-governmental agreement” to allow the City of Marietta to collect sewage from ours and other surrounding communities. It makes me wonder why the plan was developed to even start with! The more I read, the more I attend meetings involving this discussion, the more I am convinced that it is strictly a political strategy by the City of Marietta to have their new upgrade paid for by people who are not residents of the city. The officials bring up this 40 year agreement that was made “behind our backs” by prior administration. Where was the public input and the meetings to discuss those issues back then? We didn’t have them, because we were never formally informed! We don’t pay city tax unless we work in the city. We have no rights to vote on any of Marietta City elections, we have no say in anything that has to do with the city, yet we are now being asked to FUND the city with our dollars for their sewage plant upgrade!

I am appalled that we are being “forced” into either paying a higher tax or coming up with thousands of dollars to upgrade “my” sewage system (a properly working septic)….to a system that I absolutely have no say in how it is governed! I also realize that some of my neighbors do have issues…..and I would think it would be less costly if the folks making all these determinations would put their efforts to helping these people solve their septic issues rather than making hundreds of other homes with good working septic systems to pay the ultimate price to fix the ones that are supposedly causing the issue if that is even the case, I tend to dispute the so-called fact finding information.

The second part that I question and have issues with are as follows: The EPA has made a determination, but have failed to bring any “substance” to their findings to the people of Devola. Yes, we all know that crap flows downhill, but right now the crap from both the EPA and Marietta City Administration is settling in the Devola area……nobody wants to give the citizens of our community the “Truth” behind the findings. There is no way that I am ready to believe that this whole situation was not set up by the rebuilding of the treatment plant in Marietta and I am even more confounded by the ideas about how much “flow” is needed in order to operate this new facility. No, I will readily admit I am not educated enough to determine all the factors involved, I am not an engineer….or an environmental expert, but it seems there have been a lot of “engineering gaffs” in that waste water expansion project to begin with…..and to say that the “flow’ is needed from the other communities to make the system work properly is just plain wrong! How many new hotels have been built in our area? Did the city plan for “flow” from them? Look out Newport…..the City of Marietta may need to add on to their waste water plant to handle the hotel flow……they may have our County Commissioners make some kind of deal to include you as well!

That last statement was in no way a reference toward our current County Commission. I am proud of the fact that our current commissioners are taking a stand…..I am glad that Dr. Wittberg is also providing information that has “substance!” I promise that I am not going to sit by idly and cooperate with a project that is going to affect my ability to stay in this area to live. I am very saddened that the governing bodies are determined to push this sewer system down our throats without “substance!”

I don’t know who else we can turn to as a community…I do care for my neighbors that have septic issues……I am not opposed to change or growth, I just think that the cost of what is being proposed is horrific and is extremely unfair to those residents of Devola that have approved septic systems that have been checked by the County Health Dept. and have met all tests to prove they are a viable system.

I also think about all the other people in this state that have no sewage disposal system, not even a septic tank, they have “out-houses!” How does the EPA allow that to continue to be? I am amazed that we the citizens of Devola are being singled out “to make an example of” in my best estimation. If I wanted to be a part of the City of Marietta, I would have stayed a resident.

I chose to move to Devola, and until this “crap” started with the sewer system, I was proud to be associated with the Marietta Community as a whole. As of this writing, I am unsure of what we as a community will be “allowed” to do. This is a pure case of “taxation without representation” or to be blunt….a really stinky situation which I am unsure that the smell is truly coming from Devola septic systems……I think the stench is being generated elsewhere with a monetary windfall to help fund the nice aroma that the new treatment plant expels!

Greg Dent lives in Devola