Baldwin Lake residents express concern with sewer repairs at lake


By Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 7:25 pm on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baldwin Lake residents Don Gibbs and Charlotte Lothian speak to the Greenville Council about their concerns with how a septic system at the lake will be repaired and who will share in the costs. Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

GREENVILLE — The lawsuit between the city of Greenville and Eureka Township that stemmed from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is long settled, but the issue behind the request is far from being resolved.

In 2012, City Manager George Bosanic filed a FOIA request seeking public records of an agreement between the city and the township relating to grinder pumps and a forced sewer main constructed near Baldwin Lake. The lake is partially in Eureka Township and partially in Greenville.

At Tuesday’s Greenville Council meeting, residents of Baldwin Lake and members of its board expressed their concern with the unfolding of the efforts to repair/replace portions of the sewer system around the lake.

“The system is old, having been put into service back in 1986,” said Don Gibbs, a Baldwin Lake resident who spoke on behalf of several others present at the meeting. “The grinder pumps, which energize the system, are at or beyond their projected useful life and need to be replaced. How do we go about getting his problem resolved?”

In 1986, the city and Eureka Township together created a sewer authority that would provide a grinder pump force main system around the lake after an engineering firm found an inadequate septic system was a major contributor to poor water quality.

Those grinder pumps are now in great need of repair, but the question is who will repair them and also who will fund it.

The issue was set aside during the FOIA lawsuit, but now that that’s settled, residents want to see action and say the city, as well as the township, should share in the work, something they say was part of the 1986 agreement.

“As customers of the system, we greatly appreciate the service the city and its sewer department have provided over the years. The service and strength of the agreements have created an expectation, on the part of the customers, that such service will be ongoing,” said Charlotte Lothian, another resident who spoke Tuesday.

Bosanic told The Daily News on Tuesday many of the issues brought up by the Baldwin Lake residents were untrue, especially that the city was attempting to completely back out of involvement in the system’s repair.

“The city has a responsibility to everyone,” he said. “We realize the lake is an asset and this is a part of the city’s concern.”

He did say the city was working with township officials and the Baldwin Lake Board on different plans for repair, but the city was also looking to draft new agreements that would replace those signed in 1986.

“That was then and this is now,” Bosanic said.

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