Local News

A divisive regulation mandating inspection of on-site wells and septic systems and repair or replacement of any system deemed failing before closing on the sale of property in two counties moved one step closer to repeal Wednesday.


The controversial Barry Eaton District Health Department’s 10-year-old time of sale of transfer regulation, or TOST, was the subject of a public hearing at the Board of Health meeting before the members voted 4-2 to repeal it. The board is made up of three Barry County Commissioners and three Eaton County Commissioners.


Barry commissioners Ben Geiger, Dan Parker and David Jackson, and Eaton Commissioner Blake Mulder voted for repeal; Eaton Commissioners Jane Whitacre and Joseph Brehler voted against repeal. About 70 people attended the meeting, with speakers almost evenly divided pro and con, Geiger said.


The next step in the process of rescinding the regulation is consideration by both county commissions. If both panels concur with the Board of Health, the regulation will be repealed.

Eaton County has tentatively set its meeting date on March 21.


“We will have some procedural issues at the committee of the whole meeting on March 6,” Geiger said, “but, the review of the agreement on March 13 will be Barry County’s conclusion of the agreement. We have worked through the process to the conclusion on to repeal on the 13th.


“TOST has done a lot of good in protecting public health, but it also seriously polarized our communities. We need a process that brings us together on public health and in clean water; we need a new policy that protects the environment and the rights of home owners,” Geiger said.//


In the Barry County Commision meeting on Tuesday, commissioners approved:

* A MDEQ Brownfield Grant application for Stickmann Baeckerie in Yankee Springs

* A one-time expenditure of $107,657.25 to replace several roofs for Charlton Park buildings.

* Appointment of Carrie Larabee to a three-year-term on the Community Corrections Advisory Board.

* A Risk Avoidance Program Grant application and funding for court security improvement.

* A resolution to allow the County Drain Commission exceed its $10,000 a year spending limit on maintenance of a dam at Upper Crooked Lake.

* The Renewal of CBIZ Retirement Plan Services for $11,000 to complete the 2017 actuarial valuation of other post-employment benefits for the county.

* A Thornapple Parks & Recreation Commission request to reappoint Catherine Getty to the Barry County Parks & Recreation Board for a three-year term.










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