Barry County Commission Chairman Ben Geiger said he is prepared to confront the issue of a Barry Eaton District Health Department regulation named time of sale of transfer or TOST. His proposal for reviewing the entire program will include a new online comment portal and a public listening session..
“It has been 10 years since the TOST Regulation was enacted. A lot has changed in 10 years. Commissioners have changed. Attitudes have changed,” Geiger said Tuesday. “But one thing has not: concerns about how the program is affecting homeowners. We’ve all heard input on TOST. But, our health department structure doesn’t allow for everyone to be involved in the discussion.
“When I became chair, I promised to be welcoming to everyone wanting to be involved the policy process. I intend to keep this promise. “Next week, I will present my proposal for reviewing the TOST regulation. By listening to everyone, and having a honest discussion about what’s working and what isn’t working, we will find the right strategy for protecting our environment without burdening homeowners with red tape and unnecessary costs,” he said.
The TOST regulation was designed to protect the county’s water supply by inspection and replacement or repairs of on-site water or sewer systems if they are deemed failing. Heath department certified inspectors make those determinations whenever a property in Barry and Eaton counties is sold or transferred.
However, the regulation has been roundly criticized since it was put in place; many over the years bitterly complained to commissioners of the costs involved, health department officials going beyond the scope of the regulation, arbitrary and capricious decisions and poor public relations.