The Barry County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday on a resolution to rescind the Barry Eaton District Health Department’s time of sale or transfer regulation, or TOST.
Commissioner Vivian Conner brought the resolution forward. “I want to send a clear message. I want to rescind TOST by Dec. 31, and then sit down and come up with a voluntary system,” she said. She noted a different, voluntary program would be in addition to the safeguards already in place that protect the county’s water supply.
“In October we (the county commission) had a consensus to make TOST voluntary that didn’t change anything,” she said.Despite data collected by the county commission in a public meeting in August and an online poll that showed the residents overwhelmingly wanted the regulation revoked, and after two months of talks between the health board and BEDHD officials, the health department will not agree to give up the time of sale and transfer provision that triggers the initial inspection, she said.
“They don’t write the laws; we are the legislative body in Barry County. It’s been ten years…it’s time. I’m sure the health department will argue it’s a district, and you may hear some commissioners ask to go our separate ways. It may just stop enforcement in Barry County,” she said.
Conner said that their constituents have been asking, pleading and even demanding that the commission to do away with TOST since it went into effect.
“I want to start fresh in 2018 and know that it has been repealed based on our constituents requests. I don’t know how we can sit by and not do anything…we should listen to our people and do away with TOST.”
The regulation mandates inspection of on-site water and sewer systems in Barry and Eaton counties and, if deemed failing, replacement or repair before the sale or transfer of a property can be finalized.
Complaints in the past have included arbitrary and capricious decisions, the costs of inspection, autocratic management of the program by staff, an appeal that costs $350, too many delays, failing working systems and ordering them up to present day codes and violating property owner’s rights.