Septic permits back on Commission agenda

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 2/10/19

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Septic permits back on Commission agenda

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The Bradley County Commission is slated to again discuss septic tank permits during its upcoming work session on Monday.

As of Friday, the septic permits and an update on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway from Cameron Fisher, member of the Greenway Advisory Board, were the only agenda items.

Septic tank permits were a heavily discussed topic at the county commission’s Jan. 28 work session, when Commissioner Charlotte Peak announced the local building industry has been dealing with issues related to septic system permits since 2009. She said there have been several issues because no one is handling local permits.

Among the speakers bringing their concerns to the county commission were Blake Allison, president of the Ocoee Region Builders Association; Lake Mantooth, a local builder and member of ORBA's board of directors; Charles Brown with Brown Surveying Company, LLC; and Dustin Wong, a local builder and ORBA board member.

Allison said in 2009 the State of Tennessee made promises to remedy issues regarding septic permits, but currently there is no staffer in the local office.

"Permits are supposed to regularly take five to seven days," Allison said. However, they are taking weeks to months to be approved, which is costing developers and homeowners time and money due to delays, he said.

Allison said the concerns are not a reflection on individual inspectors "but the system as a whole." He said there is no way to easily get in touch with anyone to get a septic permit; when you do the inspectors "are short on time." He added there are incidents of soil maps and percolation tests already done on permitted subdivisions having to be redone.

Allison said ORBA encourages Bradley County "to bring this division in-house" and streamline the process and make it more user-friendly.

Brown said he has worked with many people over his nearly 43 years in the business, and all have different methods. However, he said he has never had as many problems related to getting septic permits as he is having now. Part of the issue is that the state now requires the permitting process to be done online, he said.

"I think Bradley County deserves more than we're getting," Brown said.

The Bradley County Commission’s next schedule meeting is a work session at noon on Monday, Feb. 19, at the Courthouse.

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