A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect for Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Madision, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, & Washington Counties until 8am Saturday morning.
Health concerns over stagnant water and unpleasant smells has caused state and county officials to monitor Iola's waste management.
Debbie Rowinsky lives in Iola and says resident sewer systems are the reason.
"There were several complaints filed with the county and the state about septic sewage system runoff into the ditches in Iola," Rowinsky said.
She says those complaints have now forced residents to come up with a workable solution to avoid being cited by the county.
The state health department says septic systems in Iola are not in compliance according to the state code. And if they are not upgraded, residents cited for non-compliance could be fined five hundred dollars for every day it takes to bring the septic system up to code.
"We were given like four (or) five options on what we could do," Rowinsky said.
Those options include:
1: Doing nothing and paying the citation fines.
2: Residents could decide to bear the expense of bringing their systems up to close which could cost $6,500 in some instances.
3: Hire a private company to put in a sewage treatment facility and then pay whatever rates they set.
4: Iola incorporates itself and become a city.
Anderson Attorney Lovett Boggess says the latter is most beneficial.
"Their best avenue is my mind is to incorporate," Boggess said. "Because it normally works better for the community, in my view, than a water district or a municipal district of some kind."
Boggess has worked with both Anderson and Bedias to become incorporated and he says if Iola incorporates, the city would be eligible for part loan/part grant monies. That money could then be used to construct a wastewater collection and treatment plant like Anderson and Bedias.
Residents in Iola will have the chance to discuss the proposed options and their concerns in a community meeting set for March 22.
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