In May of 2013, county health department employee and then-commissioner John Kennard alleged that there was “an environmental nightmare” in Bean Blossom. His claim served as the premise to establish a county-wide regional sewer district, a proposed sewer project for Bean Blossom, and an aggressive septic maintenance program that would need to be supported with an ordinance.
- Brown County Democrat May 1, 2013. “Brown County Commissioner John Kennard called Bean Blossom an “environmental nightmare” due to many failed septic systems in the town located north of Nashville. The comment came during discussion of forming a countywide sewer district. Kennard said the purpose of the district would be to increase the chances of Bean Blossom acquiring a grant to pay for installation of a sewer system for the town. Commissioners voted 3-0 to pursue formation of the district, which could include a septic maintenance program.”
A new ordinance was passed by the commissioners in 2013, successfully challenged in court, and rescinded in 2015. Mr. Kennard, in addition to the proposed new 2020 ordinance, led efforts to develop a new ordinance in 2017 and 2018. These versions were considered by the Health Board, opposed by citizens, and disapproved by the commissioners. Clint Studabaker, vice president of the Brown County Regional Sewer District Board, has also been a significant contributor to the proposed 2020 ordinance.
- Brown County Matters – Facebook Post – Feb 19, 2020, Commissioner Meeting-Proposed Ordinance
Since May 1, 2013, there has been no documented evidence that supports the claim of an “environmental nightmare” in Bean Blossom. The January 28, 2020 article in the Democrat – “Stream Sampling: Where’s the contamination coming from?” does not support the allegation of contamination caused by failed septic systems. To quote: “Is E. coli found in local waterways coming from humans or from animals? Short answer: We don’t know yet.”
Further, the past two Brown County RSD Board presidents – Evan Werling and Judy Swift- Powdrill acknowledged that there was no documented evidence of failed septic systems that would validate a need for a new sewer plant in Bean Blossom.
BCRSD Board. At their Feb 11, 2020 board meeting, Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) board members acknowledged that they did not know of any evidence of failed septic systems in their district. Current board President Mike Leggins stated that Brownies Restaurant in Bean Blossom closed as a result of a failed system. Septic systems designed for commercial use are approved and inspected by the State.
Commissioners. At their meeting on Feb 19, 2020, Brown County Commissioners (Diana Biddle and Jerry Pittman) also acknowledged that there is no documented evidence of failed septic systems in the county.