Marietta (Washington County Ohio) as a city has an obligation to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant and increase the capacity of the underground pipes taking away all the sewage from two communities, Devola and Oak Grove, sadly work met with a number of blockages.
The City’s administration and the County Commissioners are now planning to mediate, the first time the two sides have met since august two years ago.
John Petro, is to act as the mediator as agreed between the city’s attorney, Matt Dooley and the County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Coil.
The mediation will cover breaches alleged by both sides of the Intergovernmental Agreement (May 2011).
The scheduled upgrade was to be completed by 2018 (a mere three decades since its last update) but so far only the first phase for Devola has been completed and not even that phase has reached conclusion for Oak Grove. Part of the reason is said to be a pressing need to deal with the level of nitrates in groundwater in Devola.
County Commissioner Rick Walters said “I’m hoping as we sit down and talk that these timelines are adjusted because nobody has met the full timeline”
City Engineer Joe Tucker said “It’s a straightforward solution to an environmental problem, but both sides need to come to the table with a willingness to make some compromises.”
The mediation is expected to take place over a number of meetings and Coil said “We’re going to have to look at the whole picture and get creative as we explore the options…Nothing is binding with mediation but (Petro) is going to help each see potential movement and common ground.”
Residents have additional concerns about cost (estimated at $417 per year per household) and increased taxation to cover loan agreements Ed Russell of Devola said “We don’t need it, we don’t need our property torn up and we don’t need the extra costs.” He added that there were additional costs not covered by the estimates provided including the cost of ending the use of septic tanks.
Director of environmental health for the Washington County Health Department, Josh Lane, said “We don’t have an abandonment fee [for septic tanks]. We just want people to do it properly by having it pumped, crushed and filled or pumped and filled with peat…If Devola is sewered they would be required to disconnect all the drains from their tank and reroute that to the line as well as properly abandon their tank….people with septic tanks should be having their tank pumped every three years anyways... “I would imagine the market on pumping and crushing in this area will get pretty competitive depending on how this matter shakes out.”
Meanwhile efforts to avoid more brown stuff hitting the fan on an international level with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arriving in Doha this week in an effort to resolve the standoff between Turkey’s ally, Qatar, and the rest of the Gulf states.
The President has already met with King Salman in Jeddah and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Kuwait.
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (Kuwait’s Emir) who is acting as international mediator met with Erdogan following the cutting off of Qatar relations by neighbouring states Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt.
Erdogan released a statement saying "No one has any interest in prolonging this crisis any more” before accusing unnamed enemies of stirring up trouble in the area..
That Turkey is also setting its only military base in the region in Qatar (and has brought forward the plans to complete the build) has nothing to do with Erdogan’s backing of the Qatari government. But Erdogan treads a fine line as Turkey’s recent EU troubles mean that the country can ill afford to upset Saudi Arabia and avoided criticising the state when adding "As the elder statesman in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia has a big role to play in solving the crisis" before confirming he supported Kuwait’s efforts at mediation.
Sometimes in life whether you’re a sheikh or a council worker the sh*t can hit the fan. The knee jerk reaction to call in the lawyers is not the only way forward.
The much cheaper and quicker solution is to call for a mediator, Northwest Mediation has a great track record in resolving issues between businesses and within families, from neighbour disputes, inheritance claims and contractual disputes we can help you find a workable solution that will take you forward.
Don’t litigate, mediate.
Call Ed Johnson on 07931318347 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org