First Posted: 6/9/2014
To the Editor,
This last winter was one of the wettest I have seen in Robeson County in at least 12 years. As a commissioner, I have received numerous calls from people with septic tank and drainage problems. I understand the plea for help because I too have had gray water oozing from around my septic tank at my house.
Cuts in budgets across the board, especially with the Department of Transportation, make it difficult for government entities to keep the simplest of ditches clean, and it has been many years since any major ditching has been done. It is state law that the state nor the county can go onto private land to clean out ditches and that is where the bulk of the problem lays.
I think the day has come that we, the people, have to step up and work together to solve this issue. The government simply cannot do everything for us. It was not too long ago that people took a shovel and dug out their own ditches. Growing up on our family farm, I know there were many times when we had to take matters like this into our own hands.
As a commissioner, I know that our hands are tied when it comes to issues like this one, yet, this is one of the top issues our citizens are facing. Therefore, I have encouraged three communities and assisted the Forest Acres community to join together and form a drainage association, where each resident was asked to put $50 a year together to hire someone with a piece of equipment to clean out these ditches that are growing up with trees, being filled in with debris or sand. I will commit community development funds to help every community in District 6 that would like to organize a drainage association.
I encourage any community to get involved and I will be glad to assist in any way that I can. If you would like to organize a similar association in your community, now that it has dried up is the time to act. If we wait until it is wet again, you cannot get to the wet areas to work. Please feel free to give me a call at 910-258-1166.