A possible violation of an onsite wastewater treatment system violation at a rental property in Buena Vista was investigated by the Chaffee County Commissioners acting as the Board of Health July 9.

County Engineer Gary Greiner reported to the board that he went out to the property at  9155 CR 330 in Buena Vista for an inspection on June 27 after receiving a telephone call from an individual who claimed that there was a plugged sewer line, with sewage going into the ground, under one of the cabins on the site. Greiner went on to say that he was unable to complete an inspection of the cabin in question at the time.

Libby Butler, the manager of the rental property, said June 23, “we were called and told that water was not flowing smoothly” in one of the bathrooms at the cabin. She said that the tenant was working with someone to fix the problem. According to Butler, this person thought the problem was a 90-degree-angle pipe under the house, which he offered to replace.

At the same time, Butler said, she was making calls to service companies to get the septic tank pumped. Unlimited Sanitary responded and pumped out the tank. “We did not know there were any complaints,” Butler continued, asking why she had not got any notification from the county of either the complaint or of Greiner’s visit to the property: “We want to be in compliance.”

Judy Green, the property owner, stated that the first notice she got of possible effluents under the house was on June 27. According to her, the telephone call to Greiner came from the tenant’s friend who had repaired, and that this friend was not a licensed plumber. Butler and Green both stated that the septic company that pumped out the tank said that there was no problem with the tank settling or with the connecting pipes.

“What’s the evidence that there’s a problem?” Commissioner Greg Felt asked Greiner. “Is there anything in the short-term solution that actually involves us?”

County Attorney Jenny Davis suggested that the board make a directive to the effect that a licensed plumber go out to inspect the alleged violation, “since we’re here.”

Commissioner Rusty Granzella made the motion to direct staff and owners to have the site inspected by a licensed plumber within 30 days and work together to make sure that any issues get resolved, with the Board of Health hearing continued until Aug. 20 meeting. Keith Baker seconded, and the motion carried 3-0.

After re-convening as the Board of Commissioners, Davis then made a case for hiring a code compliance officer, saying that such an officer would be authorized to investigate alleged violations such as the one the Board of Health had just heard, which would save staff and board time.

In other business, the commissioners considered and approved Resolution 2019-50 for the Melton Minor Subdivision at 32900 County Road 371 after determining, per County Inspector John Roorda, that it was appropriate not to require a Right to Ranch note on the final plat.

The commissioners also approved a plat amendment for Robert and Deborah Ball, to shift the boundaries on the “build-able envelope” on their property at 9062 Range Lane. They then heard a report from the county assessor, considered letters of interest from candidates to replace Don McCabe for the remainder of his term on the Planning Commission, and heard other staff reports.

County Administrator Bob Christiansen reported that he had received seven applications for the emergency manager position, and hoped to schedule interviews before the end of the month.

Administrative Assistant Patty Baldwin gave an update on the 7 Peaks Music Festival scheduled for Labor Day weekend, saying that she still needed information on trash agreements and drug search procedures. Baker said that he would follow up with the organizers.

Davis also said that she had filed a motion to dismiss the Constitutional rights lawsuit against the county brought by Alison Brown, but that the plaintiff had filed an updated complaint.