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  • Writer's pictureBruce Mattare

$20K Fine for Black Water?

Before I was sworn in as your county commissioner, a Sheriff's Deputy gave me the "scenic" tour of Kootenai County's most notorious neighborhoods. Some of them were so shocking it was hard to believe people lived there.

It was not that long ago when one property owner was illegally running an RV Park and the black water from some of the RVs was being dumped onto the ground. Not only does this create extremely unsanitary conditions, but the effect on surrounding properties and the aquifer can be significant.

Further, there are situations where some construction projects fall outside the building codes that the County "red tags" them. Red Tagging is when an inspector shows up to halt a construction project due to code violations. It can be a safety issue or an outright violation of code. It is a serious situation and sometimes ignored by either the contractor or the property owner.

There's little recourse the county has to address these types of issues in a timely manner. That's why this Ordinance was drafted. If the tool sets existed to address them, then we wouldn't have this conversation.

For the record, I had nothing to do with the creation of this Ordinance. It was largely driven as a result of the County's inability to address violations in a timely manner. But given what I've seen and how much of a nuisance some of these situations can be, I believed the County needed this additional tool to address some of the most egregious situations.

Here's How I Argued Why This Ordinance Should Be Tried

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Thank you for reading it.

Bruce E Mattare

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