South Middleton Township resident cited over septic system

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – As part of ABC27’s effort to attend more public meetings, we learned about concerns that a rule in a local township might be a bit too harsh. One man got a letter saying there would be a warrant for his arrest over his septic system.

A couple weeks ago, South Middleton Township resident Rick Rovegno and his wife received a citation in the mail saying they failed to follow a township rule requiring them to have their septic system pumped and inspected every three years. The letter, which included fines totaling almost 400 dollars, stated that if the couple did not respond within 10 days, a warrant would be issued for their arrest.

“The problem that we had was this was the first notification that we received,” Rovegno said. “The township did indicate that they mailed us a letter.”

Rovegno went to South Middleton Township’s recent public meeting and suggested a registered or certified letter be sent. After all, it’s what the township always did up until this year.

“We told the citizens and Rick that night that we would re-look the process. The board seemed to understand that one letter, uncertified, wasn’t enough,” township supervisor Tom Faley said.

It was a victory for Rovegno and a lesson for everyone: know your ordinances. You can look them up online or at your municipality’s office. And never be afraid to speak up.

“That’s the beauty of public input, really and truly, because many times you think everybody is happy and there could be unhappiness out there,” Faley said.

Rovegno said the township told him his fines would be dropped. The board plans to discuss changes to the notification process at their next meeting.

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