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No. Since 2015, county public health officials have been working with these property owners to reach a compromise that meets the objectives of the environmental health code while allowing them to live in a manner that does not infringe upon their way of life. The property owners have been unwilling to comply with the rules and regulations that have been in place in Lenawee County for decades and that all other citizens must comply with. County public health officials have been and are still willing to discuss options for gaining compliance. The sole objective of the County in this matter is to fulfill its duty to protect the public health of county residents
Lenawee County is not persecuting any citizens because of their religious beliefs. Lenawee County requires that all property owners, regardless of religion, obtain the proper permits and meet inspection requirements for wells and septic systems. Similar requirements are in place throughout communities all across the State of Michigan.
The property owners have been offered options that would accomplish the objectives of the environmental health code and that do not require the installation of modern plumbing or electricity in the home. Options have been presented to the property owners that are used across the state of Michigan and throughout the United States. As of this date, the property owners have refused to implement any of these options.
A safe option for an outhouse is a permitted and approved concrete vault privy, such as you might find at a roadside rest area. This option is used across Michigan and throughout the United States. This option requires periodic pumping by a licensed septage hauler and the waste is properly disposed of at a licensed facility.
There are actually two issues we are attempting to resolve. The first is that the water supply must be permitted and constructed to meet the state well construction code requirements.
The second is that human waste cannot be disposed of in an unsanitary manner. The current system being utilized by the property owners is to collect waste in a bucket underneath the outhouse which is then emptied directly onto the ground. This untreated human feces is then spread on fields, which is a violation of state law. It is widely considered that using human waste as fertilizer for human food poses serious health risks due to the potential for contamination and spread of disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a safe sanitation system is designed to avoid and prevent human contact with human waste.
From the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Contamination of a private well can impact not only the household served by the well, but also nearby households using the same aquifer.”
“Wastewater management and adequate sewer systems play important roles in sanitation and disease prevention. Wastewater can contaminate the local environment and drinking water supply, thereby increasing the risk of disease transmission.”
Improperly used or operated septic systems can be a significant source of ground water contamination that can lead to waterborne disease outbreaks and other adverse health effects.
The presence of contaminants in water can lead to health issues including gastrointestinal illness resulting from campylobacter, cryptosporidium, E. coli, giardia, hepatitis A, norovirus, salmonella and shigella. Cardiac and respiratory problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, myocarditis and pericarditis can also occur. Other symptoms that can occur are weight loss, joint pain and other allergic conditions.
The property owners are spreading untreated human waste onto their fields, which poses a risk to public health. The bio-solids that are spread onto local Lenawee County farms are treated and meet stringent standards as mandated in state and federal regulations.
Yes, this is their personal property. In the United States, you do have certain personal property rights, as long as they do not put yourself or others at risk. The Lenawee County Environmental Health code is in place to minimize risk and protect public health.
Almost all counties in the state of Michigan require property owners with similar beliefs to install septic tanks and drainfields to properly dispose of sewage generated by their homes. Additionally, these property owners are required to have a safe water supply that meets the requirements of the state well construction code. There are various options to meet these requirements, including those that do not require the use of electricity.
Most campers are equipped with separate holding tanks for both fresh water and sewage. The sewage holding tank must be properly emptied at a sanitary dump station. If you have concerns regarding violations of the Environmental Health Code, please send a written complaint to the Lenawee County Health Department at 1040 S Winter Street, Suite 2328, Adrian, MI 49221 and the complaint will be investigated.
RENEWAL OF SEPARATE TAX LIMITATION PROPOSAL
As provided in MCL 211.2015c, by petition from the tax allocation board, shall the separate tax limitations, first established in 1968, be renewed and established for a period of four (4) years, 2018 through 2021, inclusive, or until altered by the voters of the County, for the County of Lenawee, the Townships therein, and for the Lenawee Intermediate School District, the aggregate of which shall not exceed 7.05 mills, as follows:
County of Lenawee 5.75
Lenawee Intermediate School District 0.30
The Countywide impact expected 2018 additional levy on $100,000 home:
If the renewal passes Lenawee County will be able to continue services that the residents of Lenawee County expect. At the same time, the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners will continue to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. It is not expected that the maximum levy rate will be applied any time soon. The determination of the millage rate in any given year will be subject to the requirements of the Uniform Budgeting Act which requires the Board of Commissioners to hold a public hearing on the budget including the millage rate.
The Michigan Constitution and state laws require that counties perform certain functions. These are often referred to as mandated functions. Other services have evolved over time in Lenawee County because they met the needs of our citizens. Some of these services are:
The table below lists most of the mandated and non-mandated services. There are also county departments that exist in support of both mandated and non-mandated functions such as the Maintenance Department, Information Technology and Administration.
2018 Budget A & B Summary
Lenawee County has struggled to provide adequate funding for services since the start of the 2008 Great Recession. After eight years of cuts, adjustments and transfers the commission has run out of options to keep the current service levels and keep up with facility demands within the existing revenue structure.
The Tax Allocation Board reviewed financial information from all of the local units of government that levy allocated millage. Presentations were made to the board by representatives of all types of local units.
No, the Tax Allocation Board had several options and gave consideration to all. They reviewed doing nothing, which would have left local units with no change in their revenue options. They reviewed setting new millage limitations, which could have reallocated millages. Finally, they reviewed renewal of the previous limitation which they determined would provide local units options and not create the confusion of setting new limitations.
The Tax Allocation Board petitioned the County Board of Commissioners to place renewal of the 1968 tax limitations on the first available ballot. The renewal will last four years, 2018 through 2021 inclusive, or until changed by the voters of the county.
The authority of the Tax Allocation Board is limited to the levy rate for the County of Lenawee, all of the general law townships in the county and the allocated portion of the Lenawee Intermediate School District levy. Those governmental bodies whose millages are not affected by the renewal are cities, villages, charter townships and the charter millage portion of the LISD.
The Lenawee County Board of Commissioners, on a unanimous vote, received the petition from the Tax Allocation Board and placed the renewal on the first available ballot. Given the time frames involved that is the November 7, 2017 election.
Michigan counties are limited in their revenue options by state statute. Like all counties in Michigan, the majority of Lenawee County’s general revenue, that funds operations, comes from the property tax. This dependence on the property tax has been a struggle for the County due to several factors:
Lenawee County did have reserves however, it has been necessary to use general fund reserves and transfers from non-general funds to maintain services for the last eight years. With the rising costs of doing business money management is no longer enough to keep moving forward.
Lenawee County has taken several steps over the last eight years to reduce costs and contain expenses. For example:
Yes, Lenawee County has COVID-19 tests.
Much like any illness, individuals who do not have symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) do not need to be tested. Individuals who have symptoms of COVID 19, should contact their primary care physician who will assess them over the phone and order testing if indicated.
Orders for testing are issued by your primary care provider and the determination for testing is based on the current standards of medical care. Criteria have been established to prioritize testing. If your family member’s medical condition has changed, please contact your provider.
Testing is done by appointment only and must be ordered by your primary care provider. Lenawee County residents are being tested by ProMedica Health System.
ProMedica Health System is performing tests daily as ordered by primary care physicians by appointment at an outpatient facility.
The tests are sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services laboratory, which are processed as soon as possible.
Yes. The National Guard has been deployed to help the State of Michigan with distribution of essential supplies. They are not engaging in any law enforcement activities.
Unfortunately, there is no timeline for this crisis we find ourselves in. What is really important is that everyone does their part. Stay home, wash your hands, practice social distancing, cover your coughs and sneezes. Take this seriously. Your actions today affect the future of not only you, but also your friends and family. We are a strong community and working together, we can stay safe.
The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order requires businesses to close to the public from March 24 – April 13, except for businesses that are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Examples of businesses that are allowed to stay open include: restaurants offering takeout or delivery services, hotels (for shelter purposes only), grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, physician offices, veterinarian offices, banks and credit unions, laundromats, car repair, and childcare agencies.
For mental health or substance abuse crisis you can still call the Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority any time at 517-263-8905 or 800-664-5005.
They are also offering Coping with Stress and Anxiety groups to the public to assist with mental health symptoms during this difficult time. These groups are led by a Master’s Degree Clinician and are free for anyone to join. Find more information about these groups at www.lcmha.org.
An urgent care facility should be able to screen you, however, please call them beforehand as they will likely screen you over the phone instead of having you visit the facility if COVID-19 is suspected.
Like all other municipalities locally, statewide, and federally, many emergency supplies are in high demand and difficult to get at this time. We are urging school districts, companies and organizations to consider donating new, unused goods if they are able. We have provided a list of desired safety equipment and directions for how to donate so that the donation stays in our county. Learn More
If you have mild symptoms, please self-isolate at home. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse or bluish lips or face.
For more information on how to self-isolate at home, please click here.
The Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order does not prohibit you from visiting a grocery or convenience store to supply your household with their needs. There is no gap in the supply chain and most stores are being restocked daily. Please only buy enough food and supplies for your family for a week.
The most important thing you can do to help your friends, family, and neighbors in this crisis is to stay home. Staying home will both keep you safe and save lives.
Lenawee County is also in need of medical supplies. The full list of needed medical supplies can be found here. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that first responders and law enforcement need to protect themselves when caring for and interacting with the public is in short supply and hard to restock. Donated supplies must be unused, packaged, and unopened. If you have supplies to donate, please contact the donation hotline at 517-264-0105. This is staffed by Community Mental Health on behalf of the Emergency Operations Center. All donations made through this process will stay in Lenawee County.
Health experts are still studying how this novel virus spreads. Likely, it is spread by respiratory droplets.
· By coughing and sneezing
· By close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
· It is also possible that it can be spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your face.
Because there is evidence of community spread throughout the State of Michigan, the Lenawee County Health Department is not naming public low-risk exposure locations. Residents can assume there is a possibility the virus may be present when they are in public places in the community. The Health Department is not announcing evidence of community spread to cause panic, but to reinforce that people should be taking all recommended prevention measures, including abiding by the Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued by Governor Whitmer. Please know that our team investigates every confirmed case very closely to determine any individual who could have had close contact with the confirmed case.
In general, symptoms appear 2 – 14 days after exposure.
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. That is why we are asking Lenawee County to Stay Home and Stay Safe.
There are no medications specifically approved for this novel coronavirus. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. However, some people have developed pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.
We recommend calling older family members on the phone or video chatting with them to stay connected. Make sure their needs are being met. You can drop groceries, meals, or supplies off on their front porch or doorstep. Please do not enter their house or hug them as you normally would.
You should not gather as a group outside of your immediate family living in your residence. You can set up online group video conferences to help stay connected during this difficult time. There’s more than one way to celebrate milestones and strengthen your family bond. We encourage you to share ways you are staying connected with our community.
While outside exercise is encouraged, please keep in mind social distancing guidelines. You should keep a six-foot separation between you and others. No groups should congregate. You should not share sports equipment. You should not use playground equipment.
Golf courses are not open to the public in Michigan at this time.
Children should not have playdates or engage in outside activity with others outside of their immediate family. We encourage staying on your own property within eyesight of a supervising adult. We understand this is very hard on all of us. We encourage sharing with your community safe ways to help keep your children active during this difficult time.
There is NO reporting on the 5th Wednesday of the month
This office also issues and enforces soil erosion permits, inspects preliminary plats and maintains the court-ordered lake levels on eight (8) lakes in the county.
If you currently receive a monthly water/sewer usage bill from the Lenawee County Drain Commission you can now pay online here.
Register for all weather and emergency alerts at www.LenaweeAlerts.com
Due to renovations of the Old County courthouse our offices are currently located in the Annex Building, located just south of the Old courthouse.
The hours for the Annex building are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Offices are CLOSED from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM for lunch.
A Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) exempts a residence from the tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes up to 18 mills. Section 211.7cc and 211.7dd of the General Property Tax Act, Public Act 206 of 1893, as amended, addresses PRE claims. To qualify for a PRE, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence.
Due to renovations of the Old County courthouse our offices are currently located on the first floor of the Annex Building, located just south of the Old courthouse.
The hours for the Annex building are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Offices are CLOSED from 12:00PM to 1:00PM for lunch.
We maintain parcel layers for all of Lenawee County except for the City of Adrian, which maintains their own dataset. We have aerial photography, reference topography, road centerlines and several other datasets on a countywide basis.
There are roughly 44,600 linked tax parcels in the Lenawee County parcel layer as of 2019.
It is $30.00 per document, no matter how many pages. For additional information try
You can come into the office and get a copy. It is $1.00 per page for copies of documents. You can also obtain a copy from our software's website at
An Escrow Account will allow you to view and print documents. We require $100.00 and your information to set up an escrow account. Then we will supply you with a username and password to access the documents. Please contact our office, at 517-264-4538, for further instructions.
Ink prints can be done by appointment only. Please call 517-264-5368 for appointment.
By going to the Lenawee County Sheriff's Office's
Friends and family may participate in a pre-payment plan that is provided for by the telephone service. Any information on these phone services, questions on blocks, or billings, can be answered by calling (800)483-8314.
You can contact our telephone service provider at (800)483-8314 to have a block placed on your telephone.
With options 1 and 2, you will need to know the Facility number and the inmate number. The Facility number is 249201 and the inmate will notify you of their inmate number.iCare is another service provided by our commissary supplier. A variety of packages are offered to be purchased on the internet and distributed to inmates. iCare packages are delivered on Mondays and Thursdays. Orders received on those delivery dates may not be delivered until the next date. The website for purchasing these packages is www.icarearamark.com. You will need the inmate number and a credit card to make purchases Inmate Deposits
FOIA Request Form
Our office is open 8:00 am until 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm until 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. Please refer to the calendar for the County holiday schedule.
Adrian Township, Deerfield, Dover, Hudson, Macon, Madison, Medina, Ogden, Palmyra, Ridgeway, Rome, Seneca, Tecumseh Township. All others are collected by the local treasurers.
The Treasurers Office accepts cash, check, cashiers check, money order, and credit cards. ***Please note there will be an enhanced access fee to use a credit or debit card.***
A current rabies certificate, not a receipt or invoice and proof of spay/neuter if not noted on the rabies certificate.