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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:
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.