LAUREL HILL — The old Hobo Video location will soon house Highway 85 Deli. However, before Timothy Creel and his wife, Barbara, open for business, they hope to extinguish a rumor.
"Since we have been working on the place, people have been stopping by asking how we could open a business on top of a bad septic tank," Creel said. "It was ... getting ridiculous."
Earlier, Creel and his wife, like many Laurel Hill residents, believed that the building was unusable due to its supposedly faulty septic system.
But county officials told the couple that the septic tank had been installed in 2006 and was working well.
The couple believe the rumor still plagues the location.
Creel sent an email he received from Environmental Supervisor Dana Grissom of the Okaloosa Health Department to the Laurel Hill city clerk's office. A portion of the email reads as follows:
"I know there have been numerous questions regarding the legality of the septic system at this location. The septic system that is currently being utilized was installed originally in 2006 and the previous septic system was abandoned at that time. This office does not have any issues with the septic system at this location."
The city council gave no input on the matter at a recent meeting.
Timothy is the director of respiratory therapy at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountsville. Barbara is a Medicare biller at Healthmark Regional Medical Center in DeFuniak Springs. The couple have spent thousands of dollars to establish their business since signing a lease two months ago, Creel said.
Improvements included installing a grease trap, per the county’s request, to increase the septic system’s longevity, Creel said. Now the couple awaits approval from state officials while continuing renovations.
"It’s looking like we will open towards the end of May, depending on the state," Creel said.
The family-operated restaurant — which plans to hire two full-time employees — will offer sandwiches and pizza. On Saturdays, the restaurant will offer barbecue, Creel said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.