JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville City Council’s Social Justice and Investment Committee learned Monday that one of the three boroughs to replace septic tanks with municipal sewers may experience a significant delay due to funding.
The septic tank phasing out program is designed to address the harmful effects of septic tanks on the environment.
Biltmore Township and the Beverly Hills neighborhood are both planning to replace septic tanks, but city officials say funding for the third planned neighborhood – Christobel on Moncrief Road – is not fully secured.
“It’s not just about setting up a pipe, but also completely reconstructing and installing the infrastructure for the sewer system. As I mentioned, the streets are also being rebuilt throughout, “said John Pappas, director of the city’s public works department.
Pappas said the Jacksonville septic tank phasing out program will greatly improve the communities that have been waiting for decades for a service that many other people take for granted. Jacksonville is trying to keep a broken promise made during Consolidation in 1968. The city agreed to improve drainage and sewage systems in older neighborhoods as it expanded the city limits to get to the beaches. To date, more than 65,000 Jacksonville residents have come to rely on septic tanks, which have deleterious effects on local tributaries.
“What is meant is the area, this is groundwater, so leakage of the material finds its way through our groundwater and ultimately into wetlands,” said Pappas.
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The septic tank replacement should be completed sometime next year in the Biltmore and Beverly Hills neighborhoods, which together have more than 1,000 septic tanks to be removed and replaced.
US $ 45 million has been allocated for this project.
But the city said it has cost more than expected so far – so the money could run out and the removal of the Christobel congregation’s septic tank remains a question mark.
“To be honest, we are waiting to move public relations forward to initiate this,” said Pappas.
Pappas told city council members that the average cost per home to replace a septic tank with municipal sewage services is between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000.
“We don’t want to push it until we know we have enough funding to push it through construction,” said Pappas.
News4Jax spoke to councilor Matt Carlucci over the phone about finding other sources of income for the septic tank exit project. He said the city might consider increasing the stormwater runoff fee by using the city’s loan money, or maybe even using some of the money earmarked for rebuilding Lot J, which would require a council vote.
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