$6M needed to complete septic tank phaseout program in Jacksonville’s Beverly Hills East neighborhood
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Funding for the Jacksonville septic tank phasing out program has been used up for another neighborhood, News4Jax I-TEAM has learned.
The I-TEAM previously reported that the city is short for more than 500 families in the Christobel district. Now we’ve learned that installing municipal sewage services in the Beverly Hills East neighborhood is also at risk after city guides confirmed they underestimated the cost.
The city and JEA now say they will need $ 6 million to complete the septic tank exit program in the Beverly Hills East neighborhood. The news comes just three months after city guides announced they also have $ 25.8 million to fund septic tanks for the Christobel neighborhood on Jacksonville’s northside.
″ I always hear the same story: later. It always happens that now there is no money in the budget and they have already started. So it’s just a matter of when it gets to you, so we’ve started, but it will be a while before we get there, ”said Beverly Hills Steve Salem of the East, who recently moved to Jacksonville from Miami.
Salem says he is ready to wait for town to hook up his house to the Jacksonville sewer service.
JEA and the city jointly committed $ 30 million for the project in 2016.
Jay Stowe, CEO of JEA, publicly commented on the insufficient funding last week, saying a study estimating the total cost of the project was wrong.
“I’m not sure why it’s not working, but the combination of the time, economy and complexity of the job makes it more difficult and the estimate did not match the funding.” Stowe said.
According to the JEA, 255 homes were to be converted from septic tanks to urban sewers in the Beverly Hills East neighborhood. According to the utility company, 150 households are directly affected by the financial shortfall of 6 million US dollars.
In the Christobel neighborhood, News4Jax has confirmed that 509 homes are directly affected by the $ 25.8 million shortage.
Locals say the real problems after heavy rains come when their septic tanks return from the flood and the human waste runoff enters the river.
″ Water will actually cover this street. Two months ago this whole street was under water, ”Salem told News4Jax on Wednesday.
However, Salem says he doesn’t have this problem because his septic tank is above the flood level and doesn’t back up. He and others hope that one day the JEA and the city will fulfill the promise they made during the consolidation 60 years ago.
“When I call JEA they answer, they react, they gave me honest answers, the money isn’t there, they don’t know why the money isn’t because the people I’m talking to are not attracting.” I have no control over the money, ”said Salem. “You are dealing with layers of people.”
Jacksonville City officials say the original estimate for the projects was based on earlier exits for septic tanks that did not include connections to private property. The city also notes that design standards and regulatory requirements have changed over the years, resulting in higher costs overall.
Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.