Councilwoman says she’s committed to finding money to complete septic tank phaseout program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4Jax I-TEAM hears from more people who live in a Jacksonville neighborhood who say they have been neglected by the city for decades.

Residents of the Christobel neighborhood learned this week that the city does not have enough money to convert their septic tanks into urban sewer systems after promising them service in the late 1960s.

The News4Jax I-TEAM brought local residents’ concerns to local executives to get answers for these local residents.

Jacksonville councilor Ju’Coby Pittman, who represents District 8, said Wednesday she was 100% committed to finding the money to complete the septic tank exit program.


On Wednesday, I-TEAM also spoke to longtime Northside residents who said it was a shame they might not live to see the city deliver on its promise.

“Think of the elderly like me, these elderly communities like this, and do something for them,” said William Cherry Sr., a Northside resident.

When it comes to the city’s sewers, nothing has changed for Cherry since moving to his Northside home more than 60 years ago. Neglected and abandoned, describe how he and his neighbors feel after learning that the city now doesn’t have enough money to drain its septic tanks as promised.

“I’m not feeling good about it, but I’ve had to live with it these many years, so I’ll have to live with it until the city finds some money, like they found the money over there,” said Cherry. ” That’s a lot of money to just put over there when you have people out there who you’ve made promises to since the 60s. “


Cherry was referring to the announcement by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry that the city will borrow more than $ 208 million for Lot J redevelopment. Cherry said his neighborhood and their health are more urgent.

“I feel very offended and I’m pretty sure anyone in this area would feel the same,” said Cherry.

Pittman said she committed to looking for an alternative source of funding after two other communities’ septic tank exits cost the city more than expected.

“If we can find money for Lot J, I think we can find funding for communities left behind,” said Pittman. “You may also be looking at bonds that may be available to us, and there has been talk of rainwater charges, which is an option.”


Unfortunately, the city council does not know how much extra money it will need to complete the septic tank phasing out program as it is still accepting offers for projects in front of the Christobel district. Pittman said the city council probably won’t have a dollar amount until late this year or sometime early 2021.

Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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